Porsche 911 2.4 S Targa
Introduced in August 1971, the 911 2.4 S was considered the pinnacle of the 911 range and the ultimate evolution of the early ‘classic’ narrow bodied 911. Power of this new 2.4 flat-six unit was a substantial 190bhp, which was mated to a new Type 915 gearbox to keep pace with the additional torque and power now available. Performance was increased over the outgoing model too, with a top speed of 144mph and 0-60mph coming up in a sharp 6.6 secs, both ensuring the new 911 2.4S, was one of the fastest cars on the road at the time.
As with other models in the new 911 range, the S was not only available as a Coupe, but also as the glamorous Targa, complete with a safety inspired roll hoop and removeable roof panel. Unlike conventional convertibles, this offered a safe and unique open-air experience, with minimal buffeting when removed.
It could be argued that the 911 S lost its performance crown to the 73 RS, however, as a limited homologation road racer, even in Touring guise, the RS was a different, hardcore machine compared to the relatively refined and sophisticated S. And if you wanted the wind in your hair, then the S had that Targa option and appeal. To drive and own one of these in the 70s, was very much a discerning statement.
Which brings us to this particular 911 2.4S Targa from The Austin collection. Completed at the Zuffenhausen factory in September 1972 and finished in Light Ivory, it is optioned with desirable Sports seats together with a Blaupunkt radio and delivered to its first owner via Jacksonville, Florida based Brumos Porsche.
Acquired and imported from the US in 2015, the owner has meticulously recorded every mile covered, with handwritten notes, plus all expenditure in the form of invoices, correspondence and pictures of work carried out. This augments the already extensive history file that came with the car, thanks to its equally fastidious American owners, two of which – Clay Huber and Reuben Bienvenu –the current owner has been able to track down and correspond with. The history files for this car run to two bound volumes and one box file and literally hundreds of pages of American Porsche expertise, including the legendary Vasek Polak on California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Also worthy of note, is a reassuringly substantial invoice for a full engine rebuild in 2011.
Even with its extensive history and upkeep to date, on arrival to the UK, the meticulous new owner decided there was still room for improvement, so started his usual and methodical approach to correct and improve any issues to his satisfaction.
As with his other Porsches in the Austin Collection, all UK work has been carried out by West Midlands based Porsche specialist, Two Plus Two and long-time early Porsche outfit, Gantspeed in Lincolnshire. Each has acquitted itself well, with detailed correspondence and pictures throughout, demonstrating a clear and concise understanding of their specialist subject.
Much of this has been detail work, that is almost impossible in the space here to scratch the surface of. Suffice to say, being fastidious, he often ignored the cost implications, preferring for the car to be `right` instead. Major ticket items include a gearbox rebuild, clutch, substantial suspension and brake refresh, plus a full overhaul of the MFI unit. And perhaps most importantly for a Targa, the roof panel has been refurbished correctly so that it seals properly!
Interior wise, the car benefits from a full refurb while in the US, with the original Blaupunkt radio still present and tuned to 1973.
ON THE ROAD
Just perfect really. With a freshly rebuilt 915 gearbox, plus careful attention to linkages, the shift quality is as good as any 915 ‘box we’ve experienced. Likewise, a properly functioning MFI pump ensures crisp performance with no idling or flat spot issues, whilst the suspension refresh, with new dampers and bushes completes the driving experience.
Lastly, there’s the Targa roof, which when installed seals properly for refined progress, and when removed, allows this cars appeal to be fully realised.
As good as a 911 2.4S Targa gets? Well, as with other Porsches in the Austin Collection, it’s certainly an upper tier example, that has benefitted from regular use and maintenance, proving that cars and Porsches in particular, just really like to be driven.
And the final word should possibly go to the owner, who’s thoughts of his last drive on May 16th 2022 are recorded in his handwritten journal: “Amazing.”