The Porsche 911 Targa Softwindow saw the light of day in 1965. After the market launch of the Porsche 911 in 1963, the coupe was quickly to be followed by a convertible. Due to the strict safety regulations in the USA, however, Porsche engineers had to get creative. The Porsche 911 Targa was born – the safety cabriolet. It founded a whole dynasty and an absolutely unique selling point of the Stuttgart company..
The Porsche 911 Targa Softwindow came to the IAA in Frankfurt in 1965
Porsche brought their new body style to the Frankfurt IAA in 1965. The naming cited one of the most important road races of its time, the Targa Florio. Its trademark was the safety bar as a continuous B-pillar. The roof element was located between the windshield and the bar. It consisted of an aluminum frame with leather upholstery.
Unlike today’s Targas, however, the original model had a soft plastic window in the rear. A soft top, so to speak, for the rear of the vehicle behind the tare bar. Without the targa roof, the open soft windshield gave the car a real convertible feeling. In 1967, the Porsche 911 Targa buyer had what VW later called a strawberry basket. A convertible with a safety bar.
Besides the Porsche 911, there was a 912 Targa Softwindow as well
The Porsche 911 Targa Softwindow quickly found its fans. Its little brother, the four-cylinder 912, was also offered with the soft rear window from 1967 onwards. Unlike today, open-top driving was still a bit of an adventure in the ’60s. The roof didn’t open at the push of a button. Instead, the Targa roof had to be unlocked and removed by hand. The rear soft top also required some manual labour. This was because the softwindow had a zipper on the Targa bar for fastening.
The softwindow Targas were only suitable for everyday use to a limited extent. Porsche therefore offered the option of a heated glass window as early as fall 1967.
Unfortunately, this made it very difficult to close the roof again at low temperatures. Porsche had even advised its customers not to open the roof at all below 15°C. Otherwise, the roof might not close anymore. This meant that the Softwindow wasn’t an evergreen in the Porsche history. Production was already discontinued at the end of 1968.
Only very few of the Softwindows have survived
As usual, short production time means a small number of units. So it is not at all surprising that hardly any 911 Targa Softwindow is still available. Exact production figures are not so easy to determine. Among other things, it is certain that 925 units of the Porsche 911 S Targa Softwindow with short wheelbase were produced until the end of 1968.
It’s clear that the Softwindow models occupy an absolutely special position. While it’s still quite easy to get a softwindow Targa for the 912 at five-figure prices, it’s a completely different story for the 911. It starts at about 175,000 Euros. Depending on the history and condition, vehicles have changed hands for over 400,000 Euros. The Softwindow cars thus join the ranks of the particularly sought-after, rare Porsches. And this, even if the construction itself can probably be described as “suboptimal” at best. Sometimes it is precisely these “mistakes” that can make a Porsche particularly desirable.