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911 Série 0 [Millésime 1965/1967]

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Video: A history of the Porsche 911 Targa

 

In 2017, the Porsche 911 Targa – the original open top Neunelfer – will reach its 50th birthday, a remarkable milestone for a model that was originally devised to meet safety regulations that were, ultimately, never implemented.

To celebrate the upcoming anniversary, we’ve decided to look back over the Targa’s half a century of history in our latest video, taking you through the evolution of the model from 1967 right through to the latest 991.2 Targa 4S.

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Our five-minute flick also stars a 1974 Porsche 911 Targa from esteemed specialist, Canford Classics, the original impact bumper iteration showing how the latest open-top Neunelfers has both changed and been inspired by Zuffenhausen’s iconic roll hoop design.

We’ve put the two idiosyncratic roof systems to the test too and, if you missed our road trip with the 991.2 version in Total 911 issue 142, Features Editor, Josh gives you his opinion from behind the wheel of the new 911 Targa to see if turbocharging has improved the alfresco driving experience.

For more of the latest and best Porsche 911 videos, check out our dedicated film section now.

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911S 1967 : haute couture

911-S-1967La 911S est la voiture de sport par excellence. Redoutable compétitrice dans des épreuves difficiles par sa robustesse légendaire, elle pouvait aussi, avec les bonnes options, se métamorphoser en une GT luxueuse et puissante, capable de rivaliser avec les meilleures de la production mondiale. C’est dans cette configuration que son premier propriétaire Italien avait choisi à l’époque de commander notre modèle d’essai.
Texte Hilaire Photos Frank Camuzat

Les premières études du projet de la 901 datent de 1956. Rares sont les voitures qui ont vu autant d’ingénieurs prestigieux se pencher sur leur gestation ; Ferry Porsche, Ferdinand Piëch, Butzi ou Erwin Komenda pour n’en citer qu’une poignée. Après avoir brièvement imaginé une carrosserie à trois volumes qui à quatre places, il avait été décidé de reconduire sur cette voiture entièrement nouvelle l’architecture de la 356, avec un moteur en porte-à-faux arrière, et la conception classique d’une voiture de sport 2+2. Ferry voulait une 911 plus habitable que la 356, mais tenait beaucoup à ce que l’empattement n’excède pas 2,20 m pour préserver la vivacité d’une GT compacte.

Tout dans la nouvelle voiture a été fait pour gagner de la place. Ainsi, pour augmenter la capacité du coffre à bagages et abandonner une ligne plongeante, la nouvelle suspension avant de type McPherson constituée de bras oscillants transversaux et de jambes de force sera dessinée afin de ne pas former une trop grande enclave dans le compartiment, ce qui permettait de positionner le réservoir d’essence très bas et la roue de secours directement à plat sur le plancher. C’est à ce même niveau qu’est placé le boîtier de direction à crémaillère, le pignon situé dans l’axe médian du véhicule, ce qui améliore la sécurité et simplifie la production quel que soit le marché, qu’il soit à conduite à gauche ou à droite.

L’habitacle a aussi été étudié pour offrir un volume et une répartition des masses optimaux, les sièges avant positionnés exactement à mi-distance entre les deux essieux. Le châssis en acier offrait la grande rigidité qui permettrait la production d’un éventuel cabriolet, la suspension avant se basait sur une paire de barres de torsion longitudinales et une barre stabilisatrice qui contrecarrait la tendance naturelle de la 911 à survirer. A l’arrière, c’était bras oscillant et barre de torsion transversale. Les amortisseurs sont situés à l’extrémité des longs bras de levier, de sorte que leur course est plus longue que celle des roues.

Retrouvez l’intégralité de l’article dans le n°33 en vente en ligne sur hommell-magazines.com.

Pour le moteur, c’est un six cylindres boxer de deux litres refroidi par air qui sera retenu. Il ne s’agissait ni plus ni moins que du huit cylindres de la Formule 1 de la marque, amputé de deux cylindres. Certains journalistes ont reproché à Porsche de ne pas avoir conservé les huit cylindres pour concurrencer les Ferrari, Jaguar ou Corvette. Mais l’opération aurait positionné la nouvelle Porsche dans un segment de prix sur lequel Ferry avait une certaine appréhension à s’aventurer. […]

 

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Rise of the classic Porsche 911 Targa

Born out of necessity, the Targa is an enduring if sometimes unloved model in the 911 range. Its inception was the result of Porsche’s obvious desire to offer an open-topped version of the 911 in the 1960s, though early 911s lacked the structural rigidity to offer a full open top.

Fate would intervene, with proposed US safety legislation effectively killing development of conventional Cabriolets thanks to the anticipated demand for roll-over protection. Given the potential of the US market and as Porsche is not one to shy away from the insurmountable, it took a more unconventional approach to give customers an open-air choice.

The solution was the Targa in 1967, which featured a full rollover hoop, to which a removable panel was fitted. On the earliest, short-wheelbase cars there was also a removable ‘soft’ rear window, which simply unzipped. Somewhat amusingly, Porsche’s safety-orientated open-top car took its name from a famously dangerous road race, the Sicilian Targa Florio.

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Coincidentally though, ‘Targa’ in Italian refers to an ancient shield; fitting given the Targa’s safety-derived inception. That US legislation would never materialise, though the Targa would remain Porsche’s only open-topped 911 until the Cabriolet joined the line-up in 1982.

The Targa added little weight over its Coupe relations, the roll hoop adding strength while the lightweight roof counteracted the additional weight of the four strengthened panels. The tooling costs were minimal, too, with most of the sheet metal below the waistline unchanged from the Coupe.

The removable rear window didn’t last long though, Porsche soon replacing it with that evocative curved glass, which was as much a signature of the Targa as that brushed Nirosta stainless steel finished roll-over bar (which later changed to black aluminium).

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That formula would remain from its late 1960s introduction through to the 964 series. The arrival of the 993 Targa in 1996 would see it adopt a large glass-opening sunroof, which slid behind the rear window.

This remained the case with the 996 and 997 models, which also benefitted from opening rear glass, creating a hatchback 911 as such. From the 993 onwards though, the Targa was no longer so visually distinct from its Coupe relations.

Only a company with the stubbornness of Porsche would persist in offering more than one open-top model in its range. At times when Porsche offered Speedsters, customers had as many as three ways of opening their 911 to the elements. The Targa could have quietly slipped away following the 993, 996 and 997 iterations.

To read ‘Targa Rising’ in full, pick up Total 911 issue 141 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now. 

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Sales Spotlight: 1968 Porsche 911 2.0S

You may have noticed recently that we’ve been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911S, both here on Total911.com and in the magazine. It’s a pretty big milestone, given that the original ‘S’ was Zuffenhausen’s first proper performance Neunelfer.

So, for our latest ‘Sales Spotlight’, we’ve been hunting around for the perfect classic 911S to showcase, eventually settling on this example from independent Porsche specialist, Paragon.

Built in 1968, it is one of the last short wheelbase Porsche 911Ss built before Zuffenhausen switched to the lengthened B-Series platform for the 1969 model year.

Paragon Porsche 911S interior

Although it doesn’t get the rare 4.5-inch Fuchs and iconic green-numbered dials of the 1966/67 model-year Porsche 911Ss, the 1968 car (officially known as part of the A-Series 911 range) still retained the original S’s Weber-carburetted, 2.0-litre flat six, providing a rasping induction howl and 170bhp.

Paragon’s particular example is finished in Metallic Silver and comes with the popular sports seats (a period optional extra) finished in black leather with houndstooth centre cloth.

The dashboard has the famous 911S basket weave finish while the car – chassis no. 11801202 – comes equipped with its original Blaupunkt radio unit (though you’ll undoubtedly prefer listening to that engine sing its way passed the 7,000rpm mark).

Paragon Porsche 911S tail

The only concession to originality seems to be the addition of a MOMO Prototipo wheel however, given the popularity of this particular helm (and the fact the Prototipo was a period racing accessory for many Porsches) we can certainly look beyond that.

Recently, Paragon’s Porsche 911 2.0S has enjoyed a substantial professional restoration and comes with an official Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. It’s currently available with a price tag of £174,995.

To check out this Porsche 911 2.0S in more detail, or to see more of the incredible Porsches on offer at Paragon, visit their website now.

Paragon Porsche 911S rear

The Porsche 911S at 50: 2.0S, 2.2S and 2.4S driven

These are the 911Ss. For six years they topped the 911 range; the fastest, the most luxurious, the most expensive. Then the RS was unveiled to an enthralled Zuffenhausen faithful in 1973. The S remained ‘Super’ for one more year but, as the 911 headed into the impact-bumper era it was usurped again, with the 911 Carrera 2.7 becoming prince to the Carrera 3.0 RS’s king.

In 1978 the 911S died out altogether, amalgamated with the Carrera bloodline to form the SC. Its return to global-production 911s would take nearly two decades, with the launch of the 993 Carrera 4S in 1995 reviving the tradition of this smoothly snaking Latin letter. As of now, each generation of water-cooled 911 has featured at least a single Carrera S in the range.

Thanks to its turbulent history post-1973, all pre-impact-bumper 911Ss enjoy a special place in Porsche folklore, reflected by today’s astounding classic values.

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18 months ago this mouth-watering, air-cooled triumvirate could have graced your collection for the price of a single 1973 Carrera RS. Now your £300,000 budget is unlikely to even secure two of these 911 icons, such has been the surge of interest in this famed variant.

The 2.7 RS may often steal the plaudits, but it owes its fabled reputation more to the track than the road; it was the S that took on the responsibility for cementing the 911 legend during those formative years. Yet, with production of this classic halo car spanning seven and a half years (resulting in 2.0-litre, 2.2-litre and 2.4-litre variants), which series of 911S should you set your sights on?

Released in 1966, the 0-Series 911S’s 901/02 flat six retained the 80mm bore and 66mm stroke of the original Porsche 901 engine. However, forged light-alloy pistons and steel con-rods replaced the standard items with 42mm intake and 38mm exhaust ports and twin Weber 40IDSC3 carburettors, to yield a significant 30bhp gain over the standard 911 powerplant.

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Providing the first 911S with the dynamics it deserved, Helmuth Bott’s team fitted a rear anti-roll bar alongside a stiffer front item, and adjustable Koni dampers. It also became the first 911 to gain internally vented brake discs, whose cooling was aided by the introduction of the new, 4.5-inch-wide, forged-alloy Fuchs wheels (a move that saved over 8kg compared with the previous steel wheels).

Our Ivory White example (owned by Marcus Carlton) previously went head to head with a 991 Carrera S in issue 114, sowing the seeds for this group test where its ‘competition’ comprises less contemporary German engineering.

Despite this, there are numerous aesthetic details that place this Porsche as the trio’s elder statesmen. The original Fuchs wheels feature less black paint than later rims and, combined with the spindly 165-section tyres and high ride height, the original 911S has an historic aesthetic that continues inside.

To celebrate the Porsche 911S’s 50th birthday in style, you can read our 2.0 v 2.2 v 2.4 group test in full by ordering your copy of Total 911 issue 120 online for just £1.15. Alternatively, download it straight to your digital device here.

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Evolution of the Porsche 911 Targa

There was always an open-top Porsche: Ferry’s first model was an open barchetta and if production realities soon dictated a closed design, it was only a couple of years before a convertible 356 appeared.

This was a vital model, especially in the US, for which Porsche’s gung-ho distributor Max Hoffman persuaded Zuffenhausen to build the Speedster, as featured in issue 128 of Total 911. By the late 1950s, consideration of the 356’s successor was in full swing at Porsche.

Between the competing designs of Erwin Komenda (Porsche’s long standing body engineer who saw himself as carrying the beacon for the late Professor Porsche), Ferry’s son Butzi who represented the first generation of automobile stylists, and Ferry’s own preferences, little thought was given to an open car.

Original 911 Targa

Moreover, high development costs of the 901 Coupé meant there was little in the way of budget left to invest in a convertible model.

The other concern at that time was the controversy in America, stirred up by Ralph Nader, about whether car manufacturers were putting users’ lives at risk with fundamentally unsafe cars.

In particular, the Chevrolet Corvair (a flat six rear engine design) had been singled out, as had the VW Microbus. In the general uncertainty, it was also unclear whether the US authorities were going to ban open cars. It was dissuasive enough: Porsche would develop an alternative to the Cabriolet which would be the birth of the Targa.

Porsche 991 Targa

Porsche’s experiments with open prototypes had already demonstrated that some sort of ‘roll hoop’ did manage to restore rigidity. Therefore, the ‘alternative cabrio’ would have this roll hoop and it became a question of what it would look like and how it would be incorporated.

Schröder, who had built 356 cabrios at Karmann, said that the most important detail at this stage was “to make this roll bar look right.” Having agreed on the aesthetics, they could then strengthen it as much as necessary.

To read the rest of our Porsche 911 Targa history, pick up issue 130 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device.

Porsche 911 Targas

911 S 1969 Racing

911-s-1969Pourquoi donc Porsche a-t-il développé une version “Sport” de sa 911 si ce n’est pour offrir un niveau de performances supérieur à une clientèle toujours plus exigeante. Ah !… Peut-être aussi pour accroître le potentiel de son cheval de guerre sur des champs de bataille peuplés d’adversaires déjà très bien armés.
Texte Francis Leplat Photos Simon Clay (courtoisie RM Auction)

La compétition, au centre des préoccupations chez Porsche ? Une évidence qui, en 1969, n’a jamais été remise en question, mais qui tendait alors à scinder les activités de la maison en deux pôles distincts. Autant, à l’origine, la 356 de route était la base incontournable à la préparation des voitures de course, autant la deuxième moitié des années 60 avait vu naître une nouvelle lignée de prototypes (la 904 et plus encore la 906) qui allaient cantonner la 911 aux seconds rôles, sur des épreuves de moindre envergure et sur des initiatives privées, mais surtout dans la fonction de voiture de série, dont les revenus des ventes financeraient une part non négligeable des activités du Département Compétition de Weissach. La marque a délaissé les rallyes dans lesquels elle brillait dans les années 50 et misé gros sur les courses sur circuit, discipline qui fait la part belle aux protos du calibre des 907 ou de la 908. Pourtant, Peter Falk et Herbert Linge avaient démontré dès 1965 le potentiel de la bête en remportant une victoire de classe et une belle cinquième place au général du Monte-Carlo dans une voiture quasiment standard, et trois voitures d’usine seront engagées sur l’édition 66. Il a fallu d’autres initiatives pour que Porsche remette ses préceptes en question. En Grande-Bretagne, un jeune pilote a convaincu un concessionnaire Porsche local de lui prêter la 911 de son showroom pour un rallycross. La voiture retourne le lundi à la concession dans un état “second”, en même temps qu’une poignée de commandes fermes pour la même Porsche que celle que les potentiels clients ont vu se battre avec verve entre les mains du jeune… Victor Elford ! Un succès qui autorisera le talentueux Vic à réclamer une modeste 911 S à l’usine pour l’engager au Monte-Carlo et au Tour de Corse 1967. Accordé ! L’année suivante, il se contentera de remporter l’épreuve avec son copilote David Stone, épaulé par une assistance réduite à sa plus simple expression, et suivi par la 911 S de Pauli Toivonen. Peut-être suffisait-il de convaincre les bonnes personnes chez Porsche de redynamiser l’effort en rallye.

Acropolis

Effectivement, durant la saison 1969, Porsche a compris que sa 911 pouvait se révéler une redoutable compétitrice face aux Ford Escort, Opel Kadett et autres BMW 2002. Une demi-douzaine de 911 S sont alors préparées pour la discipline, portant les numéros de châssis 119 300 529, 0530, 0548, 0912, 0931 et 0932. Prélevées sur les chaînes de montage avant qu’elles n’aient reçu moteur et transmission, elles étaient envoyées à Weissach pour une préparation dans les règles. Elles étaient toutes équipées d’un moteur 911/30 soigneusement reconstruit et alimenté par une injection mécanique Bosch. Le châssis et les suspensions étaient renforcés, les voitures recevaient des portes plus légères en aluminium et bénéficiaient de toutes les modifications réglementaires de sécurité. […]

Retrouvez l’intégralité de l’article dans le n°26 en vente en ligne sur hommell-magazines.com.

Porsche 911 2.0-litre: ultimate guide

As the Porsche 911 gets bigger, faster and evermore luxurious, it’s easy to forget that there was once a much simpler way. Nothing epitomises that more than the car featured here.

A 911 shorn of the electronic driver aids and the clever aerodynamic enhancements we’ve become used to seeing with every new generation, scrolling back half a century brings us to this, the short wheelbase (SWB) 911.

Back in 1964, when the 911 was finally launched to an expectant public, this was a sports car that looked impossibly pretty. Delicate and with a purity of line that, some argue, has been lost in the race for ballistic performance and the ability to brag about lap times, the simplicity of Porsche’s approach was more than a little breathtaking.

Porsche 911 2.0-litre interior

And that simplicity extended to a two-door coupe body shell that was constructed – beautifully, it should be said, and with traditional attention to detail – as a straightforward steel monocoque.

Little was needed by way of embellishment, certainly no ungainly spoilers or other aerodynamic protuberances, just the slimmest of bumpers and with chrome surrounds for the windows and delicate grilles adjacent to the sidelight/indicator units.

Chrome was also used for the small door mirror and handles, and the whole effect was one of neatness and understatement. This was truly a case of function over form, and the earliest 911 was all the better for it.

Porsche 911 2.0-litre engine

A Targa model would appear in 1967 with its now-iconic steel roll hoop and a zip-out plastic rear window, although this latter feature proved fiddly and 1968 saw a fixed-glass item offered as an option.

But whatever the body style, the dimensions too were somewhat less than we’re used to today, a SWB car measuring around 30 centimetres shorter overall and 20 centimetres narrower than a current 991 Carrera.

To read our full Porsche 911 2.0-litre ultimate guide, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 123 in store now. Alternatively, order it online for home delivery or download it straight to your digital device.

Porsche 911 2.0-litre rear

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