Porsche Restores Very Special 911 S Targa That Was Left To Rot For 40 Years

Classic Cars / 6 Comments

Today, it looks like it's fresh off the factory floor.

For sports cars worth pulling out all the stops to preserve, Porsche Classic Factory Restoration specializes in restoring weathered old Porsche models back to their former glory. Unsurprisingly, this process can take thousands of hours - or in some cases, several years, as in the case of one of their latest rescue projects.

For almost 40 years, a 1967 Porsche 911 S Targa was left to rot in a doorless garage, with only a plastic tarpaulin protecting it from the elements. But it wasn't just any old 911 S Targa; it was the very first example ever delivered in Germany. Making it even rarer, this particular 911 Targa was built with a soft window, instead of the more common glass window available from 1967. Only 925 units of the S Targa with a short wheelbase and soft window were built by Porsche between 1966 and 1968.

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After being used as a demonstration car for a couple of years following its production, in 1969, this 911 S Targa was sold to a customer in the US before being left parked in a garage in Long Beach, New York, where it remained from 1977 to 2016. But thankfully, before the car had a chance to waste away entirely, it was discovered and acquired by a Porsche collector and enthusiast determined to spare it a one-way trip to the junkyard.

While the car was in a "wretched state," it was at least complete, enabling Porsche to perform a full factory restoration. All of the car's original optional extras were preserved, including the auxiliary heater, tinted windshield, radio, leather seats, halogen fog lamps, and exterior thermometer.

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However, tracking down authentic small parts such as cable clamps, rubber grommets, and sealing plugs for the 2.0-liter S engine proved difficult. Replica parts from third-party suppliers were not an option, and even with Porsche's access to more than 60,000 genuine spare parts, tracking down each missing piece took some doing.

But an arguably greater challenge was matching the original material of the Targa roof. "Today's [roof] material has a different grain and is more robust than the original," explains Uwe Makrutzki, Head of Porsche Classic Factory Restoration. "But our customer did not like it. For this reason, we had a visually identical cover produced especially for this project. In spite of their decades of experience, our experts still had to work gradually towards achieving the right finish, that is to say its bonding and stitching."

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The owner also had a special request for the coating used for the chassis parts, engine panels, and air cleaner system: that Porsche use two-component paint in black, just like how it would have left the factory, rather than relying on modern powder coating.

The body took over 1,000 hours to painstakingly restore, and the car was painted in the same Polo Red that it wore out of the factory. For extra protection, the owner requested a painted-on paint protection film with a subtle matting effect.

In all, it took more than three years for the 911 S Targa to be restored to like-new factory condition, and over 50 years after its production, the first 911 S Targa delivered in Germany is now back on the road. There's no time to rest, though, as Porsche Classic is already working on its next major restoration project: a Porsche 928 for the same owner.

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