This Tiny Porsche 911 Targa Has A Fascinating History

Sports Cars / 2 Comments

Concours cars have nothing on this 1:5 scale model.

The Porsche 911 Targa already has some history behind it. Before the 718 Boxster and 911 Cabriolet came along, it was one of the only ways to get an open-roof Porsche that wouldn't cost you a bazillion dollars. We're betting this 1:5 scale model of the 911 Targa was likely a lot cheaper to make than its full-size siblings. It was also hand-built from scratch and comes with one hell of a story.

Elmar Rossmayer liked building model ships. One was moored at a Lindau, Germany yacht club when a member of the Porsche family found it. He subsequently got a call from the automaker asking if he'd also like to build model cars for them. Obviously, he said yes.

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Rossmayer told Porsche in an interview that he was at first "scared of biting off more than I could chew... But I really had nothing to lose." First, he built a model of the 911 coupe. Evidently, Porsche quite liked it, and in 1968, asked him to produce another, the result of which you see here. The model itself is blue, and a reconstruction of a 1968 911 Targa.

The body of the model is made of epoxy resin, which is laid over a hand-built wooden shell and then re-worked. The detail on the model is incredible, with lug nuts that actually hold the tire in place, and even a small, hand-made "Targa" badge.

The tires are another neat detail, which took some serious work to get right. Rossmayer inserted small cuts to mimic the grooving of the tires, which could only be done by hand. He also had to re-sand the tires a second time to make them work. Creative solutions were needed to get the textures he wanted as well, saying "I replicated the patterned texture in the lower part of the dashboard with the profile of a shoe sole, which I had to cut down to the right size."

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Upon finishing the model and bringing it to Porsche (pictured with the car above), Rossmayer said he was so nervous he smoked a whole pack of cigarettes on the way to the factory. Then, after the model was accepted by Porsche, he smoked another. In total, Rossmayer billed 1,257.75 hours for the hand-made model at 10 marks per hour. In today's money, that's roughly $6,800 USD.

Initially, the model was left by the wayside in Rossmayer's shop before he decided to take it back to Porsche for restoration- "I had to call Porsche. The models had to return home to Zuffenhausen." So it did.

The model now resides in Porsche's Zuffenhausen museum, next to a Porsche Design 911 Targa built to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The model certainly belongs in a museum given its history, and there isn't a better place for it than next to its full-size kin.

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