The Transformation of the Convertible: Porsche 911 Targa

Perhaps much to your disappointment, this article is not about a hot car turning into a autonomous robotic being form the planet Cybertron. It will be about the progression of the convertible car technology that has allowed this car body style to remain as a popular choice among thrill seekers and car enthusiasts.

The 2014 edition of the Porsche 911 Targa costing $101,000-$106,000
The 2014 edition of the Porsche 911 Targa costing $101,000-$106,000
The original 1960s version of the Targa
The original 1960s version of the Targa

You see, the ever so popular convertible car was not always so. They would not even exist if it wasn’t for one car brand. They were at one point denounced as death traps because of their potential hazard in roll over accidents. This was mainly brought on by a lack of roll bars an an increased uncompensated weight gain from the electric motor used for the roof retracting system.

The older cars that had been denounced as dangerous box traps simply did not have anything protecting the passengers from getting crushed by the weight of the car in the case of a roll over. In addition, these cars were considered dangerous because of their sketchy handling that was attributed to the extra weight gain from the electric roof motor. The added weight altered the handling enough to cause possible accidents.

porsche-991-911-targa-top-rennlist-action

 

These factors combined even made U.S. Legislators consider banning the car body style in the 1960s. One company, Porsche, hoping to surpass these obstacles designed a much safer pop top. This pop top replaced the former roof of the 911 Coupe with a simple removable section between the top of the windshield and the roll bar. This new 911 model was called the Targa, after Italy’s Targa Floria race. 50 years later, Porsche has updated their design with a push button system and other features as shown below.

Taken from "Raise the Roof' by Damon Lavrinc of Wired Magazine.
Taken from “Raise the Roof’ by Damon Lavrinc of Wired Magazine.

 

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