Soft rear window Targas have become the darling of the early 911


Porsche introduced the 911 Targa in mid-1966 to an enthusiastic audience anxious for an open 911. For the first model year in 1967, only the soft rear window was available. A year later, the glass rear window was introduced as a far more durable alternative. By 1969, virtually all Targas were glass rear window models, even though the soft rear window remained an option through 1971.
The fuel-injected 911E came to market in 1969, slotted between the touring-oriented 911T and the race-inspired 911S.
Offered here is a genuine 911E soft rear window Targa, understood to be one of only twelve soft rear window 911 cars built by the factory in 1969. A copy of the factory Kardex build sheet provides proof of the rare SRW option. This full, bare-metal, rotisserie restoration was aimed for the highly demanding standards of competitive Porsche judging.
The restoration was executed by marque specialists Series 900 Coachworks, who opted to make several cosmetic and mechanical changes to enhance the car's overall appeal. The paintwork was changed from Burgundy Red to Tangerine Orange, the hydro-pneumatic front suspension was replaced with 911S struts, and the brakes were fitted with 911S aluminum calipers. Replacing the original 2.0-liter engine is a 2.2-liter 1971 911E powerplant, with correct mechanical fuel injection producing 160 hp, mated to the original 901 five-speed transmission.
Refinished Fuchs forged alloy wheels are fitted with new high performance tires, and a mint-condition owner's manual, full factory tool kit, jack, and half tonneau cover are included. In our view this is one of the finest 911E models in existence.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1969 Porsche 911 E
Years Produced:1969-71
Number Produced:unknown, rumored about 50
Original List Price:approx. $7,700
SCM Valuation:$11,000-$15,000
Tune Up Cost:$300
Distributor Caps:$20
Chassis Number Location:horizontal bulkhead under front hood
Engine Number Location:stamped into alloy engine block near right side of cooling fan
Club Info:Porsche Club of America, 5530 Edgemont Dr., Alexandria, VA 22310
Alternatives:1968-71 BMW 2800CS, 1968-71 Jaguar XKE Convertible, 1972-74 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino Spyder
Investment Grade:B

This 1969 Porsche 911E Targa sold for $27,500, at RM’s Monterey sale, held Aug. 13-14, 2004.
This would be strong money for a 1969 911E with a color change and the wrong motor, but the rare soft rear window option on the Targa pictured here is what makes this price market correct.
Soft rear window Targas have been discovered by the early 911 cognoscenti and have become the darling of this emerging group of highly involved 911 collectors. However, this car has undergone some modifications that bear discussion.
Let’s start with the color. The car was originally Burgundy Red, a dark, deep burgundy that’s not very red at all, and in fact a rather uninspiring hue. Although a standard color in the U.S., it was not popular in its day. Hence the color change to Tangerine, a dark reddish orange and a popular period choice. This color is correct for the year, and even though it was not original to this 911E Targa, I’d say it shouldn’t hurt the value any.
The engine is a different matter entirely, because it is wrong for the model year. Yes, it is nice that it is still a 911E engine, but I’d expect the car to be worth more if it had the right motor. If the car had the 2.0-liter from a 1969 911E engine, it would be eligible for Porsche Club events where the Kardex is not shown, but the color and engine must be correct for the year of manufacture. If I were going to the expense of a rotisserie restoration, I would have at least selected engine cases that were correct for the year and type of the chassis, and then built whatever engine inside that I so desired.
And while that “bare metal restoration” might sound like a selling point, you can also look at it another way-it’s a shame this car had to go through such extensive work. We are given no further details in the auction catalog about the original condition of the body, so it bears wondering just how rusty this car once was. It somehow lost its original engine along the way, so how much of the rest needed replacing as well? Perhaps some additional information in this area might have been available from the seller, and while that could certainly make me feel better about the car, it might just as well scare me away.
A few other things about the car are bothersome, and would seem to indicate a somewhat spotty attention to detail. First, the front bumper guards were left off, which gives the car a smooth, European look, but is wrong for a U.S. model. Next, the radio in the dash is an aftermarket item and is all wrong-Porsches of this era came with Blaupunkt or Becker radios that fit neatly through a panel in the dash. Neither of these flaws are hard to correct, so I wonder why they weren’t addressed.
But before I lead you to believe that someone grossly overpaid here, I did
already say that the price was market-correct. One thing to remember about a desirable car like this one is that the market is not monolithic-not everyone cares about PCA show cars. Many people will just look at this car for what it is and want to be seen in it. That segment of the market has lately been demanding its share of unusual, pretty cars like this and pushing values higher.
Interestingly enough, the recent history of this car would seem to enforce my idea of its valuation, though this is apparently not to the liking of its current owner. Since purchased at Monterey, it has been offered more than once on eBay, bid into the twenties, and failed to meet its reserve. As of mid-April 2005, it was for sale again with a buy-it-now price of $39,995.
I do find eBay a good place to show unusual or well-restored Porsches, and have noted bidders there, in the right situation, to be quite willing to step up and pay big dollars for special cars, but $40k is at least $10,000 too much.

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