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50 years of Porsche Targa by State of Art 05/09/2015 > 01/11/2015

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To mark the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 Targa, we would like to look back at the seven generations of these mythical Porsches.From the first 911 Targa with a soft window to the very latest 911 4S which stands in the Porsche showrooms today.
Both the Belgian gendarmerie and the Dutch National Police owned various Porsche Targas in the 1970s. We will have two variants of these on display too.

With the help of the State of Art Classic Porsche collection and a number of private collectors, some fifteen models will be placed in a specially designed setting, with extensive coverage of the famous ‘Targa Florio’ road race for sports cars that was held on the Italian island of Sicily between 1906 and 1977, and from which the name Targa is derived.###

State of Art
Fashion brand State of Art was founded by Albert Westerman in 1987. It is a high-value brand that designs casual lifestyle collections for men. The designs meet high quality standards, have a timeless look and feature subtle details. 
State of Art has an affinity with classic motor sport and an especial passion for the Porsche brand. Classic cars and motor racing are clearly woven into the brand’s DNA. The State of Art Classic Porsche collection has therefore been used on several occasions for a variety of marketing purposes.

The presence of the following cars has already been confirmed:  
• 911 Targa Soft Window 2.0 red 1967
• 911 Targa Soft Window 2.0 blue 1968 (provisional: currently being finished)
• 911 Targa 2.4T Ölklappe orange 1972
• 911 Targa NL Police/ Gendarmerie 1974 (from Monday 21-09-15 to 01-11-15)
• 911 Targa 2.7 yellow 1975
• 550 Spyder  1500 RS silver from 1955
• Martini RSR Replica

A bit of history…

Targa Florio
This race for sports cars took place on the Sicilian road network from 1906.
It was the idea of wealthy Sicilian businessman and racing enthusiast Vincenzo Florio. He designed a 146-kilometre route on treacherous mountain roads near Palermo. Later, the course was shortened to a 72-kilometre circuit that had to be covered several times (11 to 14 times depending on the year) by the participants. The 800 to 900 bends per lap created very demanding conditions for the drivers.
Between 1953 and 1973, the race counted towards the world sports car championship. The last Targa Florio that was part of the world championship was won by Gijs van Lennep and Herbert Müller in a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR. It was the eleventh victory for the Stuttgart-based manufacturer, which first won the race in 1956 with a Porsche 550. In 1966, Belgian Willy Mairesse was the first to cross the finishing line at the wheel of a Porsche 906.
The Porsche Targa, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, is named after this legendary road race.
After a number of fatal accidents involving spectators, the race was discontinued in 1977. It was proving impossible to ensure the safety of drivers and spectators along the entire circuit.

The Porsche Targa: fifty years young!
The first Porsche Targa was presented to the press and public at the IAA in Frankfurt in 1965. However, the first car did not roll off the production line until December 1966. It was built to a design by Butzi Porsche, combining the benefits of open-topped driving with the comfort of a closed car. The name derives from the Targa Florio, a road race on the island of Sicily that Porsche won no fewer than eleven times between 1956 and 1973. As a result of campaigning by safety guru Ralph Nader, convertibles were on the blacklist in America. Thanks to its striking steel roll bar, the Targa instantly became the world’s safest convertible. The folding top made of aluminium and leather was removable, and the plastic rear window could easily be unzipped. In 1968, Porsche developed a rear window made of safety glass, again in response to stringent US safety regulations.In 1973, Porsche introduced the G-Model as a successor to the original 911, and the Targa retained an important place in the range. A black roll bar now replaced the silver version. The 911 Turbo Targa with its 3.3-litre turbo engine (300 hp) was quite simply spectacular. Only 298 of these cars were made. With the introduction of the 964 in 1989, the Targa also got four-wheel drive for the first time. In 1993, the last air-cooled Targa with the classic roll bar and removable roof rolled off the production line.The new 993 appeared at the IAA in September 1994. The Targa roll bar was replaced by an innovative electrically operated glass panoramic roof, manufactured by Webasto. Up to 1997, 4,583 of these cars were produced, marking the end of the air-cooled Porsche 911.The new 996 Targa (2002) kept the electric roof and had a hinged rear window, ensuring easy access to the rear luggage space. A four-wheel-drive version was not available. This changed in 2006, with the introduction of the 997 that was sold exclusively with four-wheel drive. The successful new design brought Porsche the Red Dot Award, the highest distinction a manufacturer can receive.In 2014 the new 991 Targa made its world premiere at the International Auto Show in Detroit. Porsche combined the classic 911 Targa idea with a very modern roof design featuring the characteristic broad roll bar instead of the B-pillar, a movable roof panel above the front seats and a wrap-around rear window without C-pillars. There were two engine variants, but the car was only available as a four-wheel drive.


Practical info

For more detailed info please contact the museum

Parc du Cinquantenaire 11
1000 Brussels

Tel. : +32 2 736.41.65
Fax : +32 2 736.51.36

+32 2 736.41.65
 

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