Targa top

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1972 Porsche 911T Targa featuring the original Targa top.

Targa top, targa for short, is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. The term was first used on the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa,1 and it remains a registered trademark of Porsche AG.2

The rear window is normally fixed, but on some targa models, it is removable or foldable, making it a convertible-type vehicle. Any piece of metal or trim which rises up from the side of a car and continues in an uninterrupted line over the roof and down the other side is sometimes called a targa band, targa bar or a wrapover band.

Targa tops are different from T-tops, which have a solid, non-removable bar running between the top of the windscreen and the rear roll-bar, and generally have two separate roof panels above the seats that fit between the window and central t-bar.

Origin

Triumph TR250 Surrey Top.
Ferrari 328 GTS: targa version of 328GTB

The word targa first came into use from the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa, though it was not necessarily the first to use the removable hard top system. The first appearance would be five years prior with the 1961 Triumph TR4, where it was commonly called a surrey top, followed by the 1964 SAAB Catherina prototype and the 1965 Toyota Sports 800.

The targa style roof opening became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, when there were fears that the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the United States would ban convertibles, due to concerns over the safety of occupants when a car overturns. As a result, manufacturers adopted Targa tops or T-tops. As Porsche helped to popularise this body style, they took out a trademark for the Targa name and manufacturers sought for alternative names for their removable tops. Porsche got the name "Targa" from the Targa Florio, the famous road race in Sicily where Porsche was very successful. Targa means "plate" in Italian.

Targa and T-top numbers have slowly declined as manufacturers discontinued them in favour of full convertibles with retractable hardtops and folding metal roofs such as the Mercedes-Benz SLK, and by better structural engineering with pop-up roll over bars behind the seats and front roll-over bar incorporated into the front windscreen,

Glass roof

1996 saw the debut of a retractable glass roof in the Porsche 993 Targa, a design continued on the 996 and 997 Targa. The glass roof retracted underneath the rear window revealing a large opening. A shade was there to help prevent the greenhouse effect of the closed roof. This system was a complete redesign, as previous Targa models had a removable roof section and a wide B-pillar functioning as a roll bar. The new glass roof design allowed the 993 Targa to retain nearly the same side-on profile as the other 911 Carrera variants and eliminated the inconvenience of storing the removed top of the old system. The Targa had the body of the Cabriolet with the Targa glass roof replacing the fabric roof. The 911 Targa continued with the all-new 996-model and gained a lifting hatchback glass window.3 This, in turn, was used on the later 997 model of 911.

Rotating roof

Ferrari introduced a hybrid variation of the targa roof and folding metal roof with the 180 degree rotating roof featured on the 2005 Ferrari 575M Maranello Superamerica. The concept was also used in the 2010 Renault Wind.

Examples of traditional Targa tops

Examples of the Targa car body style include:

See also

References

  1. ^ "911 History". Edmunds.com. 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  2. ^ "Porsche official website". Porsche.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  3. ^ "Evo February 2002". Evo.co.uk. 2002-02-21. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  4. ^ Daily Mail Motor Review 1984 p. 13







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