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    Dilemma Cab or Targa?

    With the recent pictures of the Targa (in what seems to be a C4S body), I have a real dilemma. Go for the Cab (I'm first on my dealers list) or wait for the Targa.
    Anyone with prior experience with the Targa who could comment abouth the strenghts and weaknesses versus the Cab?
    I can't really test drive the Targa to feel hom much of a "convertible" feel there is and with the Cab I'm worried that after a few years the convertible top will look worn and unnatractive. I plan on getting it garaged.
    Thanks for any comments.

    Re: Dilemma Cab or Targa?

    I originally got a 996 Targa when I worked in Weissach. At the time, 997 production was only starting, and only department managers were allowed to order one. So, the 996 Targa was the cheapest 911 we could get.
    The 996 Targa was a commercial failure, but it made about 25% of all N/A 911s on the Weissach parking lot when I was there. I sometimes suspect Porsche kept the Targa in its product range just for its engineers... :

    I would not really compare a Targa with a Cab. Even with the windows and roof down, you still feel inside a coupé (albeit with a huge moonroof) because you see the sides of the roof (unlike in the pre-993 Targas).
    Where the Targa really shines IMHO is... when the wheather is bad. The glass roof is amazing. The luminosity is incredible. At traffic lights, I could not help but look up at the raindrops beautifully flowing down the roof.

    I'd rather compare the Targa with a regular Coupé. Unless you intend to track the car (in which case the reduced stiffness, the additional weight and the higher gravity center would matter), I see little reason not to prefer a Targa.
    The glass roof is a huge plus. I'm not returning to a steel-roofed car again. Besides, the rear window opens like a hatchback. I used this all the time. It's very convenient.
    I know it might sound odd to mention practicality in an exotic, but it does matter, especially since it was my only car. Indeed, the biggest advantage of a Porsche over a Ferrari is IMHO that the Porsche also is an everyday car. The 911 is a reasonable and fairly pratical sports car, and the Targa is the most reasonable and practical of all 911s.

    On the negative side, I did not keep the car long enough to experience it myself, but I heard the roof might start creaking after a while. Whereas the 997 soft top has an excellent quality and is very durable.
    (you might want to avoid the stone grey top, though, as it requires extra care to avoid black marks)

    Jack of all trades, master of none.
    Bottom line is, if you have another car and really want the full Cab experience, get a Cab. If it's your only car and you're not living in Florida or South California, get a Targa.

    I had to return it when I moved to the US for a few months, but let me tell you I'm definitely getting a 997 Targa 4S next year.

    Edit: the Targa will only arrive in 14 months. Whereas you could spend Summer '06 in a 911 if you stuck to your Cab order.

    Re: Dilemma Cab or Targa?

    Nice work "The Groom." I (we?) much appreciate your informed and insightful essay. After reading, it definitely leaves the reader farther ahead than he was. Thanks.

    Re: Dilemma Cab or Targa?

    Thank you very much for your comments. They are very helpful. Just a quick question, why would the stone grey top get black marks?

    Re: Dilemma Cab or Targa?

    You're welcome.

    The stone grey top is likely to get black marks because of the frame, of folding marks, of scratches (e.g. branches), of dirt, you name it.
    Obviously, a black top gets the same marks, but you don't see them as easily.

    Re: Dilemma Cab or Targa?

    The Groom said:
    You're welcome.

    The stone grey top is likely to get black marks because of the frame, of folding marks, of scratches (e.g. branches), of dirt, you name it.
    Obviously, a black top gets the same marks, but you don't see them as easily.

    Yeah, I know from personal experience too (non-Porsche). I'll never get a non-black top again. They're just additional work to try to maintain something which, unlike paint or leather, isn't that great to look at in the first place. Think what happens when you get a spot of tree sap? You use some sort of solvent and you rub and brush and you may get most of the sap out but there's always gonna be some sort of visible trace of sap or abrasion from cleaning it left behind. Black is the only color which has the best chances of hiding blemishes.

    Re: Dilemma Cab or Targa?

    The Groom said:
    You're welcome.

    The stone grey top is likely to get black marks because of the frame, of folding marks, of scratches (e.g. branches), of dirt, you name it.
    Obviously, a black top gets the same marks, but you don't see them as easily.

    The Groom,

    Kudos for the very informative and insightful post. I assume the metropol blue soft top has the same drawback blemish-wise as the grey top? I am currently having a blast with my 2005 996TSCab (black with black soft top), and I plan to add the 997T to my stable (I might even hold on to the 996TSCab, tune it up to the 500-600HP range, and get the 997TCab or TSCab-I would drive the 996 on even days and 997 on odd days of the month! ). I had planned to make the 997T exterior blue (midnight or Lapis) with the metropol top. Now I wonder if the metropol might not be worth the risk of blemishing. . . . Any comments from metropol soft top owners?

    Re: Dilemma Cab or Targa?

    I have a 996 Targa and I love it. IMO, you have to decide if you are a cab lover or not. If you are, the Targa top will not satisfy you. Otherwise the Targa is fantastic.

    If you want to let the sun and wind in, it's much better than a sunroof. I drove 4 hours yesterday and it was sunny and gorgeous. Sunscreen was required, and I have a nice tan today. With just a smidgen of imagination, it does seem like an open top experience. Had I decided I'd had enough (which I often do - I am NOT a cab lover), I could have just pressed a button and poof - in a coupe again.

    The Targa is marginally lighter (just look it up) and noticibly stiffer (I am told) than the cab.

    As The Groom has already mentioned, the glas roof is just amazing at night, on cold days, and even in the rain.

    As for rattles and squeaks - lubrication of the roof mechanism is required annually - just as it often is with the cab. I've been in a few 986's and the tops all rattled over bumps when closed. I've heard the same is true of 911 cabs. The frequent complaints of cab tops rattling and squeaking at the PCA site and on renntech attest to that too. Importantly - the 993 Targa was a significantly inferior design based on the cab body - it has a bad reputation for rattles. The 996 Targa roof was specifically designed as a Targa, and the huge problem of rattles etc. with the 993 mechanism have largely been eliminated. I imagine the 997 Targa will have the same roof as the 996, since it is the only shared component between the 2 models. Lastly, you'll read here and on other Porsche Forums that the sunroof on 911 coupes is also prone to rattles and squeaks (and let's face it - virtually every Porsche is).

    I totally agree with The Groom that if you intend to track the car and performance is your main concern - get the coupe and forget about both cab and targa.

    Otherwise, if you're not a cab lover, get the Targa and you won't be disappointed.

    One last thing: some dislike the looks of the Targa because the roof line above the front windshield is black, which can look a little busy in those corners if the car is a light color. If you like black cars - that is solved. Dark colors like Basalt black, Atlas Grey, and Midnight Blue work well too.

    I'm hoping Porsche makes a 997TTT (twin turbo targa!).



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