1986 Porsche 944 Turbo-46k Miles-excellent Cond. Properf. Upgrades- Very Fast on 2040-cars
Hagatna, Guam, Guam
Porsche 944 for Sale
Auto blogTue, 15 Apr 2014 11:59:00 EST
I've watched the electro-hydraulic roof panel open and close about 73 times in the past hour, but its fascinatingly complicated operation still has me mesmerized. I've concluded that only a German automaker - Porsche, to be more specific - would go through the trouble of engineering a roof system that essentially lifts the entire greenhouse off a vehicle, rearranges its components like a sliding-tile puzzle, and then reassembles all of them seamlessly (sans roof panel) to accurately recreate one of its most famed bodystyles.
The 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is a near-perfect modern interpretation of the automaker's 1965 911 Targa, a semi-convertible bodystyle that represents nearly 13 percent of all 911 models sold since production started 50 years ago. While the early car's roof was purely manual in operation - that's the period-correct way of saying that the driver did all of the muscle work - today's Targa is a completely automated transformation that requires only that the driver hold down a cabin-mounted switch for a mere 19 seconds to let the captivating show run its course.
After studying the Targa's elaborate roof operation at its launch at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, I was sufficiently intrigued. To that end, I traveled one-third of the way around the planet to southern Italy, hoping that the Mediterranean climate would reveal a bit more about the reintroduction of the automaker's iconic sports car.
It took 24 hours to run the race, but it was the last one was stuffed with the high action as four cars were still trying to figure out how to gain victory on the track and in the pits. Along with the obligatory crashes, spins, mechanical issues and retirements had come numerous penalties, a double-digit number of full-course yellows and two hours of fog that turned early Sunday morning into a stretch of parade laps.
The final hour would make up for the morning - drivers who might have been happy just to get on the podium had a shot at victory as the end of the race approached, and that turned into a few gambles that paid off, and at least one that didn't...
Go back a few years and you may have heard rumors of Porsche heading into Formula One. That never came to pass - or at least, it hasn't yet - but that doesn't mean that it wasn't close to happening. That's how committed to returning to top-level motorsport competition Porsche has become recently.
Autosport reports that just as Porsche was merging fully into the Volkswagen Group, Zuffenhausen was weighing its options for a factory racing program. Le Mans was its favorite, which makes sense, as it remains far and away the most successful constructor in the history of the famous endurance race. But the strategists at Porsche were worried that its new corporate overlords at Volkswagen wouldn't support two LMP1 programs and would favor Audi, which has positively dominated the modern era of endurance racing, coming second only to Porsche in the number of Le Mans victories it has scored to date.
Porsche's Plan B was reportedly to head into Formula One, although it isn't clear if the German automaker was intent on starting its own team, buying an existing one or merely providing engines to other teams. Porsche fielded its own cars in F1 in the late 1950s and early 60s, and returned as an engine supplier with TAG to power McLaren in the 1980s, powering Niki Lauda and Alain Prost to the World Championship in 1984 and 1985.