Wicked Butzi: 1971 Porsche 911 Custom Targa Speedster

Fellow Porsche hot rod fans will totally get this Porsche 911 Targa Speedster. Originality crew, avert your eyes now.

Porsche 911 Targa Speedster (3)

Vincent in Colorado emailed me last night with pictures of his Porsche street rod creation. Known affectionately as ‘Butzi’, it’s a lightweight Speedster-style project, based on a 1971 911 E Targa. Inspired by a visit to the Porsche Museum, close inspection of the 550 Spyder and 909 Bergspyder hillclimb special drove Vincent to create a lightweight version of his early 911.

Hot Rod Porsche 911 Targa Speedster

“I bought my 1971 Porsche 911E Targa in California on 9/11, 2000. Always maintained by Andial, the car had been stolen from its previous owner, but subsequently recovered. While stolen, it had picked up body damage: a smashed front wing and door, clipped in a collision. Now far from immaculate condition, it was ready for a transformation along the lines of home-brew early race cars.

Porsche 911 Targa Speedster

“I welded in rear flares to fit 8 x 15” Fuchs wheels, and added lightness to the entire body. Fibreglass bumpers, bonnet, deck lid, and front fenders keep with the lightweight build theme. I have yet to weigh the car, but you can be sure it’s in the 1800 lb range (800 kilos).

eBay Porsche Parts Find

“The most challenging part of the build was committing to the Speedster theme. This required removal of the original Targa roof components and fabricating the windshield. I got lucky and found the rear clamshell on eBay.

Porsche 911 Targa Speedster (1)

“Powered by the original 2.2-litre engine, refreshed and on Webers with the 901 transmission, I’m enjoying driving it, but have to start work on the suspension and get some ideas on paint. Originally silver, I really like the early Porsche race cars in white, hence the theme it is now: in various shades of white primer, awaiting the next stage.”

Porsche 911 Targa Speedster engine

As a Porsche feature car veteran, I like the hot rods: cars with personality. I rarely get super excited by perfect Porsches that the owners won’t drive due to spotless condition. For me, a Porsche on the move is the real deal: even Zuffenhausen drives its museum exhibits every now and then.

Porsche 911 Targa Speedster (4)

Vincent’s 911 Speedster is towards the opposite end of the Porsche preservation spectrum, but this doesn’t make it less engaging. It’s a work in progress, and sometimes progress has to shake a few cages. Kudos, Vincent and Salut, Butzi. Keep on rocking in the free world!

6 Comments

  • Chuck says:

    Speaking of cages shaking, is there any body flex with that Targa bar history?

    • John Glynn says:

      Now that is a good question, Chuck. If you look carefully, it does have a roll bar/half cage added, so I am guessing very little additional flex, especially as so much weight gone out of it.

  • Tritone says:

    Love the 911 Speedster concept………but, why the camel-hump rear deck, when a ‘normal’ rear section would have been sleeker, and simpler? And the stance, my god the stance! (please reassure me the pic was pre-engine install….;-) “Back in the day” when I owned and raced Speedsters, the rear was always majorly decambered, resulting in a much lower rear end. On this current car, the camel hump and the nose-down “California-drop”, combine to look too ‘beetle-y’ for me.

    Anyway, props to the builder for doing something different than a mega-buck restoration for a change!

    • John Glynn says:

      Thanks for the comment! The owner will be thrilled to know some people are digging it. The humped rear is from using a genuine clamshell. Flattening the rear bodywork has been done on others but it’s a lot of work. I think it could go lower also but then the trade-off between stance and driveability is important. The owner is a family guy so budget no doubt makes this a work in progress – cool that he is using and improving as he goes.

  • Vince says:

    Thanks for the compliments everyone. There is no flex in the car even before the roll bar. A testament to the uni-body design and zero rust on the chassis. Although I get compliments on the rake of the car, the stance is temporary until I can get some time to lower the rear suspension a bit. (it was lowered before but I had to raise it up before a move as it wouldn’t fit on the trailer) I looked at building it without the speedster clam-shell but it really looked incomplete as the line of the body was interrupted. This car leaves me shaking with excitement every time I drive it!

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