Porsche 911 SC Backdate Targa Hot Rod

When the Porsche 911 SC Cabriolet was released to the public in 1982, it was an instant hit. The first fully convertible Porsche for 18 years since the 356 Roadster, build slots sold out and the cars changed hands for well above list price once in the open market.

Based on the 911 SC Targa, which had been the only open-top 911 for many years until the 911 Cabriolet model was developed, SC Cabriolet shells had few changes over the rigid-glass sibling. The main changes were reinforcements to the bottom of the b-posts and changes to the top of the latch panel where the Targa bar would normally sit, replaced by the Cabriolet roof mechanism. The small differences mean that Targa-to-Cabriolet conversions are quite straightforward, and not that rare.

EB Motorsport Porsche 911 backdate 4

Porsche friend David bought this Porsche 911 SC as a Cabriolet conversion from a 911 SC Targa. “I rescued it from a barn, where it had languished for fifteen years. It came with big bills for new brakes and lots of injection work to get it running but it had a broken headstud or two and some crappy paint.

“It was already non-original (colour, cab conversion, seats, etc) so it was a perfect subject for a bit of hot-rodding – weight loss and backdating being main aims to get a car that (to me) looked good, sounded great, handled well yet was still comfortable enough for a long day in the saddle.

EB Motorsport Porsche 911 backdate 2

“Having removed or swapped bumpers, front and rear lids, sill covers, stereo, heating, door cards, seats and more I dropped a total of 135kg (~300lbs). This affected the ride height, particularly on new Bilstein Club Sports all round. This had to be sorted, so I was ready for the next step – to re-bush with Polybushes, fit late 3.2 ARBs and sort the ride height and alignment.

“I limped around in it for a few months until biting the bullet for the inevitable engine rebuild. I took the opportunity to remove the heat and go with bare headers. John Holland at Unit 11 did the rebuild, and it works very well. Elsewhere the bodywork is tidy: a few minor issues to look at, but otherwise it’s a strong and solid classic 911.”

EB Motorsport Porsche 911 backdate 1

The Cabriolet conversion is less obvious than the other big change over standard: a backdate to early-style front end and bumpers from the solid aluminium impact bumpers. Advantages with the backdate conversion include the lower weight – David estimates he has dropped almost 150 kilograms or about 10% of the Targa’s original weight. It’s the equivalent of two people in the car so quite a lot to lose.

All of the parts to backdate came from our friends at EB Motorsport: bonnet, bumpers and the new wing infill lights, which fix straight to the impact bumper front wings and match to EB front bumpers. The normal fitment involves filling to match the wings but David is a dad on a budget, so has kept it good enough to use and enjoy. To me it is everything you want in a hot rod: 911s are all about driving and this aspect is top of David’s list.

Here’s some video of the car in action: sounds terrific.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *