Chariot Of Fire: 1987 Porsche Targa Chassis

What exactly does one do with completely gutted, rusted, 1987 Porsche Targa chassis like this one found here on eBay? I’ve always been up for a challenge, and am an avid follower of salvage title wrecks that might yield a wonderful (albeit low value because of its title history) Porsche for the road after tender love, and elbow-grease reconstruction. But this? It’s well beyond that dream.

At one point in time, this car was a 1987 Carrera 911 Targa – according to the seller, who warns us that no other cars are for sale in the pictures. He’s referring to several early 50’s Mercedes sedans, and a singular 356. In my book, the seller would have to throw in one of the 180 sedans to make the asking price of $4.5k seem reasonable.

It’s true that this year Targa is one of my favorite cars. It was my dream car in college with one of the best versions of the air-cooled engines – I always wanted the 3.2L motor and the G50 5 Speed. With its Pop-Top Targa roof, this wonderful version of the 911 is possibly the best of both worlds – open-air motoring, or buttoned up against the Seattle rain. This 911, however, is a bit more of a nightmare than a dream it seems.

I’ll offer it up for debate then. What do the readers of Barn Finds think of this project? Can it be lovingly resurrected back to its former glory – and see the roads again? Is it a planter for Uncle Bill’s garden? Will we see it on top of a bar as is made into a neon sign? Let us know what comes to mind for this sad, interesting, compelling Chariot of Fire!



WANTED 1968-1970 Dodge Charger Project car with papers for export to South Africa $20K Contact

WANTED 1953 Dodge Truck B4 Looking for truck to restore Contact

WANTED pre-1986 Chevrolet Chevette I am looking for a beige Chevrolet Chevette, preferably in the Charlottesville Area (+100 miles). Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. sir mike

    Not one good part to be seen….scrap value only….sorry

  2. Kevin

    yard art

  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    Buy this and then restore it? Unless the car itself has historic or personal nostalgic value you’re better off finding a complete running example and playing with that instead. This one is worth $25.00/ton and might amount to a set of panels for a new washing machine….

  4. Adam T45 Staff

    It just seems way too obvious to say that this car is toast! I don’t see it ever being a road car again.

    However, if the shell were media blasted it has great potential as the basis for a track day car. You can be pretty sure that you wouldn’t have much sound deadening to remove to bring the weight down, and you would be able to forget about all of the expensive interior trim. Media blast, roll cage, coat of paint, fabricate a dash out of aluminum, racing seat and harness and stick in whatever running gear you want and you’re all set. The price may be a bit high for this purpose, but it isn’t too far out of the ball-park.

    Like 1
    • DavidL Member

      Even restored I’d be afraid that the whole thing would collapse under me the first time I sat in it. Heat that intense would have ruined the structural integrity of the metal and if it didn’t collapse immediately it would the first time I tried to make a turn in it at speed. Still, the driver’s side door has some paint left …

      • Steve R

        It would likely be much cheaper to buy a turn key track car than to build this one. Used race cars without historical significance tend not to bring much money. Their pricing does not compare to that of street cars.

        Steve R

      • Bill McCoskey

        DavidL said: Heat that intense would have ruined the structural integrity of the metal and if it didn’t collapse immediately it would the first time I tried to make a turn in it at speed.

        You are 110% correct. But wait . . . there’s more! Imagine forged & machined steel pieces like the front & rear spindles, ball joints, steering rack parts, suspension arms, rear axle assemblies, all having been subjected to the slow cool down that reversed the original heat treating process.

        Even if they are replaced, when buying the new pieces, there is a requirement to turn in the old parts for cores, those parts could go to an “off-brand” parts rebuilder who hasn’t got a clue about the fire. So these parts get rebuilt and sent back out to go on another car, all the while having lost the heat treating & tempering!

        I used to work across the road from the Marada rebuilding facility in Central Maryland. Every forged or machined steel part they rebuilt was re-heat treated for just that reason. One of the managers showed me some of his private “samples” of brand X rebuilt parts that failed because of this very situation.

      • Adam T45 Staff

        I have seen a race car built out of a shell in similar shape to this. The builder threw away anything mechanical and the car had a 4130 chromoly cage welded into the car tying the suspension pickup points together. Was it successful? The car was built in 1993 and is still competing today with no issues, so I guess that the answer is “yes”.

        Having said that, I would want to have a close look at the shell first. There do seem to be some inconsistencies in the damage. There are plastic and rubber parts that are intact but the interior is trashed. From what can be seen in the photos, the heat hasn’t been intense enough to warp the body panels.

  5. Dolphin Member

    Adam nailed it—It’s TOAST, figuratively and literally and every other way…

  6. Jack Quantrill

    Someone has cojones of steel, to ask so much for this ruin!

  7. Stang1968

    Carcasses like this burned out wreck ought to be illegal to sell to anyone other than the scrap yard. I don’t know how insurance companies can brand this as salvage/rebuildable. This is so burned out the metal will never have the strength it had when new. Every single panel has been scorched. Replace and you have a replica or kit car, not a Porsche.
    My 2 cents.

  8. michael h streuly

    Melt it down for scrap. Not worth wasting any money on.

  9. S.S.McDonald

    Chassis??? It looks to me like a body, not a chassis.

  10. Derek F

    I’d be embarrassed to ask for any money for such a mess
    -much less thousands of dollars!

  11. Dave M

    Worth scrap value, that’s all!!

  12. Doyler

    Ok, I’ll bite

    Subaru powered outlaw?

  13. Steven D Visek

    Yes, yes, yes! I finally get to be the first to say it:
    “Ran when parked!” :-)

    • Bish

      Too much Patina!

      • Steven D Visek

        LOL!!! Not to worry. I’m sure it will buff out. :-)

      • taylor

        You could use it for a top shelf redneck outdoor flower pot…..or a outdoor above ground wattering trough for cattle…just sayin…

        too much patina…now thats phunny as all get out

  14. T L

    Title chaser?

  15. Wrong Way

    I read all the nay says, and I agree! There is one thing for sure someone will pony up the money for this wreck!

  16. Wiley Robinson

    This would be perfect for building a cool Mad Max Wasteland Weekend vehicle. Only problem is, the seller’s asking price is insane. Maybe $1,000 just because it would be the ultimate thing to mount on a 4×4 chassis.

  17. UK Paul

    The door handle may have survived?
    This will end up being bought for the vin and title perhaps?

  18. John

    One would likely spend more money on accumulating the parts for restoring
    this hulk than you would spend purchasing an ’87 Targa in #3 driver condition.
    Then, you’d have to put it together………..


  19. Derek Hooper

    Planter box

  20. Peter

    Trouble with incinerated cars is the panels are soft.
    Body could be ok with a sand blast and clean up.

  21. Luki

    What kind of jerk takes pictures so that a desirable Porsche and Mercedes are in the background and then in big bold letters says they’re not for sale, so don’t ask.
    That car could’ve easily been photographed without those other cars being seen.
    Next thing I am going to do is send him a message asking how much for the 356.

    • Wrong Way

      My thoughts exactly! LMAO, let us know if he will or not!

      • Bish

        Learn him! I luv it!

  22. BarnfindyCollins

    What a mess. Hoist a Spaten. Say a prayer.

  23. Canadian Mark S. Eh! Member

    Smouldering pile of cow $h!t. The fire crew should have taken there hydrolic cutters to it to make sure it never sees the road again. It should be criminal to restore a hulk like this as your putting the public in danger.

  24. Classic Steel

    Looks like a perfect specimen for a future 4×4 with big ballon tires 😆😆😆😆

    Okay just kidding now shred it quickly and painlessly ✅

  25. Lounge

    You could put this targa chassis together with the targa chassis from last week and…. nevermind.

  26. Murray

    Let’s be real……or not. Isn’t this a cheap way to impress your date by being able to say that your other car in the garage is a collectors car. A1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa. That you never drive. Your afraid it might get a door ding while parked in the parking lot. LOL😀😀😀😀😀

    • Wrong Way

      Yeah, she will respect you for being honest? LMAO!

  27. Mark

    ” I don’t know how fast I was going officer because the speedometer doesn’t work.
    “Do you think this vehicle is safe to drive?” “Yes, yes officer I do. It doesn’t look like much but it will get you to where you want to go. “Darndest thing is the radio still works.”
    John Candy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

  28. Mark

    Run it over with a monster truck

  29. Trollcarver

    4500 for chassis? How much for everything else? I have complete burned out 1964 356 in my garage matching body numbers all doors, engine cover and hood work as they did before fire. What’s it worth?

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.