Failed Widebody Convert: 1979 Porsche 911 Targa

It’s amazing to think of an era where you’d hack apart a Porsche 911 without thinking twice. These days, you’d be shamed on every web forum possible if you took a grinder or other apparatus to a 911 in preparation for some sort of non-factory bodywork. This 1979 911 SC Targa was brutalized by an attempted Turbo fender conversion then caught on fire; however, it remains numbers-matching and potentially restorable. Find it here on eBay with bidding under $3K and the reserve unmet. 

The seller is quite up front about the work performed and the resulting issues from the fire. The Targa body was unfortunately stripped of its identifying features but the sale will include the original Targa hoop and front and rear windshield frames. As you can see, the widebody look was attempted but not completed; the flares are said to be steel components and thankfully not cheap fiberglass. This was a fairly common conversion in the 1980s but it never looks good, in my opinion – save the flares for the actual Turbo cars.

That being said, the other possible exception is to order a Turbo-look body from the factory without the Turbo mill. That’s fine too, but usually requires a fair amount of cash up front to request such a configuration. All that said, the good news here is that the original Targa components are included, along with the front lower valence and rear deck lid. The car looks fairly solid and free of rust, so perhaps a return to stock configuration is still possible (and why bidding is active).

The fire is believed to have been short-lived, with damage to the fuel injection lines, plug wires and oil tank. The original, numbers-matching engine still turns over by hand and the transmission goes into all gears with ease. It does need some OEM replacement parts, including a front windshield, targa top, wheels and seats. So what’s next for this hacked-up Targa? Hagerty puts average values at $33,500 – and I suspect there’s well north of that amount in parts and labor needed here.


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  1. Jubjub

    Dude in Louisville used to drive around in one that looked very much like this. Didn’t have a windshield either. Haven’t seen it in years. Wonder if this it?

  2. David Frank David Frank Member

    It is awful what some folks have done to 911s, but at least no one ever created an art piece with a bunch of them sticking out of the desert. They left that indignity to Cadillacs!

    I look forward to seeing what Porsche folks think the potential is for this sad 911 might be.

  3. Jubjub

    Ah…just saw the location…15 minutes away. Must be it.

  4. Doyler

    A lot of fail in these pictures

  5. Madmatt

    You can take all of the Porsche’s shown on here in the last
    6 months,and possibly build a nice one…!LOL . It’s too bad about
    the fire,but it didn’t burn all of it thankfully..! I Hope some Porsche
    lover will fix this,and make a nice ride out of it,and enjoy it!

  6. Dolphin Member

    “This car has been cosmetically modified”, says the seller.
    That’s one way of putting it.

    It’s no surprise that a failed project like this would sit around, likely for years, and then come up for sale when prices for good examples have gone up bigtime.

    Good that the reseller is up front about the car, but with zero feedback and a car that needs everything just to get back to something that runs, drives, and looks OK, it will be interesting to see if it makes reserve.

  7. Go Cart Mozart

    Personally, I would remove those hideous fenders and replace with some stock ones….then maybe make a speedster out of it, or else fix it back to original.

  8. Lounge

    Total abortion.

  9. Thorsten Krueger


  10. PAR

    Crush it and save everyone the heartache!

  11. Jack Quantrill

    Constructed in the land where the residents have more tattoos than teeth! Bodyman was on the corn whisky?

  12. Mike

    The people at BHCC are probably drooling over this one.

  13. Maestro1

    Hagerty is often wrong but never undecided. This is a mess and has potential if you have a large number to throw at it. This is right up the street of a Porsche

  14. Classic Steel

    This is like the land of misfit cars

  15. james sterrey

    So good!!

    If I were given it..

    1. Refit Targa bridge
    2. Hang a crystal chandelier from said Targa
    3. Fit a diesel engine
    4. Go to every Porsche event nearby, belch openly, forget people’s names and soak up the hate.

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