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Mechanically Excellent: 1975 Porsche 911S Targa

Nothing screams sportscar like the iconic Porsche 911. Being in continuous production since 1964, the 911 has been delivered in many variations, trim levels, and an ever-increasing amount performance and road manners. Through all of the technological changes, government regulations, and a forever fickle consuming public, the 911 has remained true to its sporting roots. Found here, is a 1975 example that has undergone significant repair, replacement, and improvement; this is one to check out closely. It is located in Santa Cruz, California and is available here on eBay for a BIN price of  $25,250.

The 911S nomenclature and the Targa body style were first introduced in 1966 and the Targa design allows for full-width roof panel removal, somewhat mimicking a convertible. I say somewhat because I once owned a convertible model car and then traded it for a Toyota Supra with a Targa top. It is similar to a convertible but not the same experience and certainly not as convenient. In the case of the 911, the stainless steel “rollbar” featured so prominently does offer an extra layer of protection in the event of some over-zealous, wheels-up hooning. This version of the “S” was in production from 1974 until 1977

Upon initial review, two things may catch your attention. First is the ugly front bumper and the even uglier black rubber rear pontoons. The U.S. mandated Federal bumper standards from ’73 (front) and ’74 (rear) were a pariah for every car manufacturer and some more than others. And sports cars? Fuggedaboutit, recall the poor MGB, designers and engineers had to do what they had to do. The second notable item with this 911 is its finish. It’s red and it’s doing what sun-exposed red does, it fades. It’s not terrible and is actually still presentable, but it is showing the rigors of 45 years and 145K miles. In the wrong climate, this vintage 911 is renowned for its rusting capability but that does not appear to be the case here. And of course, a California lifestyle may have been of help too. Other than the fading, there are some notable paint chips and a damaged rear “Porsche” reflector but there is no sign of serious corrosion or crash damage. Even the various components of black rubber trim still show well.

Under the boot, the 152 HP,  2.7 liter, flat-six cylinder engine has been completely rebuilt and the seller documents the services that were performed – it’s extensive. And driving through a five-speed manual transaxle, which has been rebuilt,  the seller claims, “Best driving 911S Targa I have ever driven.” The mechanical rebuilding did not stop with the engine as there have been additional improvements/replacements made to the brakes, suspension, CV joints, fuel tank/pump, and much more. The seller sums up this Porsche as being, “mechanically excellent”.

The interior is listed as being in “acceptable” condition but it shows a lot better than just acceptable. The door cards seating upholstery, carpet, dash, instrument panel, and steering wheel look as if they require nothing. The same case with the rear torture-chamber jump seat, nothing is amiss back there either. The comment regarding the interior, along with the exhaustive list of mechanical improvements would indicate a discriminating seller, one who has taken interest in proper care and maintenance – a good sign.

While a Porsche 911 can be considered an “intensive” and expensive car to own, this example does appear to have had the heavy-lifting performed. And the finish is really of no immediate concern, this car can be driven and enjoyed as opposed to worried over. And if those big ole bumpers are a deal-breaker, perhaps pre ’73 versions can be substituted, though I would ask our knowledgeable base of Porsche enthusiasts to comment on that possibility.  If you look around on certain auto websites, you can get an entire array of asking prices for a ’75 911S but the kicker, in this case, is the amount of mechanical investment that has been bestowed upon this car. When considering that item, in comparison to the prices for similar sale candidates, this 911 seems like a pretty sound buy. It would be good to hear from current or former ’70s 911 owners, what are/were your impressions, highs/lows, would you make a positive ownership recommendation?


  1. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    The ’74s had narrower rear bumper guards. They are a bolt on but leaves a couple of extra holes to contend with. Can’t believe this car handles at all with the incorrect length gas shocks that it appears to have. Probably a good car that just needs to be re-Porscheized.

    Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Tom c

    We restored one of these in the shop in early 2000’s for a retiring linesman, he had bought a sailboat in Hawaii to live on and the 911 was going to be his daily. Not a bad retirement .

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Showbiz

    Nice Targa !, first thing I would do is a simple lowering down torsion bars to Euro specs with a four wheel alignment and loose the Dacar Ralley look,will handle a lot better and the stance would make the look as a Porsche should be.

    Like 3
  4. Avatar photo David Miraglia

    911 always desirable, the super super Beetle.

    Like 0

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