Soft Window Targa: 1968 Porsche 912

Finally: an air-cooled Porsche project worth buying. Not only is it a rare soft-window Porsche 912 Targa, but the seller is adamant there has never been any rust in the chassis or floors. The body does look nicely aged, and the seller even says most of the paint is original. This looks like one to consider if an air-cooled is on your list, so check it out here on eBay where bidding is over $4K with the reserve unmet. 

I love seeing the old-school California blue plates still attached, likely indicating this car has been with the same owner for many years. The body appears excellent, with good chrome and even the taillight lenses showing little signs of fading. The 912 may not be the most sporting of the bunch and the targa roof will adversely affect the solidity of the structure, but these cars are more about open-air cruising than delivering the purest Porsche experience.

The interior presents similarly to the outside, with an honest appearance, just showing some modest signs of age and nothing approaching abuse. The seats and floors look excellent, and the dash shows no signs of major hack-age. The seller says it was garage-stored for 30 years, and it certainly shows. While I would love to swap out that steering wheel for something more sporting, it is the correct one for this car.

It does look like the soft-window top has seen better days, but if that’s the biggest sin this car has, I’m still impressed. The seller is adamant it has never had rust of any kind, which goes to show you how warped the market is that needy rustbuckets are more the norm than the exception. Cars like this present a far smarter foundation to start from, and have a good shot at remaining mostly original even after corrective actions are taken.

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  1. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    A vintage soft window Porsche Targa that’s not rusty, not messed with, has original paint, runs and drives well, just needs cosmetic restoration…..what’s not to like? Let me count the ways:

    1. Its a 912, which means the 4-cylinder engine. You will have trouble keeping up with cheap econoboxes.

    2. Not as tail-heavy as the 911, but still tail heavy. That and the skinny tires will make it less good at cornering than those cheap econoboxes.

    3. Has a very odd shifting transmission, unlike those standard shift econoboxes.

    4. Parts will be very expensive if you need any, which you probably will since it’s a 60 year old car.

    But it’s a soft window late-’60s 912 from California with that terrific looking Targa body, so it’s valuable and will keep climbing in value. The SCM Guide says these have been selling at auction in very good condition for $50K lately. No wonder it went from a $4K bid to a $26K bid this morning, and I’m sure it won’t stop there.

    • Steve R

      The last time it was listed on eBay it’s high bid was $29,000+, without meeting reserve. The seller did something unusual when compared to most sellers, he added more pictures to improve the ad.

      Steve R

    • Jerry

      50 years old, not 60?

      • Dolphin Dolphin Member

        Yep, you got me there Jerry. It’s 50 years.
        My fingers let me down again.
        Still a pretty long time.

  2. steve

    I totally agree with Dolphin.. HOWEVER, something like a 912, with a removable roof, would be a FUN car to have to drive. Yes, a determinedly driven Honda will get around the 90-ish hp 912 every time. BUT the power is adequate (Look..I’ve driven diesel Vangons across the US…) and torquey enough to make a Sunday drive though the mountains enjoyable. Good brakes and quick steering. Visibility and seating is very good for the time. Where it (or the owners) go totally off the rails is trying to explain to me how it is somehow SO MUCH BETTER than anything else and I just don’t “get it”. Dude! GIVE me a nice 912 and I will enjoy the heck out of it! I just can’t see the point in spending that much time and money on a vehicle that is, by modern standards, WAY sub-standard. My brother used to call things like this ‘Key chain cars” You have the logo on your key chain so everyone can know “I have a PORSCHE”..
    Of all the rot box 900 series cars we’ve seen, this appears to be one of the best. Humans with less than bales of $100 bills MIGHT get this on the road.

  3. Maestro1

    I’m surprised at the bias on 912s. I’ve had two, both were excellent in city traffic,
    the cars reliable when all my buddies in 911s were constantly adjusting carbeurators and complaining about rough running in general. And noise. My 912s were cheap to run and gave no problems. This car: Don’t pay more than $25,000 or less and give it to Porsche Classiche in Germany. They will do stem to stern, give you a new car back, and you’ll enjoy it forever. Remember that rising prices lift all model ranges. This car has a strong upside.

    • Dolphin Dolphin Member

      Maestro1, I have tried to like vintage Porsches. I really have. I was going to buy one, so I test drove many 911s….SCs, Carreras, 964s….about 8 in all.

      They just didn’t do it for me. They all looked beautiful. I think Porsches have one of the most beautiful bodies ever put on wheels. And they all ran well, but the differences and drawbacks just kept me from pulling the trigger on any of them.

      Having had many different sports & performance cars over the decades, from a first-year Austin Healey Sprite—it had all of 850cc—to a 4 liter Ferrari 330 GTC, I wanted to try an air cooled P-car. But I just had to accept that I was never going to be an air cooled P-car guy. And I have learned to live with that.

      So I hope you understand that it’s not bias. It’s just preference, a preference for a different engine sound, a different kind of suspension, a different shifting transmission, better performance.

      Maybe someday I’ll try a water cooled 911. That could be the difference that gets me into one.

  4. Karl

    912, 914 for that matter naturally aspirated 944, I would have a problem driving a car with the lineage of the Porsche name and being constantly passed by Honda Civic, not for me!

  5. steve

    My brother was stopped at a light on a deserted industrial parkway. A hopped up Nova pulled up next to us. Looks over and rev’s up his engine. Littl’ bro does the same with the 911S…The light turns green and the Nova is gone with smoke and noise..Bro looks both ways before slipping it into gear and motoring off.. I look over at him.. He smiles and says “I don’t have to prove anything, I’m driving a Porsche..” Something to that…..


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