Coming hot off the heels of the success provided to us by our 1955 356 Speedster restoration, brainstorming began on our sophomore project. Using a 1974 Porsche 911 Targa Carrera as our canvas, we began to envision how we would paint it, literally and figuratively. After much deliberation, it was decided that we would transform this Targa into a “Safari” car–which is a 911 that is modified for performance off-road driving. This Targa had to stand out not just mechanically, but physically.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Porsche entered modified 911s in rallys in Africa. Their methodology included lifting it, installing off-road tires and wheels, increasing rigidity and engine performance. The end result would emerge victorious in many of the races and rallys it entered– the Paris-Dakar being amongst them. Since our Targa is of that era, we felt even more compelled to pay homage to the cars that conquered dirt and sand.
The 1974 911 Targa is fitted with a 2.7L normally aspirated flat-six mated to a 5-speed manual transaxle. It rolled out of Stuttgart in December 1973 and is the 161st of only 246 2.7L Targas built to American specification. It lived a life where it was enjoyed and well-used by its prior stewards–being in mostly original condition with little to no modifications. Our goal was to transform this car into something truly unique and special.
Work commenced on the car. Once fully stripped, the body would receive structural and cosmetic enhancement via Dave Shuten and the team at Galpin Auto Sports. The chosen Lime Green paint would be applied to the car as well as the crucial roll cage. Simultaneously at Porsche Santa Clarita, lead Technician Nick Briseno and team would go on to painstakingly transform the 911 mechanically as well–installing a TRE lightbar on the hood and 70’s-inspired decals on the exterior. The original Fuchs 16 in. wheels and Pirelli P600 tires have been replaced with Braid Fullrace A wheels cocooned by 16 in. BFGoodrich All-terrain T/A K02.
The stock 2.7L engine was rebuilt completely with new camshafts and larger cylinder heads (92mm from 90mm). Exterior portions of the engine were finished in the same Lime Green used for the exterior and roll bar–adding a level of theatrics when one needs to open the rear engine cover. Original power output was 150hp. We increased its power by 30-40hp. The suspension was overhauled and reworked considerably utilizing OEM Porsche parts as well as components from Elephant Racing and Hollow. Brakes were sourced from a Porsche 986 Boxster.
The interior would also undergo a dramatic change. Originally, the interior was finished in black with leatherette materials. The interior would graduate to being fully leather with our build. As well, we wanted the color to compliment the loud exterior paint. It is now finished in Orange. A Porsche Classic Radio was also installed–bringing this 70s icon into the modern age further.
With the end date of August, 2022 in sight, the car was completed in record time. Pooling resources from all across Galpin Auto Sports and Porsche Santa Clarita, the vision of Beau Boeckmann and team was beautifully taken from a concept to reality. Once completed, our Targa was transported to Monterey for the Werks Reunion event where it would compete for the grand prize with other dealer-restored cars. The uniqueness of our build was apparent. As a result, our Targa won the people’s choice–a true honor especially amongst the high quality restoration by so many of the competitors. Our Safari build and its accolades solidified Porsche Santa Clarita as a hub for Porsche passion where when dreamers and creators converge, greatness is what results.