Porsche-Approved 911 “Targa Bubble” Digital Artist Restomod Offers the Best of Both Worlds

Born out of Porsche’s desire to avoid a potential National Highway Traffic Safety Administration soft-top convertible ban back in 1965 (fortunately, this never came), the Targa iteration of the 911, with its legendary roof bar, has become an object of fascination. And a Scottish digital artist who set out to pixel-restomod a late 1980s Neunelfer Targa managed to achieve what we might label as bubble top perfection, with the German carmaker recently showcasing his work online.

Having written about Gurdeep Panesar’s work since 2019, I was thrilled to see his pixels have been recognized by the mothership-he is one of the ten “innovative creators bringing Porsche digital art to life” that the automaker features on its website and social media channels. Somehow, I missed this 930 Targa when the digital creator released it back in December 2020/January 2021, so this is a brilliant occasion to zoom in on the mesmerizing creation.

Choosing the 930 iteration of the Targa makes for the best possible way to start this project, if you ask me. You see, in the 55-year history of the Targa, Porsche has only allowed buyers to mix this body style with the supercar-slashing motivation of the Turbo for a brief three-year period—between 1986 and 1989, when the 930-codenamed Turbo could also be had in this form.

Of course, now that Zuffenhausen is bringing back icons like the recent 2023 911 Sport Classic, essentially an RWD Turbo with a stick shift, one can only hope the endless rumors about the return of the Turbo Targa will materialize—sure, all Targas are turbocharged since the 991.2 ex-gen model, but I’m referring to the all-mighty Turbo here, which would bring a power premium of around 100 horsepower over the most potent form of the current 992 Targa. Now back to the digital design…

Nothing has to be in the occupants’ line of sight

The principle behind this Porscha was to free the occupants of the vehicle from any visual obstacle. And once he went with a bubble top—this convinced me to use the nickname in the title—Gurdeep expanded the virtual restomodding process to the rest of the car. But we can’t move to that part of the proposal until I mention the bubble within the bubble, namely the… double-bubble nature of the Targa’s transparent upper structure, whose shape reminds one of 911 specials like the upcoming 992 GT3 RS.

In the end, he struck a fine balance between preserving the iconic lines of the air-cooled model and adding modern touches, while inspired by the work of Californian specialist Singer Vehicle Design, which has turned the craft into a work of art, with this being priced accordingly (think: six and even seven figures).

And while the mix between the classic shape of the 911 Targa and futuristic elements like the light clusters and the holographic license plates is impressive, the artist morphed new and old elements when redesigning the wheels, the steering wheel, and the seats, which feature the enthusiast-loved Pasha pattern.

There’s more to this digital concept

And this project adds another layer of complexity with its bubble top, which slides forward and slightly tilts to allow access—hey, stepping over the door line (there are no actual doors) seems like a small price to pay for the freedom you gain while driving.

You see, between 1966 and 1995 (all these are model years), the Targa configuration meant your Porsche 911 came with a rollover protection hoop right behind the front seats. And if you wanted to see the sky, you had to remove the roof panel.

However, with the introduction of the 993 Targa, the last air-cooled model that came about in 1996, the Targa switched to a greenhouse layout that was closer to a frameless structure for both the side windows and the power roof, but the latter was now made out of glass, so you could also enjoy the stuff above when driving with the top on.

With a few changes, the setup returned for the next-gen 996 Targa (2002-2004) and the 997 that followed (2007-2012).

However, when Zuffenhausen introduced the 991 Targa in 2014, it reinvented the roof mechanism, coming up with an impressive way of fulfilling the Targa’s mission to bring the coupe and cabriolet together.

Like the Targas of the old days, the large wraparound rear glass was present and so was the cloth central roof unit, but these are operated by an uber-complex power mechanism. And the hardware is so cool that the Germans decided to keep it when debuting the current 992 Targa for 2021.

Having had the pleasure to experience the Targa magic starting with the 997, I always adorned the tech-fetishy side of the said new-age roof mechanism, but I couldn’t quite shake off my desire for a transparent roof panel and this retro-futuristic 930 “Bubble Targa” CGI seems to bring the best of both worlds for a 911 derivative that’s built around that very principle.



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