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Targa top, targa for short, is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. The rear window can be fixed or removable, making it a convertible type vehicle. In common usage, any piece of metal or trim which rises up from the side of a car and continues in an uninterrupted line over the roof and down the other side may be called a targa band, or sometimes a wrapover band. Targa tops are different from T-tops, which have a solid, non-removable bar running between the top of the windshield and the rear roll-bar.

The word targa first came into use from the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa, though the first production car with this system as an option was actually released five years before, namely the 1961 Triumph TR4 where it was called a surrey top. It was also used on the 1964 SAAB Catherina. The name was first adopted by Porsche after the Targa Florio road race in which they entered, used type of body style to allow a quicker entry and exit to the car by drivers in 1962 and many race cars adopted it, especially Ford and its bitter rival at the time, Ferrari in the 60s and early 70s for twistier road courses.

This body style became popular in the 1970s, when the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the United States attempted to ban convertibles, due to concerns when the car is overturned. As a result, manufacturers adopted Targa tops or T bars. As Porsche helped to popularise this body style, they took out a trademark for the Targa name and manufacturers sought to look for alternative names for their removable roof.

With the introduction of the Mazda MX5 in 1989, saw a revival of convertibles as recent models had roll bar incorporated into the front windscreen, Targas and T-top witnessed a slow decline as manufacturers discontinued them one by one, putting convertibles into favor, but will continue to produce them when it is not possible to incorporate convertible styles.

Glass roof

1996 saw the debut of a retractable glass roof in the Porsche 993 Targa, a design continued on the 996 Targa. The glass roof would retract underneath the rear window revealing a large opening. A shade was there to help prevent the greenhouse effect of the closed roof. This system was a complete redesign, as previous Targa models had a removable roof section and a wide B-pillar functioning as a roll bar. The new glass roof design allowed the 993 Targa to retain nearly the same side-on profile as the other 911 Carrera variants and finished with the inconvenience of storing the removed top of the old system. The Targa has the body of the cabriolet with the Targa glass roof replacing the fabric roof.

Examples of traditional Targa-Top

Examples of the Targa car and T-bar top body style include:

See also