Sometimes, the best event is a non-event. It can be a simple gathering of a few like-minded gearheads at any location for any reason. International grub screw day, or the Venturi equinox, or a birthday, or a summer barbeque, or the need for breakfast (or any meal for that matter). In this case, Lewis (thanks Lewis!) issued an invitation to a barbecue. The location is about 100 miles away, and offers a great opportunity to give a vintage car some exercise. Although I’m sure that with enough planning a scenic route to the location could have been determined, both planning and time were short. A fair amount of interstate driving would be required. It was also summer ie: warm.
The Targa seemed like the perfect tool for the job. It is the closest thing to a convertible, relatively comfortable in stock form, and likes to go fast for long periods of time. As long as you can remain moving, a great choice. However, you do need to be moving. The car is not fond of trundling through towns, and has a serious dislike for traffic. With a dogleg first gear, it is really intended to get out of pit lane and then stay out on track. This is true even in the milder T version.
Out on the highway, the Targa quickly became very comfortable. It starts to feel good around 70 mph, and feels better somewhere north of that. People are always surprised to see the car fly by them in the left lane, especially those that know what it is. For others, the fact that it has chrome bumpers and a vintage plate also tell them that they’ve been passed by the past. In a few spots, we hit some traffic approaching toll plazas, and this is where an air-cooled motor is least happy. Particularly after being driven hard. The surprisingly effective front wing vents windows become useless, and the smells of burnt Castrol can waft into the cabin from the rear. Of course, if you have an oil-tight car then this last part would not apply. But I don’t.
At the gathering, six or seven other cars were already present, and the owners were there too. Some came from almost as far away, but longer in travel time. We had a great time eating and drinking and talking about the cars of course. We talked about projects, and the one that got away, and the ones some were currently chasing, and the ones we secretly coveted, and distortion caused by the auction circuit, and, and, and….All too soon, we needed to head back. We said goodbyes and got back on the road, taking a more scenic route back. The car was still happy at lower speeds, but with more curves and clear roads. Overtaking was much more fun on B and C roads, great handling was rewarded, and the engine’s performance encouraged more. It encouraged the drivers of newer Porsches to join me in the passing lane, and remember their DNA. The car turned heads and made children and adults alike point and give thumbs up, and nod, and smile. Not many of us can say the same at age 43.