TARGA - Have Roll-Bar Will Travel
Miniature cars with removable targa tops
by Doug Breithaupt

The 'targa' body style for automobiles is best defined by what it is not. It is not a roadster or convertible. It does have a removable targa panel that allows for plenty of fresh air between the windshield and fixed roll-bar or sail-panels. While the definition of a targa may be open to debate, the sales success of these models continues to tempt auto-makers. The new Ford Mustang and Chrysler PT Convertible both feature targa-style tops.

In small-scale toy cars, the targa has appeared in many forms. From the Porsches of the late 1960's to the Vipers of the 1990's, targa models continue to be produced in miniature. Here are a variety of samples. There are more targa models but this provides a representative overview.

Siku did a beautiful 911 Targa circa 1970. The top is still in place but painted black and easily visable. One of the best Siku Porsches and a personal favorite.
Mini Lindy models are plastic but their Porsche Targa deserves to be included here. The chrome targa bar stands out even if the roof appears solid. This example has been painted silver.

The 1970 Shelby Mustang from Johnny Lightning is an instant winner and it's it amazing it took so long to be done. This car inspired the next generation Mustang for 2004.
Matchbox produced a targa version of the 1992 Mustang convertible. This example is from the Premier Edition series and looks great in teal blue and rubber tires.

Siku did their usual fine work on the first generation VW Golf Cabriolet. These targa models were very popular in the 1980's when few convertibles were to be found.
Ford clearly had the VW Golf in it's sights with the Escort XR3i, here by Matchbox. Welly produced a copy of this Matchbox as well. The Matchbox is a well-done model.

The current VW Golf targa is offered by Siku and carries on the grand tradition of Siku quality. Note how the door frame is part of the targa bar in this model.
Maisto has also done the current VW Golf targa and quite well too. At least Maisto is doing interiors for their open cars. The new wheels look quite good with this model.

BMW offered a quasi-targa with their Bauer-bodied 323i Cabriolet. The targa bar is attached to the windshield, Matchbox produced this example.
The targa is alive and well. Johnny Lightning has just done this beautiful blue Chrysler PT cabrio concept car. No surprise, this model is slated for production and will sell like hot cakes.

Targa concepts and specials are nothing new and the 'Jack Rabbit Special' by Hot Wheels is clear proof. Based on VW mechanicals, the rear engine is visible.
Pininfarina produced a targa concept car on Alfa Romeo P33 mechanicals. This sleek model was done by Corgi in their Junior series. Are those light pods on the targa?

Of course, there was no '83 Corvette and the later convertible was not a targa but that did not stop Matchbox from producing one. They did alter this casting into a convertible and it turned out well.
Dodge shocked the auto world by producing the Viper R/T which only added a soft targa top after customers requested it. Matchbox did this fine example, correct with yellow wheels.

Hot Wheels offered their own version of the Dodge Viper R/T and it proved just as popular as the Matchbox if a bit less detailed. Still, it looks good in yellow.
The Johnny Lightning Dodge Viper R/T was a more recent addition and features a view of that impressive V10 power-plant. The wheels don't look quite right to me though.

Corgi did a fine job on the Porsche 911 Turbo in targa form. I've always liked the way this model looked with just the right feel of power and style. The wheels were the weak point.
Hot Wheels offered many Corgi castings after the British firm was closed. HW actually improved on the original with a matte-black targa bar and trade-mark stylish chrome mag wheels.

Is the Ferrari 308GTS a targa? The top certainly comes off. This is another Corgi casting re-released as a Hot Wheel. The wheels and tampo trim again improved this lovely model.
Playart produced the rare Lamborghini Silhouette with targa fixed in place. Only a very limited number of the real car were ever produced by Lamborghini.

The Lotus Elise is a modern version of the targa and Matchbox currently offers this metallic green example. The wheels don't look right for this car but it is otherwise a decent model.
The lime green Lotus Elise here is a McDonald's Hot Wheel model, not offered in the regular HW line. The wheels are less attractive but otherwise, the model is easy to identify.