It's the mid-1970s, the carworld is in (oil-)crisis but in Germany's Frankfurt the Buchmann brothers, founders of a company called BB Auto / B+B, introduce something automotively radical: a Porsche 911 Turbo with Targa roof. This might not sound very spectacular to you? Well, it took Porsche another 10 years or so before a turbo-charged 911 Targa came from the Zuffenhausen production line. So much for a novel idea!
To create "Buchmann Porsche 911 Turbo Targa" there are a couple of ways to get the end-result. Start with a 911 Turbo (930) and modify that one into Targa spec. That doesn't sound like a good idea and that's something Rainer Buchmann also must have thought when he dreamed up the BB 911 Turbo-Targa. So start with a Porsche 911 Targa (SC) then and get it up to Turbo-spec; sounds more sensible.
So each Buchmann Porsche 911 Turbo-Targa started life as a standard 911 Targa and when rolled in the Frankfurt shop the real work began. Changing the engine of the Porsche was the easy part, because the Targa has the same enginebay as a 911 Turbo right? But since the 930 Turbo's 3.0L engine produced 260 hp (the later 3.3L version even 300 hp), a mere 100 horses more than any 911 Targa the stiffening of the car could use some upgrading because, after all, the convertible-like Targa doesn't have the rigidity of the body a coupe model would have. Though optional, Buchmann would add two steel beams to the door sills adding some 30 to 40 kg to the car's weight, but stiffening the car in such a way the extra Turbo-horses won't kill the fun (or even the driver for that matter).
The flared rear wheelarches, typical of the Porsche 911 Turbo aren't present on a standard Targa. That means they have to be modified by BB's own Manuel Melero, who was a very skillfull craftsman. He would cut out the original fenders and would produce by hand some new wider ones from steel. These were then welded to the car. This welding was causing some problems in the first cars B&B made, but after changing their methods the results were very pleasing.
Three of Buchmann's converted Porsche 911 Targas, the famous Rainbow-Targa being the only actual Turbo-modified car.
Rainer Buchmann handing over the keys of a B&B Porsche 911 Turbo-Targa.
Working on it; Mr Manero, Buchmann's master-craftsman, at work cutting off the fenders of a factory-fresh 911 Targa.
The Rainbow- BB 911 Turbo-Targa was on the cover of many carmagazines back in the late 1970s. Note the fact that the car has been fitted with BBS rims at this stage.
Nicki Lauda standing in the Rainbow-Targa, photographed during a test of the Austian magazine "Auto-Revue". In the background the BB CW311 sportscar can ben seen.
Text: copyright Bram Corts