1982 BMW 323i Baur

1982 BMW 323i Baur
Memorial Day 2010 First Drive 1982 323i BMW Baur Lapisblau M20 5 speed #4154 of 4595 made. The car was imported to California by Dietel Enterprises. I have since changed the wheels, installed the clear turn signal lenses, and I am in the process of installing a new cabriolet roof. I have to do something about those bumpers, too. :) I love this car! To see one of the reasons why, check my post "Score One For the Good Guys" on 6/26/2011.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The 'Surrey Top': The Mother of All Baur-Types?

Readers of Baurspotting know that we have a strong interest in history, and, in particular, a strong interest in the history and development of the "Baur-type" (top cabriolet) roof.  Here is another interesting piece of the puzzle, thanks to Don Marco, who recently celebrated the 49th birthday of his Baur Cabrio.  
Thanks, Marco!
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 commonly called a surrey top. It was also used on the 1964 SAAB Catherina prototype.
1961 Triumph TR4

Art Hart's 1963 "Surrey Top" TR4 with Ford 302 V8 Engine 

1964 Saab Catherina prototype
Both of the cars above preceded the Porsche with a removable roof and a roll bar.  Porsche, however, trademarked the word 'targa' to characterize their version.  

The targa syle roof opening became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, when there were fears that the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the United States would ban convertibles, due to concerns over the safety of occupants when a car overturns. As a result, manufacturers adopted Targa tops or T-tops. As Porsche helped to popularise this body style, they took out a trademark for the Targa name and manufacturers sought for alternative names for their removable tops. Porsche got the name "Targa" from the Targa Florio, the famous road race in Sicily where Porsche was very successful. Targa means "plate" in Italian.

Porsche, the Porsche Crest, 911, Carrera, Targa, Boxster, Cayenne, Cayman, Panamera, Tiptronic and Tequipment are registered trademarks of Dr. Ing hc F. Porsche AG.

In 1967 the Targa (meaning "plate" in Italian[7]) version was introduced as a "stop gap" model. The Targa had a stainless steel-clad roll bar, as Porsche had, at one point, thought that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would outlaw fully open convertibles in the US, an important market for the 911. The name "Targa" came from the Targa Florio sports car road race in Sicily, Italy in which Porsche had notable success, with seven victories since 1956, and four more to come until 1973. This last win in the subsequently discontinued event is especially notable as it was scored with a 911 Carrera RS against prototypes entered by Italian factories of Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. The road going Targa was equipped with a removable roof panel and a removable plastic rear window (although a fixed glass version was offered alongside from 1968).


With the final 356 cabriolets for 1965 reserved for the American market, Porsche created the 911 Targa, whose name honored Porsche’s great success in the grueling Targa Florio endurance race. As a structural extension of the car’s B-pillar, the Targa’s reinforced integral rollbar provided the rigidity and rollover protection that a full cabriolet version would have lacked. The initial series, or A-series 911 Targa, which was produced through 1967, also incorporated a soft, removable rear window, with the resulting cars termed “soft window” Targas today.


Porsche 911 Targa mit Targadach

Here is the trademark registration:
Targa and T-top numbers have slowly declined as manufacturers discontinued them in favour of full convertibles with retractable hardtopsand folding metal roofs such as the Mercedes-Benz SLK, and by better structural engineering with pop-up roll over bars behind the seats and front roll-over bar incorporated into the front windscreen,

More to come, stay tuned!

Porsche Trademark registration:


  1. Hi There Tom.

    Just wanted to give you a heads up about the photo site Flickr. I, and alot of my contacts (and many other individuals on the site) tend to do a lot of car spotting - photographing rare, clean and crap cars on the roads. I like to do this as a help to others as I live in the hope of them spotting some Toyota Paseos, the cars I am a fanatic on.

    I have photographed one E21 here :
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/54176114@N03/7915424344/ - Found at the Thornfalcon Classic Car Show in Taunton, Somerset, UK earlier this year.

    And this here E30 :
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/54176114@N03/7529807658/ - Spotted in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, UK too.

    A few of my contacts have also found some, but heres a pre-search for you :

    Please feel free to add me as a contact if you are already on there - UKPASEOCLUB :)


  2. Thank you, Sam! That is a mother lode of Baur pics! 1600's, 2002's, E21s, E30s and E36 Baurs! And many other BMWs also. Many are from Europe, but I did recognize a few of our friends here in the USA: Dave T's Baur Cabrio, HarryPR, and Bruce H, to name a few! Thank you very much for sending that link!

    Baurspotters... if you want to see some Baur pics (700+).... click on the pre-search link above and.... drink your fill!! Happy New Year!

  3. Jeroen J.'s 325ix Baur from The Netherlands is in there also!

  4. Glad I was of some help. Welcome to the world of flickr. I do find once you get your name recognised by people they do start photographing your particular interest more often as they think of you. Might be worth doing for you as you are completely bonkers on these. I found you through the bimmerforums (I have a strong liking for the E36 - I am collecting models of them to spray in the Individual colour range. (so if anyone reading this wants to get rid of any, please do get in touch through the flickr name above ^^) You certainly taught me some things about the Baur! I think the Majorette model from the 80s is an E30 Baur?