Abandoned 1978 Porsche 911 Targa Gets First Wash in Decades

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Witness the transformation of this lively-colored 911 and how it went from gross to gorgeous after its first wash in 20 years.

An iconic classic, the 1978 Porsche 911 Targa, has finally seen the light of day after spending 20 years in neglect. The first-generation Porsche 911 is a prized collectible, not often found in derelict condition, but this particular vehicle was discovered in a backyard, covered by a tarp. Despite this, the car was not entirely spared from the ravages of time, showing signs of moisture, mold, and critter infestations.

The story began when the original owner passed away, leading to the car being retired from the road. For two decades, the Porsche remained hidden, collecting dust and grime. Enter Larry Kosilla of AMMO NYC, a professional detailer tasked with bringing this classic back to life before the owner's son could drive it again.


Upon uncovering the 911, Kosilla found a car with faded paint, a moldy interior, and a seized engine. However, compared to many abandoned vehicles, this 911 was in relatively decent shape. The presence of the tarp had somewhat protected it from severe rust damage, a common issue for cars left exposed to the elements for long periods.

Kosilla's expertise shone as he tackled the exterior first, quickly transforming the grime-covered car into a gleaming beauty. The yellow paint, though faded, was revived to its former glory, except for the hood, which had peeling paint due to a previous repaint job. The interior, however, posed a bigger challenge. Mold and dirt had heavily infested the leather seats and thick carpets. Using modern cleaning products, Kosilla managed to restore the cabin to near-new condition, making it look almost brand-new.

To address the mechanical issues, Kosilla called in a friend to help unseize the engine. Together, they managed to get the car closer to being roadworthy. The next step for this Porsche is a complete restoration, ensuring it will soon return to the streets in prime condition.

This specific 911 Targa, originally from the 1978 model year, was equipped with a new 3.0-liter flat-six engine introduced that year by Porsche. The US-spec engine delivered 172 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque, while the European version boasted slightly higher outputs. The Targa model, the only open-top 911 variant available until 1982, was particularly popular in the US, with over half of the 1978 units sold in the country featuring the removable top.

Finished in Rallye Yellow, one of 30 hues available that year, this Targa is a rare gem. The painstaking work to revive this classic highlights the enduring appeal of the Porsche 911 and the dedication of those committed to preserving automotive history.

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