Targa Top, targa for short, is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. The term was first used on the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa, and it remains a registered trademark of Porsche AG.
The rear window is normally fixed, but on some targa models, it is removable or foldable, making it a convertible-type vehicle. Any piece of metal or trim which rises up from the side of a car and continues in an uninterrupted line over the roof and down the other side is sometimes called a targa band, targa bar or a wrapover band.
Targa tops are different from T-tops, which have a solid, non-removable bar running between the top of the windscreen and the rear roll-bar, and generally have two separate roof panels above the seats that fit between the window and central t-bar.
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.
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.
Targa and T-top numbers have slowly declined as manufacturers discontinued them in favour of full convertibles with retractable hardtops and 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,