Third in a Series...
Targas are wonderful, but the fabric-covered rubber on the sides can be a real pain. The fabric becomes faded and worn looking. This is primarily due to the harsh California sun, but not always. Smog, cleaning chemicals, sun, and age takes a toll of these delicate rubber strips.
I learned a trick from one of my Concours buddies to help those pesky strips look fresh and new - use fabric paint. This will take some patience, so prepare yourself ahead of time.
You can find fabric paint at most craft stores. In Steamboat I realized this rubber looked rather faded, so I wandered down to Wal-Mart hoping I could find some fabric paint. Voila, they had the paint, but not the perfect color. I bought some warm gray and bottle of black. I also purchased a small sponge with a handle to apply the paint with. Now it is important to get a sponge that is about the same WIDTH as the rubber. This makes the paint easier to apply evenly.
Now comes the tricky part. You do not want the paint to go on to thick, all you are trying to do it enhance the color of the fabric already there. I took the warm gray and poured some into a small bowl. Next I mixed in a little black, very little. I kept adding black until I thought I had the right color to match the fabric covering the rubber. Next I added some water to thin the paint. Remember that I am just trying to enhance the color, not paint the rubber. Once I had the consistency I wanted, I took the sponge and applied some of the thin paint to the least visible part of the rubber. It took three tries to get the perfect color, adding a bit of black each time.
Using the sponge, apply the paint to the rubber in even strokes. Once you have covered the pieces with paint, take a clean non-linting rag and wipe off the excess paint. Wiping the excess off will insure you have an even coat of color on the fabric. Take your time and be patient. If you rush, it will show. You may want to try out your technique on a test piece of fabric first.
After you are finished you will be amazed how nice and fresh these pieces look. Lars was amazed how new they looked after I did this in Steamboat.
Bev and Lars Frohm are the owners of 'Bevees, a 1970 911T that has won many concours events in the Southern California regions of PCA. Their car was chosen by PCNA to represent the 1970 911T at Porsche's 50th Anniversary at Monterey. Bev is also the web site coordinator for the Orange Coast PCA Region.