For those of us who live in an area with four seasons, a car with a targa top is ideal. It offers plenty of weather protection from the elements with the benefits of a true convertible. Speaking from experience, there’s nothing like a convertible in the springtime, warm summer evening, or sunny fall day. There’s also nothing worse than a convertible with a leaky top… and many will leak eventually. Chevy C8 Corvette buyers may end up wishing they’d skipped the convertible for something with a targa top.
Does the Chevy C8 Corvette have a removable top?
One of the best cars with a targa top is the Chevrolet Corvette C8. Few cars can match its mix of performance, comfort, and four-season versatility. When you factor in list price and everyday drivability, it’s practically unbeatable. The upcoming 2023 Corvette Z06 model brings an all-new 5.5-liter 670 hp V8 engine to the lineup – a significant power upgrade.
For 2022, the C8 Corvette features a 6.2-liter V8 with 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. The 1LT base trim starts at just over $60,000. The mid-range 2LT model costs about $69,000 and the 3LT starts around $74,000. Various configurations like the $6,345 Z51 performance package make this American sports car relatively customizable across a range of budgets.
A convertible option is available for every 2022 Corvette trim for about $7,000 more. Every C8 coupe comes standard with a removable targa top. But like any car with a targa roof, there are some things to watch out for when removing and storing the top.
What is a targa top?
A targa top is a removable roof panel that allows open-air motoring similar to a convertible, but with the rear window remaining in place. According to J.D. Power, it’s different from a removable hardtop where the entire roof and rear window come off the car, or T-tops that have a rigid center bar. Giovanni Michelottihe designed the first targa top featured on a 1957 limited-production Fiat model called the 1200 Wonderful.
A decade later, Porsche launched the 1967 911 Targa which is ultimately the reason we know this feature as a “targa top.” A number of cars feature a removable roof including the Fiat X1/9, various Ferrari models, the Honda Civic Del Sol, and the Corvette. Porsche owns the Targa trademark, so other car manufacturers officially call it something different or say it’s a removable roof. In addition to the open-air benefits, the targa roof offers better structural rigidity and safety than a traditional convertible.
How to remove a targa top on a Corvette C8
Removing the top on a Corvette C8 is simple. Two latches in front and one at the rear are all that stand in the way of wind-in-your-hair motoring. The hardest part is lifting and carrying the top because it’s heavy and awkward for one person.
If you have back issues, the exercise of lifting the top and crab-walking with it back to the trunk, while avoiding a strong crosswind might mean an unexpected visit to your chiropractor’s office. Ideally, you need another person to help. Removing a targa top from a Corvette C8 is much easier with someone on each side of the vehicle.
What’s the best way to store a targa top on a Corvette C8?
The targa top on a Corvette C8 has to be placed trailing-edge down in the trunk and leaned forward against the firewall to the engine. The trunk opening is only a few inches wider than the roof, and the roof has to line up correctly so it latches in place.
The hardest part is lining the top up and latching it in place. It’s an exercise in faith because you have to push hard on the top. You also have to push in a way to avoid slamming the roof against the latches. Done right you’ll hear a satisfying click when the latches clamp in place.
Rush this process or don’t get the top positioned exactly right and you could scratch the paint or leave dents. Likewise, you can’t just store the top without latching it. This happened to the editors of Motor Trend on their long-term Chevrolet Corvette C8 test car. The damage to their car was minor but noticeable.
While a targa top does not take up as much room as a hardtop convertible, or even a regular convertible top, storage still takes up precious cargo space. It can also be a challenge to store the roof correctly so it doesn’t get scratched or damaged.
However, it’s not just the Chevy Corvette that has issues with storage when removing a targa top. Just about every sports car is spatially challenged and comes with its own set of quirks. It’s a small price to pay if you love open-air motoring. The benefit of a removable roof that minimally impacts chassis stiffness is truly having the best of both worlds when you own a sports car.