Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Monterey, California
Ferrari Life Posts: 124
tall driver in a 328
Well, thanks for the reply, but luck has nothing to do with it. Only effort. At this point I've constructed the seat bottoms, and am working on the seat backs, but so far the new seats (that use the original mounting and slide rails) have taken me from having my head stick out above the targa roof line (while sitting in the original seats) by about 1 1/2", to now having about 1 1/4" of clear space when seated in the car with the targa roof on. That includes foam seat padding, of course. As for the fairly narrow original seats, the real problem is the too-deep contour and incredibly stiff foam padding- very uncomfortable, for me anyway. As posted above, I'm now (at my age) 6'-4" tall, with my height being in my torso more than in my legs. So- by making the seat contour shallower, and changing the padding to something considerably less stiff I find the new seats much more acceptable than the original ones. The real secret on gaining headroom (and legroom) isn't only making the seat frame lower, but setting the new seats much farther back, using all the space formerly reserved for the targa roof panel behind the seats. This means using a fairly unusual method of attaching the seat bottom and seat back to go around the small shelf at the bottom of the rear bulkhead, but I do have a solution. Anyway it can be done and I'm doing it!
So far I've built 3 differently designed prototype seats, and the last one seems to work, though it isn't finished yet. Materials used are sheet metal, hardwood plywood and solid wood to make shaped contours. The seat rake angle will be fixed, more or less matching the angle of the rear bulkhead, which seems to be very comfortable for driving. Lumbar support and a fixed, padded headrest will be included.
Since I'm retaining the original seat slides, if need be the seat can be moved forward so that the targa panel can still be placed behind the seats, which will reduce headroom a bit but not as much as with the original seats. And of course since the targa panel will be off the roof headroom isn't particularly important anyway.
As for final upholstery it'll be done to match the rest of the interior, and in a pattern similar to the original seats, in good quality leather.
I trust that this may pique your curiosity; I'll update this as work progresses. So, if there any taller drivers out there, especially ones who'd like a 328 that they can drive comfortably (or else already have one!) I'm making patterns of my new seats, and taking photos.
BTW I note that the earlier 308 has a center-console mounted handbrake, somewhat less in the way than the strangely-placed 328 version next to the door. This may or may not mean that the seat is a bit different than in the 328, but not having a 308 to compare seats with I don't know. Also I've read that the floor pan is a bit lower in the 308, resulting in slightly more headroom, but again I really don't know.
Overall I thought Porsche's targa roof idea was good, but the funny handbrake as used on the 914 wasn't. Oh well.
Comments on these points (regarding the 308 differences) are welcome of course.
Cheers, all- Rich