This is the last of my run of Sheaffers – the Targa. I’ve had one of these, completely identical to the one illustrated since around 1980 and it’s had a lot of use. It’s still as good as the day I got it. This one’s the brushed steel version with gold trim and a gold nib – it’s one of a huge number of different Targa finishes which makes it the perfect collector’s pen.
If you go by the description – flat topped, made of two simple tubes – it sounds retro, like a return to the pens of the 1910s and 20s. However, when you see it, any notion that it’s a backward looking design is dispelled. Tapering from top to bottom, it has clean minimalistic lines that are ageless, and the inlaid nib is a long, long way from the early days of the fountain pen.
Despite its metal construction the Targa is a light pen and even posted, it is not unbalanced. When this example arrived on my workshop table it was full of some malodorous gunk that might once have been ink but a sustained period of flushing got rid of that and it writes as well as it ever did. This one has a converter fitted which is handy as I don’t have Sheaffer cartridges lying around. The nib is medium, springy but not flexible and a complete pleasure to write with.
I should make it clear that this is the original Targa, not the later slimline version which I find much less comfortable in use.
A word or two about the name: it’s not the Sheaffer Targa but the Targa by Sheaffer. It’s named after an Italian motor race. Originally the intention had been to call it the Genesis but there were fears that this name would lose it sales in non-Christian countries.