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Sheaffer Targa Chrome Classic
Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:04
I chased a Targa for a couple of months to find a Father’s Day gift for my dad. This proved a little tricky since I don’t do e-Bay as I like seeing the pen before buying.
This pen was taken from the inventory of a repairman in Manila. It was cosmetically challenged when I got it but it was the cleanest sample he had on hand. Initial impression was “Maybe she’ll clean up nicely, or maybe she ends up in my desk drawer dungeon.”
No box or sleeve. Yellow haze on the cap, about three panels wide to the left of the pocket clip. Pinpoint sized plating chip near the bottom of its barrel. Scratches of various depths along the cap and barrel. Black inserts on the top of the cap and botton of barrel were intact. White dot on clip was yellowish.
Nib is inlaid medium steel.
Appearance and Design (8/10)
The Targa to my mind, is an iconic pen. Like Parker’s “51” some will love it and some will loathe it for being bland. But if there was an American 70s equivalent to the Bauhaus Lamy 2000, I think this would be it. The design may seem dated, but is undeniably unique as I have not seen any pens that look like this, yet.
The pen is solidly built. Finish is fluted, mirror chromed. Furniture is chrome as well. The flutes are fairly subtle and from a distance, are not readily visible.
I am particularly impressed by how securely yet smoothly the cap slips onto the section. It posts well, and I’ve never had the cap jiggle loose during use.
Construction and Quality (9/10)
The pen is well made. For something that is as old as some of the people who work for me, it is intact. The clip does not wobble and the section threads are deep. The parts fit effortlessly and even the squeeze bar converter looks like it would sustain unintentional abuse with nonchalance.
Weight and Dimensions (7/10)
The weight is good but I do have some problems with length and balance. Unposted, I cannot write with the pen, as I find it too short. The Parker 45 is lighter but I don’t have to post as its uncapped length is sufficient.
Posting the Targa, I feel the pen to be a tad back heavy. It is not a problem for short note taking sessions. But if I am using it for lengthier work, it starts to bother me. Perhaps bonding with the pen for a few weeks longer may change my mind, but she ships out this weekend and the receiving party is partial to Targas.
Nib and Performance (10/10)
I have never owned an inlaid Sheaffer nib before, so trying this out for the first time was a real treat. Using Waterman Blue Black, I was quite shocked by the smoothness of the writing experience. Trying other inks like Diamine Chocolate, PR American Blue and even Pelikan 4001 Blue Black, did not alter the performance of the nib.
I feel this to be a wet writer, almost like the Lamy 2000 Broad that I have. This probably explains why the Targa feels like silk on glass.
Filling System & Maintenance (7/10)
It’s a C/C pen. I have only used the converter as carts are not readily encountered in Manila. This was my initiation into squeeze bar converters so I had to ask some friends how to fill these things. The filling system appeared to support the nib’s thirst quite well. The pen never starved in the week that I used it.
Flushing the pen is easy using an ear irrigation syringe. Easier than flushing a Parker 45, which seems to be hesitant to release all the ink in its collector whenever I flush it.
Cost & Value (10/10)
The pen cost me the equivalent of about $30. Not a bad deal. I did have to put in a few hours a day to polish out scratches from the barrel and cap. But no big deal. In the end, the nib made the effort worth it.
I can see why the Targa has such a devoted following. If a good specimen can be found at a good price, then I can recommend this pen provided you can write unposted, or live with a slightly back heavy balance.
Like the Snorkels, Vacs, “51”s and 75s, I think pen people should have one decent Targa in their collection, preferably part of their daily writers.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 12:00
Targas are wonderful pens, for sure. I got to play with a couple at a pen club meeting a couple months ago and was really surprised at how much I liked it. The weight and the nib were just... wow.
SO much better than the plastic -LIGHT- Imperial I had before.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 13:16
Posted 16 June 2011 - 14:04
Latest pen related post @ flounders-mindthots.blogspot.com : vintage Pilot Elite Pocket Pen review
Posted 16 June 2011 - 15:36
Beautiful pen and very nice review! Any chance that drawer might have some more pens in it for a good price?
If you find yourself lost in Manila, give the FPN-Philippines people a call and we'll show you our hunting grounds.
We had a mini pen meet at FPN member Penman's house the other day where he showed the Sumgai to end all Sumgai finds: a Mabie Todd Swan Eternal that looked as new as it could. He bought it from a local antiques flea market for the princely sum of $10.
There are a lot of fix-er-uppers around. And there are some great user finds to be had. If you have between $50 to $80 to spare, you should end up with a really good find.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 16:32
Posted 16 June 2011 - 16:41
but to get back to targas, i agree, they can be incredibly smooth writers, and it's not hard to understand how their sleek, spare modern lines can be attractive to collectors and users alike. i now have just one targa myself, but i value it highly, as a gift from one of the country's oldest pen shops--a sterling silver targa with a broad stub nib:
there are, indeed, some great bargains to be found in countries like the philippines--a country with a large bureaucracy and thus, once, a large pool of people who used fountain pens. who knows what lies out there in the corners of small, old bookstores and stationery shops in the far corners of our archipelago? we're here to find out
Posted 16 June 2011 - 17:11
Posted 16 June 2011 - 18:49
I still don't have a Sheaffer Targa but I hope that will happen soon enough. What I have now is a Black Swan Mabie Todd 3261 Self-Filling Pen with a 14K Swan 2 medium flexy nib. A dear friend from FPN-P who owned it asked me if I can fix the pen's bent and twisted nib. So I fixed it and a couple of months passed before I saw her again. When I was returning it to her she said, "Since you've fixed it, it's now yours as my gift to you." Thank you Ria! I truly believe that all good things come to those who wait.
Posted 10 July 2011 - 13:07
Posted 11 July 2011 - 21:37
Thank you for your nice review of the Sheaffer Targa pen. I bought one with a medium nib many years ago in a greeting card/gift shop and still use it. It is a very smooth writing pen, but you are correct it does feel a bit heavy. For an aging,stiff hand, it is a bit narrow and heavy, but still a quality pen. Your first pen review was well done and brought back some good memories of my first fountain pen purchase.
Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:31