11 February 2014

Singer 911 is the ultimate modern classic

Turn your Porsche 964 into a retro stunner for just $500,000

The Singer pictured here is nothing like the Singer automobiles built in England from 1905 until the mid-1970s. Some might refer to the Singer Vehicle Design Porsche as a Hot Rod but it’s not; it’s more like a Resto-Mod. Singer describes it as “reimagined” and that is probably an accurate description.

So what is a Singer Porsche? It’s a car that began life as a Porsche 964, the last of the air-cooled, flat-six Porsches, designed (re-designed) by Benjamin Dimson in 1986. Some 62,172 of these 3.6-litre, 245-horsepower examples were built between 1989 and 1994.

If you own one of these and want to own the ultimate Porsche, simply take it to Singer as the donor car, write a cheque for between $350,000 to $500,000, and they will perform surgery and miracles on your old 964 and make it look even older but “oh so much better! ” I had the pleasure of viewing one of these vehicles in the flesh last August at “The Quail” in California.

Over 4,000 hours go into building one of these cars. The original chassis and engine are retained (V.I.N and odometer reading) but all exterior steel body panels (except doors) are removed and replaced with carbon fibre ones. Singer spent two years modelling the body in clay to get it right, and they certainly have done that, even down to the perfect four-mm panel gaps. Using carbon fibre has resulted in 200-kilogram weight savings. The original steel doors are retained for the side impact resistance and safety.

While Singer could have fitted a turbocharged engine into this car, but choose not to so as to maintain the sound and feel of an old 911. With the power-to-weight ratio they have achieved this without the need for a turbo or modern assists. Needless to say, this is a driver’s car in every way.

The original 3.6-litre engine is rebuilt by Cosworth of Torrence, Calif., which has managed to squeeze an additional 100 horsepower out of it. And yes, the very same Cosworth Engineering that builds Formula One race engines. A modified fuel-injection system is fitted as well as a six-speed Getrag gearbox from a Porsche 993.

To slow this 280 km/h (175 mph) car down, Singer uses Brembo four-piston calipers and very large drilled rotors,also borrowed from the 993. For traction, Michelin Pilot Sport tires are mounted to the iconic designed forged aluminum Fuchs wheels. I’m running out of space to continue listing the unique features of this amazing Porsche, so I suggest you visit singervehicledesign.com and enjoy the dream.

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