SINGER VEHICLE
DESIGN
ELEVATING AN ICON
The California-based company reimagines, restores and rewrites motoring history for today’s Porsche 911 enthusiasts.

Porsche 911, Sun Valley Commission. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design and Eric Kiel

Imagine your Porsche 911 being completely restored, part by part, where every detail is given the consideration, time and workmanship you know it deserves. This single-minded pursuit for motoring perfection, and the air-cooled Flat 6-Cylinder engine that fuels it, is championed by Singer Vehicle Design, a restorer of Porsche 911 (964) Coupes and Targas from 1989 to 1994.

With prices for their restoration services starting at more than $500,000 to nearly $2 million, a waiting list of several years and collaborations with automobile experts around the globe, Singer’s commissions have become synonymous with the ultimate car restoration.

Jay Leno autographed the 100th Singer, Alabama Commission.

Porsche 911, Alabama Commission. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

With headquarters in both California and the United Kingdom, Singer has a global partnership network currently representing the brand in more than a dozen countries, from Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan to Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe.

Singer’s founder, Rob Dickinson, has been fascinated with the Porsche 911 since he was a child. After moving from the U.K. to the United States, he purchased and restored a 1969 911e in Bahama Yellow to be his own “café racer”. He put in a 3.0-liter engine, installed the center-mounted fuel filler, found the Recaro seat which he wanted, perfected the stance, putting on 8x15 front and 9x15 Fuchs wheels.

Many people asked if they could buy it when he drove around Hollywood Hills every day. “I always said no. After a while, the idea struck me that it might be possible to offer services to owners of air-cooled 911s that would enable them to restore their own cars.

SINE QUA NON–a reference to the Latin for “essential to existence”–is the owner’s take on Singer’s mantra “Everything is important.”

Porsche 911, Sine Qua Non Commission – Full of ‘Special Wishes’. First Singer to Have a ‘Fixed Rear Wing’ and Hood Mounted Driver Lights. ALL DLC Dark Nickel Trim Which Took Over a Year to Develop. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

“I still own that ’69 911, and it was the genesis for what would become Singer.” Not just another restomod, every detail on the Porsche 911 Coupe or Targa is studied, modified bespoke or elevated to motorsports grade in collaboration between the owner and Singer. The monocoque underneath is the Type 964 generation and retains the rear-trailing arm suspension, which gives the vehicles their unique driving dynamics.

Porsche 911, Jersey Commission. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

Porsche 911, Jersey Commission. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

“We’ve put a little blood and muscle under the skin of the bodywork, which is made from carbon fiber for mass-reduction, but the shape of the 911 is of course unmistakable. At the heart of each car is the air-cooled, Porsche flat-six [engine]. It might have grown a little to 3.8 or 4.0 liter capacity, with considerably more power and sharpened responses, but it retains the sound, character and even smell of this iconic engine,” he says.

Porsche 911, Unico Commission in California. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

“Sometimes collaborations have taken us in new directions,” Dickinson points out. “More recently, requests to see how far we could take the Singer approach, focusing on reduced weight, enhanced power and highly evolved handling, led to us undertaking the Dynamics and Lightweighting Study (DLS).”

Porsche 911, Unico Commission in California. Bespoke, Lightweight Carbon-Fiber Seats with Carbon Fiber, Aero-Optimised Bodywork in Absinthe Green. Blood Orange Trimmings and Nickel Grommets. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

“With the help of a formation of partners, including Williams Advanced Engineering, Multimatic, Bosch, Michelin, Brembo and others, we pursued the most advanced air-cooled 911 possible, incorporating technology from the world of Formula 1. The Unico Commission, the first of those DLS restorations, was recently presented at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K.” Additionally debuting during Monterey Car Week 2021, Unico is the first DLS customer-owned commission to be delivered in the United States and is the ultimate example of Singer’s modification of a 964-generation 911.

At nearly $2 million, the Unico Commission is the first of 75 DLS commissions to be assembled in the U.K

Bespoke, Lightweight Carbon-Fiber Seats with Carbon Fiber with Blood Orange Trimmings and Nickel Grommets. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

When asked about how Singer’s restoration resets the original car’s value, Dickinson says that it lies in the uncompromising focus that the completed restoration should be a jewel-like piece of mechanical art.

“The genius of the Porsche 911 lies in its ability to be every car you’d ever need,” Dickinson muses. “It’s won Le Mans, the Targa Florio and Paris Dakar, it can be driven to the store for groceries, used for continental touring and then taken to a track day. I’d want to have a Targa for those days when a drive in the sun with the roof panels out is the correct approach, a coupe, perhaps with AWD for its all-round ability, and of course a DLS machine for the times when you want to hear a naturally aspirated flat-six at 9000 rpm!”

4.0L, 4-Valves per Cylinder, Naturally Aspirated, Air-Cooled Flat-Six. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

Porsche 911, Sine Qua Non Commission – Full of ‘Special Wishes’. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

Porsche 911, Lauf Commission. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

Porsche 911, Miami Commission. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

Porsche 911, Manchester Commission. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

Porsche 911, Taiwan Commission. Courtesy Singer Vehicle Design

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