Three years ago, when there were just about enough Porsche 911s restored by Singer out there to make sure everybody took notice of ex-vocalist Rob Dickinson's work, I started wondering who makes the best classic Porsche 911 restomods on the planet.
There's Paul Stephens, the man behind PS AutoArt, who's a seasoned player in the UK. In Germany, Ralf Skatulla, who spent thirteen years working for Porsche before deciding to built his own lightweight classic. In the US, there's Singer Vehicle Design, and ever since 911 prices started to go up and beyond reason, more and more newcomers have appeared with similar ideas. And companies like GProgramm and Workshop 5001 will certainly be followed by others.
Still, it's not like anybody is taking away Singer's livelihood. The California-based company have delivered roughly 70 restorations so far globally, and has orders for more than 110 additional restorations right now.
After a deposit has been placed and the specifications have been determined, the restoration can take from 8-10 months, while a typical waiting period from deposit to delivery is approximately 1.5 – 2 years. And although their services start at $395,000 ( a donor car), Singer says the most recent restoration commissions have been in the $600K - $650K range. Mind you, by the time a 911 restored by Singer make it to another continent, the final figure can easily climb above $700,000 too.
Singer only restores 1989-1994 Porsche 964s purchased and registered by the owners, and if you worry that there won't be any stock ones out there by the time you'd buy one, have no fear! The Germans built over 60,000 of those, and Singer prefers to take the most gutted examples, since they replace or modify many of the parts either way.
Now, the customer car Singer took to the Goodwood Festival of Speed was the first Targa from their shop to climb up the hill. The owner named it 'Luxemburg.' Not after the country, but a small township in his home state of Minnesota.
It's a lovely car with a 'Deep Orange' exterior, a seven-color 'Tyler Tartan' leather weave interior, a carbon fiber roof wrapped in Navy canvas, and a 4.0 Ed Pink-developed engine linked to a six-speed manual. It also has its Targa hoop rendered in Singer’s own nickel-plate, featuring only two air filtering louvers instead of three.
Now, if you're one of those many who think that once the bill goes past $650,000, the sky might as well be the limit, Singer has a new subsidiary called , which came up with a unique watch called the Track 1. Powered by an AgenGraphe automatic chronograph movement, it's just as complex as the 911 restoration process, and it's only $41,000 extra if you want one.
Special Porsches with fancy watches seem to be in season right now, because at Goodwood, the new 991.2 Turbo S Exclusive Series and the GT2 RS also debuted with matching chronos, made by Porsche Design.
What else can Singer do for you?
Custom accessories, for example, like the equally nickel-plated snowboard rack made for Singer's Moscow commission, an AWD 964 with the 4.0-liter engine.
Now, imagine a party where Dickinson and Icon's Jonathan Ward end up at the same end of the bar...