The creations of California-based Singer Vehicle Design defy simple classification: Each 911 Reimagined by Singer is effectively a radical custom, with no component, whether seen or unseen, left unmodified or unimproved. The 911’s familiar appearance is refined and rendered in cutting-edge materials. Body panels, for example, are constructed of lightweight carbon fiber, with styling that incorporates elements drawn from the foundational 911 generations. Equal attention is paid to the mechanical components, with Singer turning to the expertise of world-class engine-builders to provide the ultimate in air-cooled flat-six performance.
As this wonderful 1989 coupe demonstrates, the results are visually cohesive, thrilling on the road, and—as each car is tailored to the specific desires of the commissioning client—utterly singular.
Singer, founded in Los Angeles in 2009 by Rob Dickinson (a die-hard 911 enthusiast and former lead vocalist for the British rock band Catherine Wheel), is careful to refer to its acclaimed sports cars as a “reimagining” of the well-established Porsche formula. Perhaps this is the most accurate characterization after all, as each of Singer’s builds invites us to imagine what the air-cooled 911 could be if each chassis were developed and fabricated with little regard for time or expense.
Commissioned by a Canadian businessman and philanthropist, work on this car began in August 2016 and was completed the following August. The starting point was a 911 Type 964, as is typical for Singer. Yet while the finished car retains all of the beloved air-cooled 911 touchstones, this chassis has been comprehensively reworked from the wheels up. Motivation still comes from a Porsche flat-six, here mated to the optional, upgraded six-speed manual transmission, but the motor is anything but stock; this 4.0-liter powerplant has been built Ed Pink Racing Engines of Van Nuys, California at a cost of $88,805. An Ohlins suspension system, another substantial extra-cost upgrade offered by Singer, and optional Brembo big brakes ensure confident handling and stopping.
The car’s handmade lightweight bodywork is finished in optional Geyser Grey; similarly optional Bahama Yellow brake calipers provide a splash of color from behind the Fuchs wheels. The color is echoed in the “PORSCHE” lettering over extra-cost light grey side stripes. A center-fill fuel filler protruding from the hood, itself a $10,945 feature, adds a hint of motorsport-inspired flair to the build, while subtle gold badges complete the exterior.
The interior is finished in a selection of Tobacco-toned leather, with surfaces on the Recaro seats and dashboard displaying a striking woven pattern. Notably, the upper dash and parcel shelf are optionally finished in a rich Dark Tobacco leather. At the center of the car’s suite of VDO instrumentation (the odometer is, as one might expect for a car built for a Canadian client, in kilometers), the tachometer face is finished in Bahama Yellow. This color theme is also cleverly incorporated elsewhere in the cabin, including the stitching on the Momo Prototipo steering wheel. The car is equipped with air conditioning, and, for entertainment, a stereo system with integrated navigation functionality.
As its build sheet indicates, the cost of modifications and enhancements to this chassis amounted to $752,000—a total that gives a sense of the carefully considered design, skilled craftsmanship, and top-shelf materials and components incorporated in the build. Extra-cost mechanical and cosmetic options account for $257,000 of that total. Since its completion in August 2017, the car has been driven approximately 800 km (~500 mi). As expected, it appears in like-new condition.
Singer’s offerings are meticulously hand-built at the behest of their clients; given the shop’s legendary attention to detail, and an ethos that puts perfection ahead of pace, it should come as no surprise that the ever-growing waiting list for a new build sits at roughly three years. Cherished by their owners when finally completed, these special cars seldom come to market. The next caretaker of this chassis will experience the magic of a 911 Reimagined by Singer immediately; it is a rare opportunity made all the more appealing by the car’s beautifully presented low-mileage condition.