Singer has stopped taking orders for its ‘Classic’ reimagined Porsche 964
Though you’re not short of options when it comes to choosing a ‘reimagined’ or modified classic Porsche 911, you won’t be able to get one from Singer Vehicle Design anytime soon.
Speaking to Top Gear, boss Rob Dickinson confirmed that he’s halted the ‘Classic’ reimagined 911 range – the core of the company since inception over a decade ago.
“We’ve actually stopped taking orders for ‘Classic’,” he said. “We’ve capped it to about 450 [cars]. We’ve got a lot of Turbos to build! I’d love to say there’s a masterplan… there isn’t really a masterplan. There wasn’t a master plan 12 years ago when we started, we’re kind of making it up as we go along.
“We’ve kind of taken a pause with the Classic,” he added. And it’s not because the world is quickly draining its reserves of natural, unmodified 964s. “There are tens of thousands of 964s! And there’s plenty of ratty ones which we don’t feel too bad about reimagining.”
Dickinson pointed to the fact that capping production would safeguard values for the existing cars. “We’re just trying to be respectful to the guys that are buying the cars. We want to maintain the values of the cars if they change hands afterwards of course, which I think has more to do with the perception of Singer as a ‘brand’ over and above the quality of the cars.
“We’re paying attention to that, and we have to grow up a little bit. We still have this rock ‘n’ roll culture which I’m desperately trying to hang onto!” Dickinson don’t forget, used to be a singer and guitarist himself.
“It’s a balance,” he said. “I don’t know whether 450 is the right number. We’ve just moved into this mega new building in Torrance, California. Everything is under one roof for the first time, and we’re getting a sense of putting some proper process into the building of the cars, and then we’ll see.”
Development of the air-cooled flat-six naturally came to an end point, too. “I think we’ve taken it as far as we can go. Our attempt with the Design and Lightweighting Study (DLS) was to build the most extravagantly wonderful engine that anyone’s ever seen. I don’t know whether we have or not!
“It’s time to have a go at turbocharging – synonymous with Porsche in so many ways. To do a refined car, really chase the NVH and make the car – dare I say it – luxurious and something that made you feel super good as well as being fast and super refined was another challenge for us after the DLS and the Classic, which we’ve been doing for 12 years.”
Indeed, the focus of the Turbo Study was to rectify some of the ‘issues’ Dickinson’s always had with the original car. “Stance, mainly,” he told TG. “Wheel arches making promises the wheels can’t keep was a phrase that kept buzzing through my head. Using that opportunity to put some bigger brakes on the car, upgrade the mechanical grip, and just getting out of the way of the iconography and celebrating the great bits… and editing some of the not-so-great bits.”
What about turbo lag? “Turbo lag’s always been a conversation with 930 Turbos,” Dickinson said. “This engine [in the Turbo Study] has no lag at all. Nothing. We could introduce some lag – count three seconds and then it comes, which we might do for a bit of fun.”
Dickinson noted the engine in Singer’s Turbo Study is “an absolute frickin’ monster” with ‘shocking’ levels of torque. “We’re going to have to turn it down a little bit.” The fine-tuning process begins over the next couple of months.
TEXT Vijay Pattni