Rob Dickinson, British creator and founder of Singer Vehicle Design (SVD) returns to his homeland with two sources of pride to be exhibited at the famed 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, June 25th – 28th. Debuting the very first ‘customer-owned’ and fully optimized Porsche 911 Targa, along with a Porsche 911 coupe – each completely restored by SVD – demonstrates the creative possibilities within the vibrant world of classic automobile restoration as defined by the California-based modification house. The company brings the newest evolution of its premier restoration services to a new plateau, while showcasing its role within the invitational renowned event, including a display of nostalgic luxury with a modern-day twist to be viewed on the historic Cartier Lawn, as well as motorsports participation in the legendary Hillclimb, to be driven by famed racers and Porsche aficionados Chris Harris and Marino Franchitti.
According to Dickinson, involvement in Lord March’s premier event is an achievement well beyond his own personal expectations. “We’ve been very fortunate to have been recognized by such regal dignitaries that have placed us on this coveted global stage,” said Dickinson. “Our little company has been known to chase the best in all we do – and it’s a true honor that such a prestigious event acknowledges our passion and commitment, as well as our precise indulgences. I’m most proud of the reputation we’ve built… to us, the Singer brand stands for something very special and it’s very humbling to gain this type of recognition.”
Singer’s philosophy -- blending tradition with modernity to re-create bespoke, one-of-a-kind masterpieces to each customer’s desires within perfectly optimized air-cooled Porsche 911s – continues to move forward with each new bespoke restoration. With limited availability and an 8-10 month restoration cycle, vehicles have more recently been commissioned by Porsche owners in Hong Kong, Moscow, Canada, England, Germany, New Zealand, Norway and the UK.
While the Singer brand has become synonymous with truly bespoke customization services for automotive enthusiasts, which as Dickinson contends, borders on obsession – it is indeed the uniqueness of each handcrafted vehicle that currently make fans worldwide covet a viewing, while longing for a drive.
964 Targa Model
Owners of the 964 chassis with the Targa configuration have reason to celebrate. Because Singer continues to respond to the desires of its customers, Singer has been challenged to perform its unique services on a new canvas - Targa.
The “Montreal” car, referred to for its final destination following the Goodwood Festival of Speed, is the first Targa that a client has presented to Singer to restore and reimagine, celebrating the classic Targa configuration launched in 1965 with the iconic polished metal ‘Targa Hoop.’ According to Dickinson, in Singer’s world this is beautifully rendered in nickel. No detail is too fine to perfect when the satisfaction of a Porsche afficiando is at stake.
This owner dreamed of a restoration with both a collapsible soft roof and a one-piece carbon fiber top. Singer made this owner’s dreams come true. The exterior of this example is a Targa grey, while the interior is fashioned in orange with leather and suede mixed weave. Additionally, the highly specialized vehicle boasts a 4.0-liter, 6-speed, 390hp engine developed exclusively for Singer’s customers by Ed Pink Racing Technology; Ohlins suspension; racing orange calipers; Fuchs-style wheels have a white nickel finish on the barrels with closed lugnuts and black painted wheel centers; and raised gold letters on the deck.
Additionally, the 4.0-liter engine, in and of itself, was in response to imaginative owners asking “what if,” “what more,” – and it is perhaps, as Dickinson notes, the finest air-cooled non-racing engine ever produced. “The folks at Ed Pink have created a very docile engine that has been honed and improved upon, with a very sophisticated engine management system – one that is completely balanced from a weight ratio perspective, yet providing tremendous torque – truly an absolutely, wonderfully sweet engine.”
3.8 Takes to the Hillclimb
The right-hand drive customer-owned Porsche 911 coupe, recently restored by Singer and residing in the UK, is an example of light-weight construction with comfort, durability and high performance stemming from a 3.8-liter Cosworth engine, made specifically for Singer’s customer. With a yellow exterior and black leather weave interior, this uniquely optimized vehicle is set to take the 1.16-mile Hillclimb route, driven intermittently throughout the weekend by drivers Chris Harris and Marino Franchitti, both known for their own top performance and ability to seek the best of the best, especially within the Porsche community. Special features on this UK-owned vehicle include the 6-speed transmission; an integrated roll bar; Ohlins suspension system; external fuel and oil cap lids; track seats; a big brake package and stereo upgrade.
“We are streamlining our services to reflect the increased demand for our work,” said Dickinson. But even with recent updates to the Singer facility, Dickinson contends that the unique level of personalization and customization will always remain.
Details such as the unique nickel-plating on the fuel and oil caps, side mirrors and the Targa bar strip (a traditional plating with a golden warm hue which Dickinson himself developed), bring subtle differences that lend to the exclusivity of a vehicle restored by Singer. “For us, it’s those nuances, personified by our attention to detail that matter most,” said Dickinson, “… because our mantra remains that everything is important.”