SVD: LA Commission

Every so often you come across a company so passionate about a certain brand or product not its own that it evolves to the point where it’s become almost an extension of that very same brand. Such is the case with Singer Vehicle Design. The name Singer has become synonymous with Porsche. Although young the company has become the foremost Porsche restorer for air-cooled 911 Porsche’s. Specifically, the air-cooled 964 chassis.

Singer Vehicle Design takes otherwise ordinary 964 Porsche 911’s and restores them to glorious levels of perfection while adding in their own signature pieces into the mix. What happens then is that when you buy a Porsche 911 that has been restored by Singer Vehicle Design, in essence you’re buying a manufacturer quality automobile that’s subtly better in all the right ways and in all the right places. Singer’s design language is one that for the most part revolves around exquisitely amplifying the totality of the vehicle in the utmost pristine fashion. The end result is perfection.

Regardless of whatever SVD restored 911 you’re admiring, you needn’t look far to begin noticing the specialness of Singer Vehicle Design. It’s the small things and the obsessive attention to detail that really make Singer’s restorations truly unique and bespoke. As a matter of fact, at any given time you could possibly spot a number of entirely hand-made components within just a section of a car. Things like museum-quality nickel-plated trim, satin finished rear view mirrors or bespoke custom leather hand pulls.

Creative Director Rob Dickinson at Singer once said “911’s to me have always had a friendly face and a business like rear”. SVD’s design ethos revolves around this very idea. The idea where Singer Vehicle Design aims to produce a restored 911 offering that is arresting and irresistibly immaculate yet not obnoxious.

When you look at the Los Angeles commission the first thing that immediately sticks out like a sore thumb apart from unparalleledheights of perfection and attention to detail is what seems to have become a signature styling cue for Singer Vehicle Design, the relocated fuel cap on the center of the hood. Which is just one of the numerous modifications that take place throughout the restoration. Every one of Singer’s restoration projects start off as a fully road legal 964 Porsche 911 from 1989-1994. What ensues afterwards is a massively extensive reengineering process of the entire car. Everything from chassis, engine, suspension, braking systems, to wheels and body panels are all amplified in an attempt at producing the world’s greatest restored 964 chassis 911. Just to put the bodywork consideration into perspective, every Singer restored Porsche 911 receives a massive amount of carbon fiber treatment in terms of body panels which reduce the weight of the car by approximately five hundred pounds. They then bump the oomph factor by offering a 390 horsepower air-cooled 4.0 liter Cosworth engine which was meticulously worked over by the guys at Ed Pink Racing Engines. A similar approach is taken with every commissioned restoration project. Yet with so many options available each and every project is almost entirely bespoke. People make the character of the car. SVD does the work, but the finished product is a reflection of the individual owner’s personality.


Perfection comes at a price. Rob Dickinson admits that Singer restored 911’s are ridiculously expensive which was in a way the fundamental premises on which the company was founded. Not particularly because he wanted to charge astronomical amounts of money for Porsche 964’s but rather because as he explained it, Rob wanted to restore 964 chassis 911’s as brilliantly as human beings possibly could. The finished product just so happens to be a massively expensive Porsche 911 that arguably could not have been restored in a more perfect fashion.

Consequently, what the team at Singer Vehicle Design does is take the Porsche ethos of “form always follows function”, inject a small dosage of SVD steroids into the equation, flare the car out a bit, give it some more oomph, spray on gorgeously stunning paint and package it up in Pebble Beach-worthy restorations.