If money were no object, and there was no waiting in line, we imagine there’d be a lot more Porsches out there that are “reimagined” by Singer. You’ll get no argument from Jay Leno.
“This is one person’s idea of what a Porsche should be, regardless of cost—and these are extremely expensive. But you can justify every dollar,” Leno says in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage as he cruises a California highway in a 1991 Porsche 911 (964) Targa that went under Singer’s knife. “And when you break it down into how many hours and hours go into building it, suddenly the cost per hour doesn’t seem so bad.”
Average cost of a Singer makeover is about $1.8 million, and there’s a two-year waiting list.
“What Singer does is, they take an air-cooled Porsche, preferably from the early ’90s, and they redo it perfectly—exactly the way it should be done, regardless of cost,” Leno says. “So much of [the] lack of perfection [when it comes to production cars] is because of cost studies—we’ll give you this, but we have to take away that.
“What if you could build it 100 percent the way you wanted? … This is the example.”
Leno enjoys some back-and-forth conversation with Steve Davis, head of client relations for Singer Vehicle Design, who rides shotgun. Davis describes his job as “trying to figure out how to create a dream” So far, so good. Singer has completed more than 130 of these meticulous projects since 2008 .
This particular Porsche weighs only 2700 pounds, thanks to the liberal use of carbon fiber. It has a 390-horsepower 4.0-liter flat-six engine, which Leno points out doesn’t seem like much co pared to more modern engines, but “you gotta look at power-to-weight.” And that’s a lot of power for a car that weighs less than 3000 pounds.
“We’re a restorer,” Davis explains. “A client brings us their 964, and we spend about 4500 hours over about a two-year period—and they get this back.”