What Happens When A F1 Team Restores A Porsche 911?
Boutique, bespoke Porsche restorers and restomodders Singer Vehicle Design have partnered with the advanced engineering arm of the UK-based Williams F1 team to create the ultimate commission for a well-heeled classic Porsche enthusiast.
When Scott Blattner first got in touch with the California-based firm, his question was simple: "What if Singer worked on restoring and modifying my beloved 27-year-old Porsche 964 (the internal Porsche nomenclature for 911s built between 1989 and 1994), with the assistance of an engineering concern born from the world of F1. How would such a car look and how would it perform?
So Singer's British founder, Rob Dickinson headed back to his homeland and to Williams and after two years of arduous R&D and testing, Blattner has his answer. It performs like a road-legal rocket, yet completely remains true to the aesthetics of the original 1963 Porsche 911.
Williams has completely rebuilt the car's stock flat-six air-cooled engine so that it now has four valves per cylinder, four camshafts and 500hp on tap, all without help from turbocharging.
Thanks to the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics, the car's underbody and exterior surfaces cut a sharper yet more stable line through the air, even as resistance increases. The suspension is lighter but with better geometry and more adjustability, while the use of exotic materials including magnesium and titanium as well as carbon fiber—the material of choice for all Singer vehicle exteriors—has cut the car's curb weight down to just 990kg.
The result is a car with 500hp on tap, a host of aerodynamic improvements plus weight-cutting measures that mean this reimagined 911 tips the scales at just 990kg.
"On a technical level, the study has been fascinating and has resulted in an incredible restoration with the benefit of top drawer resources and modern science," said Dickinson. "Artistically it has been a second chance to connect with the machine on a new level."
As well as Williams, Singer called on the services of legendary Porsche engineers Norbert Singer and Hans Mezger for the project and also partnered with Michelin for bespoke tires, BBS for the lightweight magnesium wheels that adorn the finished car and with Hewland for the development of a lightweight magnesium six-speed transmission. "Standard" Singer recreations use a modern Porsche-sourced six speed gearbox.
Of the process, which has already attracted so much interest Singer is now setting up a dedicated facility at Williams to meet demand, Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said: "Being able to work with the classic Porsche 964, applying our expertise in aerodynamics, advanced lightweight materials and vehicle dynamics to optimise performance has been a tremendous opportunity. We are delighted that the restoration of these cars for Singer's clients will take place here in Oxfordshire."
However, because each Singer Reimagined car is meant to be a unique vehicle, the company is capping the service at no more than 75 requests, three of which have already been made by existing Singer clients.