No. 27 - MEETS SINGER UK
A few months ago I started looking at the option of converting my 964 C4 to a C2. Best way to do that is with a six speed 993 box. The preferred option is a G50/21 from the earlier 993’s, this has shorter ratios than the G50/20 from later cars. I sourced a 20 with the longer ratios and even though I was unsure about it, the price was good so a deal was struck. However, subsequent conversations with the L90 group coupled with aggravated badgering from Frank (Black Betty) convinced me the shorter ratio box was the only way to go.
I put the box back on sale and a short time later got a call from an American chap called Greg. His claims to be the only official UK Singer Service and Maintenance engineer were treated with a healthy dose of scepticism and a date arranged for me to deliver the box. I asked around and heard from various sources that Heritage Autowerks’ Greg Cranmer was indeed the official U.K. Singer Service and Maintenance Engineer. He is factory trained and authorised by Singer to carry out all aspects of servicing on these unique machines. This prompted me to ask him if there might be any cars for me to see while I was over delivering the box. He replied with this pic!
Greg was previously at Tognola Engineering but a year ago he decided to set up on his own. Autowerks do mostly Porsche related projects, from restoration to upgrades to bread and butter work like general maintenance. Greg has clearly been well bitten by the bug himself and showed me pics of some his previous cars, including a matt black 964 with fluorescent orange wheels. Not for the faint hearted!
I was hugely excited to see a Singer but was in for more treats than I realised, this was the sight that met me on arrival.
An absolutely beautiful 959 with only 1500 miles on the clock. This was a 1988 car and a Sport model to boot.. so without the troublesome and expensive hydraulic suspension that the Comfort cars have. I had never seen one of these in the flesh and was surprised at how much I liked it. From pics I’d always found 959s a little bland but right there in front of me the car looked much curvier and sensual than I expected. Loved it!
The sexy curves
Where the heart lies
Peeking out from behind the 959 was another car I have never seen in the flesh.. a stunning 993 RS. One of only 1053 produced! The RS was the first 993 to get Porsche's 3.8-litre Variocam engine, the 3.6 having been bored out by 2mm and now putting out 300BHP.
The purposeful front end featuring ducts and a splitter
Next in line was a Carrera GT, in itself not too shabby but destined to hold my attention for the briefest of moments when I spied the Singer hiding under a two post car lift..
The infamous V10
Who doesn't like it's hips?
ST inspired rear arches
This particular car has already been sold but was back in the workshop to have more comfortable seats fitted. I can now confirm that these cars are as incredible on a one to one as they appear in pictures. Incidentally all of my pics are iPhone sourced so you’ll have to forgive the poor quality.
It turns out that Greg sources all right hand drive cars for Rob Dickinson over at Singer in LA. This is because they have the wheel on the right side for UK clients but also because getting type approval when reimporting them is thus much easier. Greg already has a donor 964 sitting in his drive and this will soon be shipped to the US along with my gearbox for the full treatment.
Singer have various workshops and the first is where the car initially goes to be stripped, within a day and half it is nothing but a bare shell. It is then taken to the fabrication shop where the car is seam welded, extra brackets added for the roll cage and various modifications made so the shell can accept the new backdated bodywork. The next stage is by a company who specialise in Carbon where the new body is fitted. Light clusters are bespoke to each car and get sent along at this point to ensure perfect panel gaps and build. I had a close up look at the body and although the paint is flawless on the reflections of the artificial lighting it was just about possible to discern the carbon weave beneath. Once initiated the transformation takes around 4 months although the overall waiting time if you ordered right now would be much longer because of the waiting list.
If there is anything that proved the old adage “beauty is in the detail” then this car is definitely it. From the curves of the all carbon body, to the engine lid hinges, everything is perfect. Even the rear roll bar is immaculately re-trimmed in leather.
You can find out more about Heritage Autowerks at http://www.heritageautowerks.com/about.html
Words & Picures: Jack Pegoraro