Life is full of tough choices, like this one.
It's been called the most ideal, most splendid sports car of all time. And yet it's stubbornly remained ass-engined since day one and will remain so forever. The Porsche 911 is the only rear-engined mass production car on sale today. There was a time, long ago, when Porsche seriously considered dropping the 911 because of its ancient layout. Then purists responded, meaning they went berserko. Porsche retreated. However, the 911 is still evolving with every generation. That air-cooled flat-six? Gone, replaced by a water-cooled flat-six.
Hydraulic steering is now electronic steering. But perhaps the most significant stage of evolution just happened: a turbocharged flat-six for the Carrera and Carrera S. What's next? A hybrid 911? Probably, yes. Thing is, these evolutionary changes don't work so well for those die-hard purists. Obviously there are thousands of classic, air-cooled 911s out there for sale, pre-996 models. Prices range greatly but it's totally possible to pick one up for less than $20,000. And then there's the 911 Modified by Singer Vehicle Design, founded by true Porsche nut Rob Dickinson (he's also a professional musician). Its magic formula is simple.
Start with a 964, strip it down to its bare metal, gut it (but retain its VIN), and cherry-pick the best parts from the 911's 50-year history. An air-cooled flat-six, needless to say, is a given. Los Angeles-based Singer Vehicle Design further works its magic with a number of cosmetic changes, perhaps most significantly those widened rear fenders. Fuchs wheels? Oh, absolutely. The interior is an analog-licious work of art all by itself. Personalization options are nearly endless. Singer will engineer the car however you'd like. Do you prefer a track-focused weekend toy, a more modest daily driver, or something in between? Your choice. Your money.
Speaking of which, a 911 from these guys doesn't come cheap, and here's the big debate: A brand-new Porsche 911 Carrera carries a base price of just under $90,000. That's with zero options. Have you ever known a current 911 buyer not opting for several thousand dollars' worth of extras? Heck, the power sports seats cost over $2 grand. An upgrade Bose sound system adds another $1,600. These options are only the beginning; we haven't even included the optional PDK dual-clutch. Still though, you're getting a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six with 370 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque. So let's say a properly equipped new 911 will climb north of $100k. A 911 by Singer costs more. How much more? Depends. For starters, you'll need the donor 964.
The customer can provide it or Singer can help find one but either way, the former gets the bill. We haven't been told exact prices but we've heard that some of Singer's works of 911 porn will exceed $250,000. Again, it all depends on how the customer wants their car done. At that price you're already above what a new 911 Turbo S will cost. However, a good chunk of 911 buyers could afford to spend more. A true 911 purist would (if they could). Still, today's 911 is just so damn good. Damn, we can't even come to a final decision ourselves, and we imagine this is a bit of a conundrum for many of you as well.