Some guys grow up wanting nothing more than to own an exotic import, a classic muscle car, or an opulent piece of luxury that rolls around on four wheels. As guys it’s true that the older we get the more expensive our toys become, and at some point you just have to realize that if you want something nice you’re going to have to work for it. Matt Euson has worked hard for his 14 cars, and while he owns authentic jaw-droppers like ’67 Shelby GT 500s and ’69 Mustang Boss 429 “S Code” models, his greatest possession is a little Porsche that took him almost two years to get.
You may recall that a couple months back, Autos Cheat Sheet was able to land an exclusive interview with famed Porsche builder Magnus Walker, and got some interesting insights from him on life, his goals, and his car collection. It’s the latter of the three that we’ll focus on today, because Magnus isn’t the only prominent Porsche builder out there – even though he’s one of the best.
Hidden in somewhere in the smoggy L.A. landscape is Singer Vehicle Design, and while it may be small in size, it makes up for it with its gorgeous modified Porsches. Hand-built, engine-swapped, carbon-clad, and classically-styled, these breathtaking beauties are a wonderment to behold, as everyone from James May of Top Gear fame, to Car and Driver has hailed Singer’s creations “The world’s finest Porsche.”
However, there’s far more to getting one of these puppies than handing over a wad of cash and a request list, as Singer likes to have the buyer choose every little detail, just to make sure they’re getting exactly what they want. From engine upgrades to matching leather luggage, the customization choices on these cars remain endless just as long as your pocketbook can handle the heat.
But before Singer can even get started, you, the client, have to source an early 1990s 964 C2 that’s already been equipped with a manual gearbox, and ship it out to California along with a 10% down payment. This now leaves you with a 18-24 month waiting period, where you funnel money to the company as you hastily email them requests, all while secretly praying that they don’t go out of business halfway through your build.
While the media reports that the typical Singer build costs around $390,000 (which doesn’t include the price of the car itself, shipping, etc), Euson tells us that it actually costs closer to half a million dollars for one of these machines, since there’s no point in skimping when it comes time to build your dream car. Hell, it’s your piggy bank, go have some fun with it.
Since we could go on for days about this car, it might be best to start with the story of how Euson ended up with a Singer Porsche in the first place. It isn’t a car that you just “stumble upon” one day at the Porsche dealership, and its big league price-point reinforces this. So for Mr. Euson it was a love for 1960s and early 1970s sports cars that fired his desire for an early 1970s long-hood Porsche.
However, older cars are a pain in the ass to maintain, and shops that specialize in older Porsches aren’t something you come across every day. Being that he was already an owner of classic sports cars, Euson is the first to admit that older models can be so unreliable that “the headache of keeping them running can sometimes outpace the joy of ownership.” To combat this dilemma, Euson started seriously considering resto-modding a 911 from the early 1990s so that it looked like an early 1970s 911, and after calling speed shops on the west coast that specialize in that sort of thing, the wheels began to turn as both quotes and ideas began to flow in.
But when it was about time to take the plunge and start the build, everything came to a grinding halt, when one morning Euson saw a 911 that had been reimagined by Singer Vehicle Design (SVD) in a Porsche magazine. It was love at first sight, as taking 964 model 911s and back-dating them to look like early 1970s race-inspired vehicles was exactly what he’d been wanting all along. The more Euson read-up on the company, the more he liked the idea of getting them to build his dream machine, for a Porsche that performs like a supercar, look like a classic car, and rocks the fit and finish of a high-end Bentley is truly a beautiful thing indeed.
After sourcing a 964 in December of 2013, and shipping it to Cali along with one fat-ass deposit, Euson began going over his idea of a dream car with the guys at Singer, telling them he wanted an “elegant look but with the motor of a monster,” with a leather interior that reminded him of his old couch, and gauges that looked like they were straight out of a 1960s Bond flick. Then, in early June of this year, SVD delivered what might just be the most elegant Porsche ever produced. It’s called “Indiana” after the state it was delivered to. It’s the 28th car Singer has produced to date, and is one of the first to have a hand-built Ed Pink 4.0-liter race motor in it. Thus far Euson has put over 1,000 miles on the car, and he plans on putting several more thousand miles on the odometer before summer is out, because it’s a car after all, and he believes cars are meant to be driven.
So here are some mechanical details on the car, because it’s a truly quick little thing, not just some pretty machine to show-off at Cars and Coffee. The chassis may look somewhat stock for a 1991 964, but it weighs just 2,743 pounds, has a 40/60 weight distribution, and is only being held back by seven pounds-per-horsepower. It has a fully built Ed Pink Racing, naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six engine, with an aluminum block and heads, a 7,300 RPM redline, port injection, Mahle performance pistons, Carrillo connecting rods, and a Pankl crankshaft.
Both of the cylinder heads are custom made to be high-flowing, as is the fuel injection system that operates the 50mm Jenvey individual throttle bodies (ITBs). It has a Getrag six-speed manual gearbox, a 4:1 drive ratio, a trick limited-slip differential, and 390 horses to compete with its 315 pound-feet of torque. This car bounds to sixty in 3.3 seconds, will hit 176 miles per hour, and can eat-up a 1/4 mile drag strip in under 12 seconds while going 119.2 miles per hour.
Outside the power department, almost every piece of the car’s exterior is made out of carbon fiber. It has a “Blue Blood” paint-job (because Tom Selleck’s mustache said so), its woven leather interior is “cognac,” but is 1,000 times more expensive than a bottle of Rémy Martin; the trim is nickel-plated, because chrome is for rappers and hot rods. The super-sticky brakes and tires are 12.7-inch Brembo rotors and four-piston fixed calipers, and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 rubber rollers. Together, they keep the shiny side up when the hairpins come a calling.
But it’s the little things on this car that drive us wild, like how the classic Becker AM/FM radio still works, or how the engine has a beautifully machined piece of Plexiglas covering it, and how the doors open by pulling on a leather strap. We love how those woven leather Recaro seats sit patiently waiting inside the cabin, while classic Bond gauges long for the key to turn them on so that they can impress Pussy Galore, all while grippy drilled floor grids prepare themselves for a driver or passenger’s treaded embrace. Note how the side mirrors protrude through slivers of quarter glass, held only in place by unyielding grommets, while behind one’s head the leather-wrapped roll bar assures us that it’s here to serve and protect if shit suddenly goes south.
Riding in the passenger seat while accelerating at a breakneck pace, the flat-six engine screaming in your ears, there’s an unusual since of calm. Everything is as it should be within this car, with a simplistic approach to everything at the forefront. All of the amenities one needs in a vehicle are here, as everything is in its proper place, with air conditioning, audio, power seats, and upgraded seatbelts leading the way. As Mr. Euson revs his dream car to redline a smile creeps across his face, it’s obvious that he’s gotten exactly what he wanted, and even though it is a $500,000 piece of jewelry, he had it built to be driven, and that’s the way all dream cars should be treated.