Porsche restored by Singer and Williams – with 500bhp!

Singer and Williams working together in the UK to restore 500bhp, 990kg classic Porsche 964s to clients' specifications

When Porsche owner Scott Blattner asked renowned restorers Singer what was possible in the restoration and modification of his 964, the result was a comprehensive study and collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering.

'The guys at Singer have always been receptive to the question “What if?”,' said Scott Blattner. 'So, the question became… what if Singer worked on restoring and modifying my beloved 27-year old Porsche 964, with the assistance of an engineering concern born from the world of F1. How would such a car look and how would it perform?'

The result is perhaps more extensive than Scott might have imagined, leading to a new selection of restoration and modification services, known as DLS [Dynamics and Lightweighting Study], collaboratively developed by Singer, Williams Advanced Engineering and a collection of specialists such as Michelin, Brembo, and BBS Motorsport.

Porsche legends Norbert Singer and Hans Mezger also joined in as consultants, bringing years of knowledge in aerodynamics and engine development.

Racing driver Marino Franchitti together with journalist Chris Harris have also been drafted in as development drivers, working in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering’s vehicle development team.

Scott's car, the first to incorporate the Dynamics and Lightweighting Study, is finished, uniquely, in Absinthe with interior leather in Blood Orange. More importantly, these are the highlights of its mechanical specifications:

* Porsche four-valve, four-camshaft, naturally aspirated, 500bhp air-cooled flat-six engine developed by Williams Advanced Engineering with consultation by Hans Mezger. 

  • Underbody and surface aero performance optimised through CFD analysis, by Williams Advanced Engineering, with consultation by Norbert Singer.
  • Improved suspension philosophy including weight reduction, enhanced geometry and improved adjustability.
  • Further weight reduction methods and use of magnesium, titanium, carbon fibre and other advanced materials contributing to a minimum vehicle weight of 990kg.

And if that's not enough, how about this: bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres; lightweight 18in forged magnesium BBS Motorsport monobloc, centre-lock wheels; lightweight, monobloc Brembo brake calipers and carbon composite discs; Magnesium, lightweight 6-speed Hewland transmission; and bespoke EXE-TC dampers.
Chris Harris, who has driven virtually every significant Porsche, said: 'I’m not an engineer by trade, but just look at the list of clever people around me and you’ll see that’s no great problem. I’m here for two reasons: to help define how the car drives, how it feels – how it will interact with each of the lucky owners. And to document the entire process from start to finish. Rob, Maz and the team are visionaries in this space, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime project. Just thinking about the finished machine makes me grin.'

The Dynamics and Lightweighting Study has been presented to Singer’s current client base and the first commissions that have already been taken will start soon, though prices have not been disclosed – they vary according to specification of course – but bear in mind that even a non-DLS 911 restored and modified by Singer tends to cost around $650,000.

The restoration and modification of these cars – just 75 of them – will take place in the UK at a dedicated Singer facility housed on the Williams campus at Grove in Oxfordshire, already named as 'Singer at Grove'.

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.'
Singer founder Rob Dickinson summed-up: 'I think we've all been aware of history looking over our shoulder during this time, especially consulting with Messrs Mezger and Singer. It's felt at times like a monumental responsibility to our clients as we have pushed the boundaries of this air-cooled icon in a manner that may never be repeated. Noble material science bestowed upon a legend – long live the Porsche 911.'

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