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  •   Alain De Cadenet reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Customising your Porsche may make you feel better, says Peter Morgan, but it can knock thousands off the car’s street value… #2015 #Porsche-Concept

    It sounds like a great idea for any enthusiast – personalise your Porsche so it makes a unique visual statement, or maybe ‘uprate’ the engine, brakes and suspension to make it go faster. But the reality is that changing the factory specification of virtually any production Porsche away from standard will reduce the value.

    It’s tempting when your car needs replacement shock absorbers or engine renovation work to go for ‘sports’ options, hotter ECU chips or louder exhausts. But in an ultra competitive marketplace, originality is the key to a top value car. If it looks and handles as it left the factory, it will sell faster.

    With their spectacular motorsport heritage, the engineers at #Porsche have arguably forgotten more about how to make a car accelerate, brake and go round bends than anything that aftermarket tuners might claim to know. And in my experience, when I drive, say, a standard 993 Carrera that has received harder springs and sports shocks, it takes the edge off its confident driving manners. It degrades that important first impression because the all-round ride and handling comfort has been lost.

    Body kits fitted after the car has left the factory not only compromise the authenticity, but new panels can also point to underlying extensive repair work. Factory fitted aerokits are always noted on the Vehicle Identification Label, but aftermarket aerokits are generally a waste of money on a collectible car and can hide a multitude of issues. This includes pattern problems so that the fit can be an instant turn off to the experienced eye.

    ‘Chipping’ Porsches has become an accepted part of the Porsche aftermarket industry. Nevertheless, changing the engine management map of, say, a 996 Turbo requires careful consideration. Yes, the car may be faster but it will be at the cost of fuel consumption and engine life. The tuners often suggest that the rev limit can be taken up by several hundred rpm, while altering the torque curve or maximum power. Not only does this use up the safety margin at the top of the engine’s rev range, when you put a diagnostic computer on the car the subsequent over-revs stand out. When you see a few of the over-revs some cars have been subjected to – with maximums in ignition range one (to continue with the 996 Turbo) and sometimes thousands in the IR2 range, it’s inevitable engine life will be degraded. With the 996 and 997 Turbos appreciating steadily today, you wouldn’t buy one without checking the ECU, if only to make sure there hasn’t been a ‘wild’ chip on the car. There’s nothing that shouts that a car has been thrashed to death more than a maxed-out over-rev log.

    Another model that is progressing nicely on the rising tide of prices is the 996 GT3. The first series made for the 2000 model year are unique in the water-cooled 911 story and good ones are very desirable. However, what would you make of one that had had some £24k worth of customisation mods to the suspension, brakes and engine? The reality was that somebody had persuaded an earlier owner to splurge on the ‘improvement’ of a car that had (uniquely, compared to the later GT3s) been set up in the Motorsport department at Porsche. The present owner found the car at a price well below typical market value – and all because of the significant modifications. At a very attractive price, it represents a perfect project car that should, one day, be restored to its original specification – and value.

    Meanwhile the custom parts may find their way on to an auction site. It’s not all negative when it comes to customising. There are some models for which a sympathetic modification can add to the standard car’s appeal. Usually they are faithful tributes to one of the faster RSs or GTs. Such mild customisation is best rewarded on the 964 Carreras, where the RS lookalikes always have a premium on similar condition/mileage standard cars.

    Don’t ask me why, but such customisation doesn’t work with the 993s or any of the pre-’89 models. There are some really, really rough customised 1980s ‘flat nose’ cars in circulation that are begging to be restored to their original glory. Go back to the first 20 years of the 911 and (condition accepted) authenticity and originality is easily the most important factor in the value of the car. Original colours, original numbers and original specifications – at least on what you can see – are the critical requirements for a top value car.

    The flip side is that if should you be looking for a project car on a budget, a customised mule can offer all kinds of cost benefits. And if the engine number isn’t matching, it can represent a further discounting on a car that would otherwise be out of reach. Customising sounds like fun and it can be. Just make sure you appreciate how far you can go before it seriously damages your investment.

    If it looks and handles as it left the factory, it will sell faster.
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  •   Alain De Cadenet reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    SINGER COMES TO LONDON #2015 #Porsche-911-Singer /// #Porsche-911

    The #Singer-Vehicle-Design / #Singer recently visited the UK, showcasing its cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and later exclusively in central London… Story: Simon Jackson /// Photography: #GF-Williams

    Porsche restoration, tuning and modification specialist Singer Vehicle Design (SVD) is a name synonymous in Porsche circles with bespoke vehicles dripping with individuality and extraordinary quality. It’s also a brand heavily associated with the sun-kissed streets of California. However, back in July #SVD founder and Briton, Rob Dickinson, accepted an invite to showcase the firm’s work at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. One of the #Porsche cars you see here was exhibited, a striking restored #Porsche-911-Targa-964 , appeared on the exclusive Cartier Et Luxe lawn in front of Goodwood House. The second, a 3.8-litre Coupé, took to the famous hillclimb itself driven by Messrs Chris Harris and Marino Franchitti. By all accounts it was a successful trip overseas.

    “We’ve been very fortunate to have been recognised by such regal dignitaries that have placed us on this coveted global stage,” commented Dickinson. “Our little company has been known to chase the best in all we do – and it’s a true honour that such a prestigious event acknowledges our passion and commitment, as well as our precise indulgences. I’m most proud of the reputation we’ve built – to us, the Singer brand stands for something special and it’s humbling to gain this type of recognition.”

    Following the Goodwood weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to meet some of the faces behind Singer in a central London studio, and to gain a close-up view of the two very special customer cars it had brought over for the event. In person those behind the SVD brand regularly communicate terms such as ‘reimagined’ and ‘fully optimised’, but whichever language you may use to describe the Californian-based customiser, it’s clear that SVD is very good at what it does, and we can confirm that the results are breathtaking in the metal. The grey 964 is SVD’s first foray with Porsche’s iconic Targa design, transformed for a customer in Canada, and therefore referred to as the ‘Montreal’ car. This boasts a full restoration to SVD’s exacting standards, featuring a bespoke leather and suede interior, a 4.0-litre engine with sixspeed gearbox (developed for Singer by Ed Pink Racing Technology), Öhlins suspension, and Fuchs-style wheels. Rob is quick to praise the mechanicals of this car, saying: “The folks at Ed Pink have created a very docile engine that has been honed and improved upon, with a very sophisticated engine management system – one that is completely balanced from a weight ratio perspective, yet providing tremendous torque – truly an absolutely, wonderfully sweet engine.”

    The yellow 964 Coupé belongs to a customer in the UK who kindly loaned it out for the purposes of the appearance at Goodwood, enabling the car to raise a few eyebrows on the hill. Powered by a 3.8-litre Cosworth engine built specifically for the customer in question, the car features a six-speed manual transmission, integrated roll-cage and one of Singer’s most popular trademark tweaks – Nickel-plated external fuel and oil filler caps.

    Singer was admittedly born from humble beginnings, but its reputation continues to grow on a global scale. The company, and front man Rob himself, exudes a positively vibrant ambience, displaying sheer automotive artistry ensuring Singer’s work is viewed exclusively as a celebration of Porsche, and the iconic 911, with the utmost respect being paid to the brand’s original formula.

    “When I moved to Los Angeles 15 years ago, I needed a car as a daily drive, so I bought a #1969 911 and did it up just the way I wanted,” Rob explained to us. “It was a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster, but people kept stopping me to ask whether they could get one too. Eventually, my answer became ‘maybe I could restore one for you’.”

    There’s also a large emphasis on how the company is trying to ‘preserve’ and ‘personalise’ these cars, working collaboratively with their owners to make dreams a reality. It would seem that the only limits are a customer’s imagination. For these services clients pay handsomely, with prices starting at $395,000 (approximately £255,000) with most typically incurring costs in excess of $450,000 (£290,000). But, as Rob talks us around this particular pair of cars, the overriding messages we receive are the right ones. There’s a ‘no expense spared’ ethos and the firm’s meticulous standards and tough party line on absolute quality, driven by the man himself, are utterly remarkable. That’s part of the reason why there’s now a two-year waiting list for Singer’s services…
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  •   Alain De Cadenet reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    The 918th #Porsche-918-Spyder has rolled out of Zuffenhausen, but the car’s legacy continues…

    After 21 months the final #Porsche-918 Spyder rolled off the production line in Zuffenhausen. The super sports car was always intended to be a limited edition volume of 918 units, but as build number 918 was completed the legacy of this advanced Porsche vehicle is sure to continue.

    Porsche has stated that future generations of sports cars will benefit directly from innovations found on the 918 Spyder, which we can only assume means the technology in this pioneering machine is likely to filter down to the next generation of 911, and potentially far beyond. Adaptive aerodynamics and rear axle steering have already made their way into volume production sports cars, such as in the 911 Turbo models and in the 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS.

    The 918 Spyder was systematically developed to be a performance hybrid with plug-in technology. The hybrid super sports concept car made its debut at the #2010-Geneva-International-Motor-Show where it was met with overwhelming approval. In the summer of 2010, #Porsche gave the green light for its production development. When the car was launched on the market in late 2013, the 918 Spyder represented a continuation of a series of super sports cars in Porsche history.

    Among Porsche’s ultimate sports cars, such as the 904 Carrera GTS, the 959, the 911 GT1 and the Carrera GT, the 918 will be recorded in history as a pioneering vehicle. In 1963, for example, #Porsche-AG created a steel and polymer body for the 904 Carrera GTS that is a prime example of how to unite stability and lightweight design. In 1986, the 959 successfully introduced an electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system to the sports car world. Ten years later, the 911 GT1 paved the way for implementing carbon fibre technology in production vehicles. In 2003, the Carrera GT made its debut as the first production vehicle whose monocoque and subframe were made entirely of carbon fibre reinforced polymer.

    Like these iconic past Porsches, the 918 Spyder embodies classic Porsche virtues and sets cornerstones for the future. On the one hand, the car embodies performance, on the other, efficiency. The question is: what will replace it?
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