Singer Vehicle Design founder and creative director Rob Dickinson isn’t your typical car customizer. He’s a trained designer who set out on a mission to create his ultimate dream car after being approached by people who liked what he’d done with his personal car. The result is the “ultimate 911”.
Dickinson’s story is part fairy tale, part resilience. After graduating from Coventry University he landed a job at Lotus in Norfolk, UK, and was taken under the wing of Peter Stevens, working alongside Julian Thomson and Simon Cox. But he soon found that he was more interested in playing music and, as the lead singer and guitarist in 1990’s alternative rock band Catherine Wheel, he began touring, ultimately settling down in Los Angeles.
While he was recording a record in the California city, he bought a 1969 Porsche 911E. He began customizing it to suit his taste and it drew the attention of many people, some of whom wanted to buy it. Not wanting to sell his prized possession, Dickinson instead offered to build the interested parties their own car instead.
In 2008, he rented a space in the desert east of Los Angeles and began working on his first build. He developed relationships with fabricators and suppliers to create the custom pieces and started to build a team. Singer Vehicle Design was born.
Dickinson’s drug of choice is the Porsche 964, the precursor to the last air-cooled Porsche, onto which he bestows his own design sense. Singer Vehicle Design has reimagined a number of cars to date, each named after the location they’re destined for and bestowed with a unique combination of exterior design elements and a bespoke interior.
The cars have all been optimized to perfection, with tuned engines in a variety of displacements, custom brakes and carbon fiber bodywork to keep the cars’ overall weight low. All of the exterior detail elements — headlamps, door handles, fuel cap and exterior mirrors are nickel plated, which adds a sense of value without appearing overly ornate. The attention to detail is tremendous.
In the video above, Rob Dickinson talks us through the early stages of Singer Vehicle Design, how the company came to be and what it currently stands for. It’s one hell of a story.
Founded in 2012, Form Trends tirelessly covers the automotive design industry in all corners of the globe to bring you exclusive content about cars, design, and the people behind the products.