1st February 2021

Singer soars to almost £700,000 in online auction

This week saw an online auction of very special car from a brand, that although highly regarded, remains elusive on the used car market. The fact that the Singer in question sold for £696,500, yet was offered with no reserve, shows that internet-only car auctions have truly come of age.

Porsche re-imagined by Singer Vehicle Design is catnip for car fans, and you’ll have struggled to miss the company’s rise to fame over the last 10 years. Based in California, having been founded by Bruce Dickinson (cousin of the Iron Maiden frontman) in 2009, it’s built its reputation by restoring and modifying Porsches to a level that some can’t comprehend - all with the aim of creating the ultimate editions of the iconic air-cooled 911.

Each Singer is handcrafted to its buyer’s every whim and, there’s an obsession with the details, so the price is not for the faint of heart. With between five and six months needed to complete each creation, and a waiting list rumoured to be in excess of three years, this week’s auction result will have confirmed the company’s, and its cars’, standing.

Singers have fetched high prices at auctions in the past, with one passing the £800,000 mark at RM Sotheby's Abu Dhabi sale in November 2019, but the listing of a unique car on the Collecting Cars website without a reserve raised eyebrows when it appeared just over two weeks ago.

With so many options available to a Singer customer, it’s hard to pin down exactly what your money buys you unless you’re the one signing the cheque. Cars that have surfaced as for sale are almost certainly POA, so the auction of the ‘Newcastle Commission’ by Singer, which closed on Tuesday night at £695,500 (including buyer’s fees), gave amazing insight to the market value of these bespoke vehicles.

Based on a UK-registered 1990 right-hand-drive 964 Carrera 2, first registered in 1990, the car’s credentials are too long to list in full but the main talking points include: a restored and strengthened monocoque chassis clothed in carbon-fibre panels, a 390bhp 4.0-litre flat-six, race-derived engine and 0-60mph time of just 3.3 seconds.

From bangers for a few bucks to extremely pricey Porsches, online auctions for classic and collectable cars have come a long way since eBay Motors launched almost 21 years ago. However, this week’s result show it shows that some websites can now challenge even the biggest auction houses when it comes to headline-worthy sales.

What are your experiences of buying a classic or collectable car through an online auction, and do you think they’re better suited to certain types of vehicle? Share your experiences below.