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Singer Porsche 911 on Pacific Coast Highway

by | May 24, 2014 | Classic Porsche Blog, Modified Porsche Hot Rods, Road Trips

Tripped over these pictures from our shoot of the original Singer Porsche 911 on Pacific Coast Highway. I remember it as a very good day, but was amazed to find it was almost five years since I did this job with my partner in Porsche, James Lipman.

Singer Porsche 911 shoot Ferdinand magazine (1)

Back then, I was still working for motor trade publishers, Glass’s Guide, and Jamie had yet to fully establish himself amongst the favourite photographers of Rolls Royce, Bentley and the other top brands he now shoots for. I was just out there on a busman’s holiday, having fun in a twice-yearly visit with friends on the west coast, enjoying the Porsche scene and blogging it on the Internet.

Singer Porsche shoot Ferdinand magazine (1)

This trip in November 2009 was a bit special. Singer’s Rob Dickinson had pinged me a few weeks previously, asking if we wanted to be first to shoot the Singer before it went out to a wider audience. Of course I was up for that and booked the cover of 911 & Porsche World. We did a few day’s work up in San Francisco before driving to Ventura for the Porsche show there, and dropping down to LA’s Mulholland Drive for the Singer shoot one Saturday afternoon.

Singer Porsche 911 shoot Ferdinand magazine

Suffice to say, it did not run quite to plan. Mulholland was a challenge as the car was not a happy bunny. The famous road is a rat run in rush hour (which it was when we started) and there were few obvious spots for us to shoot it on the move. In the end, the light passed and we still hadn’t managed a cover shot.

Singer Porsche 911 shoot Ferdinand magazine (5)

We stayed late in the car park at the Bel Air Presbyterian Church on Mulholland, where Jamie shot some of the most shared Singer pictures on the Internet with just one light (above), but we were missing the drama of the car in motion. Not much chance to do it like this – find the car in this pic:

Singer Porsche 911 shoot Ferdinand magazine (7)

Next day, were were back down near LA to meet Bata Mataja at his house in Malibu and shoot his 356 Speedster. There might be a chance to shoot the Singer in Malibu on Pacific Coast Highway – also known as Highway 1 – at the end of the day. We all really wanted that shot, so Rob would try to get the car out to Malibu and we could have a go at doing it.

Singer Porsche 911 shoot Ferdinand magazine (2)

Even before meeting Bata, I knew the 356 would be a long day. After we started talking, it was almost the whole day: we had a fantastic time with an amazing character. This left precious little time to do the Singer.

Singer Porsche 911 shoot Ferdinand magazine (3)

After meeting at the famous Neptune’s Net (stunning seafood shack), we had a quick coffee, wiped the dust off the car and got going, driving down the legendary Highway 1 out of Malibu. As the sun began to set on the Pacific, Jamie hung out the window of my Craigslist-purchased 911 to grab some of my favourite Porsche pictures ever.

Singer Porsche 911 shoot Ferdinand magazine (6)

When you’re in the middle of a job, it’s tough to stand back and enjoy the moment as the focus is just on doing the work. Now I can enjoy the pictures, I remember the sun on my face, the wonderful golden light, the noise of two flat sixes and that feeling of driving my own 911 in such a fantastic part of the world.

People often ask how Jamie did this in Photoshop, but this is how it just about looked on camera. Rollin’ with the pros!


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