The Mint Green 1989 RUF RCT EVO Conversion we featured back in September is back up for sale. The price has come down a little bit, but we’ll have to see if it’s enough to counteract the higher mileage of what is certainly a unique 911.
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I have to admit, I really don’t get fast convertibles. You could argue that the top down lets you hear the roar of the exhaust, I suppose. Or you could suggest that the faster the acceleration and higher the top speed, the more alive you feel as the wind rushes through your hair. It’s not that I don’t think certain fast convertibles aren’t attractive, mind you, or appealing in their own way. And some modern convertibles are downright amazing in their ability to channel the blowing atmosphere away from you. But in all honesty, once you’re above highway speeds, the expensive radio and million plus horsepower are lost upon me, obscured in a veil of churning oxygen, nitrogen, and other trace elements. Perhaps I’m in the minority and it could have to do with the not-always awesome New England weather, but I’d prefer a sunroof coupe in most applications – with some notable vintage exceptions like pre-War cars and Pagoda SLs. Of course, I suppose if you argued that you weren’t going to break the speed limit (okay, but not by much…) or head to the track, then the convertible arrangement offers you plenty of speed in for your driving pleasure and the thrill of the open-air experience. Want to know what it felt like to be the Red Baron, for example? This Ruf BTR3 Cabriolet could sure help:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Ruf BTR3 Cabriolet on Hemmings
For a few decades now Ruf Automobile GmbH has provided Porsche owners unsatisfied with the marque’s standard offerings the opportunity to have something that is quite a bit more special. In some cases, those builds look like entirely original designs where we might fail to recognize the original chassis upon which it was based, but most of Ruf’s work is easily identifiable and the untrained eye may not even realize these are any different from a standard Porsche. There has always been a serious sleeper factor to a Ruf build and it is that dedication to maintaining the refined nature of any Porsche that I think has made Ruf such a serious manufacturer and sustained its success. The example here, a 1989 Ruf RCT Evo, I think falls into that latter category of build that, for the most part, differs only subtly from the 911 from which it sprang. Under the exterior, however, lies a much more potent beast: 425 hp directed through a 6-speed manual transmission and delivered, in this case, only to the rear wheels makes for serious performance and an attention-holding driving experience. That’s a good 45 hp even above the 3.6 Turbo S! A Ruf build always has been a complete work enhancing each aspect of the car’s performance so, naturally, upgrades to braking and suspension are included to help keep that extra power under control. There are a few details of this RCT Evo that I would change: it doesn’t possess the interesting rear light treatment we see on some RCTs, the rain rails are still present, and Mint Green, though one of the special 964 colors, has never been my favorite. Those are minor niggles (well, other than the Mint Green exterior) and entirely aesthetic so we can rest assured the performance remains top notch. All together this is a special 964 and a conversion we come across much less frequently than those for the 930.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Ruf RCT Evo Conversion on eBay
Tuned cars from the 1980s were never particularly discrete, nor were they cheap or easy to come by. Tuners like Treser, in an effort to get more power out of the notoriously non-tunable CIS injection system that adorned nearly all German cars in the 1980s, got creative by taking a 928 fuel distributor for the V8 motor and sticking it on the inline-5 turbo unit. Others, like AMG, took the biggest motor they could build and stuck that into a bunch of different cars. Ruf turned up the boost on the 911 range by moving the turbocharged flat-6 into narrow-body cars. But none of this came cheaply, nor were these tuned cars always the most reliable. When it came to the period of electronic fuel injection, though, things started to change. The first chip-tuned cars also had some bad habits; my father’s chipping 944 Turbo, for example, runs quite rich and if you engage the cruise control, the computer believes you want to go 170 m.p.h. and plants the throttle wide open. But they’ve become increasingly reliable and almost a given; plus they’re cheap. On a car like my 1.8T Passat, you can get a reflash of the ECU with programmable modes for around $500; it can be done in just a few moments, and adds somewhere in the vicinity of 50 horsepower and 80 lb.ft of torque. As such, if you really want to go wild in a tuned car these days, simply changing the ECU to a hotter map isn’t enough. No, if you’re someone like Ruf, you’re still pushing the bounds – or, perhaps, compressing them: