The well worn cliche is that power is intoxicating. While typically that expression is used in reference to abuses by individuals it seems no less applicable to cars. Once you get a taste of a level of acceleration, you begin to want more. And more. And maybe even a little more. Thankfully there exist outlets for such desires; builders who are happy to provide you with completely unnecessary levels of power in our continual pursuit of more. Just bring your wallet.
For your Porsche the name nearly synonymous with the need for extra power is RUF. RUF has been in the game for a long time, producing modified Porsches for 40 years. While in many cases these are conversions where the owner buys a 911 and has RUF parts added by an appropriate installer (or by RUF themselves), RUF also has produced their own builds utilizing nothing more than a Porsche chassis. These cars were badged as a RUF rather than a Porsche and come with a RUF VIN. The one we see most commonly and the one that really got the whole thing started is the BTR. Fitted with a 3.4 liter turbocharged flat-6 mated to a 5-speed manual the BTR was a much more powerful version of the 930 capable of outclassing most any production car available at the time. Naturally that extra performance along with their relative rarity makes them a highly sought after commodity. Here we have one such beast: a 1987 RUF BTR, located in Virginia, with 37,472 miles on it.
Update 2/16/18: After showing as sold in November for $14,900, the mega-cool Ruf Bug is back again for the same $14,900 ask.
This is a car which has haunted these pages since we first began writing up German cars, if you can believe it. Originally, Aaron wrote this car up nearly 6 years ago to the day – November 8, 2011. Back then, the seller was asking an incredibly steep $60,000. Three years later in 2014, Paul spotted it again and revisited the concept. It was then up for sale for a scarcely more reasonable $50,000. In both cases, it was really hard to justify the substantial premium even if it was a neat looking car.
Fast forward to today, and we’re finally getting somewhere. Although the car appears to have changed little since 2014, the asking price is now $14,900. Mileage is far below average at only 51,722 and condition generally looks very good. It has only accrued 10,000 miles in the last three years. Although this car lacks true RUF credentials, the general concept pulls together pretty well and the execution looks nice. Is this the one to have? It’s certainly a lot more compelling than a standard Beetle in many ways and has big dollar mods, but do those mods justify a $11,000 premium over a standard Turbo S?
The below post originally appeared on our site November 9, 2011:
The last two weeks we’ve looked at the wilder side of the Porsche tuner world with cars from Gemballa and RWB. This week we’ll go a little more traditional with the styling and make a return to RUF. RUF likely is the most well known and highly regarded in the Porsche world, so much so that RUF is not just a tuner, but a manufacturer utilizing blank Porsche chassis for its cars. In some ways, RUF is the inverse of RWB. Where RWB goes over the top with styling and leaves the performance mostly alone, RUF keeps the styling changes somewhat minimal (at least from the perspective of how much they depart from a 911 itself) and goes over the top with performance upgrades. Over the years they’ve produced some blistering fast machines capable of competing with the best cars in the world. Even capable of competing with the likes of Porsche’s own 959.
The one we see the most often is the BTR and that’s just what we have here. However, this is not one of the very rare RUF VIN BTRs, but one of the more common converted examples, which in this case was based off of a 1984 Porsche 930. That’s a nice base with which to begin and with the RUF upgrades you get a car that can make even the prodigious 930 seem tame.
Model: 911 Turbo
Engine: 3.4 liter turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 35,014 mi
Price: $225,000 Buy It Now
1984 Porsche 930 RUF BTR DOCUMENTED
This remarkable example has remained unrestored and original until today. Only 35k miles and 2 owners since new this 930 is in beautiful condition! Full RUF BTR conversion with letter of authenticity from RUF, this 1984 Porsche 930 is not your average 911 Turbo.
A fair majority of our “roll the dice” features have been cars with high mileage, dubious modifications, or poor maintenance. The question marks are exchanged for, generally speaking, a budget price relative to the rest of the market.
This Porsche has none of that.
What we have here is a 1985 Porsche 930. Even if the air is cooling slightly in the 911 Turbo market, and while there’s probably only a premium on really original early and late examples, one from the middle of production like this isn’t to be shooed away immediately. Second, this car has really quite low mileage reported at under 15,000. Condition looks to be very good, and the car is marketed to be an originally Ruf-modified example. The price is certainly not budget-friendly for most outside of Wall Street. So where’s the rolling of dice to be seen?
In a strange comparison to earlier’s 500SL 412, here’s another matte black car. It, too, is German. Outside of that, the two share little in common.
That’s because unlike the Mercedes-Benz which was primarily a piece of marketing, this is from the workshop of Alois Ruf. And Ruf’s cars are all about performance. So even though this 997-based turbocharged RUF RT12S is over a decade old, it still produces more power than the current 911 Turbo. Over 100 more. It’s faster, too – get the launch just right and mash the gas, and RUF claimed you’ll hit 60 m.p.h. in 2.8 seconds. When Road and Track tested it, the R12 did a standing mile in 28 seconds at 187.5 mph. In the time it’s probably taken you to read this first paragraph (35 seconds), the RT would be past 200 on its way to the 224 mph top speed. Yet it wasn’t just about raw speed; like all RUFs, it was beautifully built and full of exquisite detail work on par with leading manufacturers.
But while the speed is certainly impressive, it’s not the reason why I decided to feature this car…
This might be the best 911 Speedster I’ve ever seen. That this wonderful Speedster wears Ruf badging probably should not surprise us though in some ways it is sort of a surprising Ruf vehicle. It shows all of the terrific attention to detail we’ve come to expect from Ruf and its Ferrari paint helps make clear it is not your standard 911 Speedster. We aren’t told how many miles it’s traveled in total in its life, but it’s said to be restored and has seen under 2K miles since that restoration. The overall condition appears excellent.
Model: 911 Speedster
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 2,300 km (~ 1429 mi) since restoration
Great condition – fully restored
Date of first registration: January 1993
Mileage after restoration: ca. 2.300 km
3,6 Liter 6-Cylinder Boxerengine
184 kW (250 HP) at 6.100 rpm
310 Nm at 4.800 rpm
Manual 6-Speed Transmission
Rear wheel drive
Exteriorcolour: Ferrari Rosso Mugello red
Interiorcolour/-material: Black leather, red stitching
Black roof top
Red CarpetHeadlight washing system
Lightweight door covers
Radio incl. navigation system
Sport bucket seats
Sport steering wheel
Seat back painted in exterior colour
RUF 18“ Classic Aluminium wheels
For sale on behalf of customer
Please contact us at 0049 (0) 8265-911 911 or firstname.lastname@example.org
While I wouldn’t say I’ve done an exhaustive search, my searching has come up with little information about this Speedster other than the basic details seen in the ad text here. Aesthetically, it’s received a full interior treatment that looks fantastic alongside its Rosso Mugello exterior and sports 18″ Ruf wheels. Mechanically, the standard 5-speed has been swapped for a 6-speed manual transmission and it now has a sport suspension, presumably developed by Ruf.…
RUF is a name which is among the most highly respected tuners in the world, creating legendary power, looks and speed among a series of cars that was already quite potent. But they’re very expensive cars, too – fully spec one out from Ruf, and you can easily double the price of your Porsche, sometimes more. These are not machines for mere mortals.
Yet value can still be found in, and today I’ve got 1,100 horsepower to prove it. This Double Take looks at two 2002 911 Turbos, both of which have been upgraded with the RUF 550 kit. Which is the winner?
Modified cars from the 1980s enjoy are and interesting exercise in dichotomy. Take AMG, for example – add the flares, wide wheels, hunkered down suspension and turned up engine to a W126 and the asking price increases from a standard model by a factor of ten. What is strange about the AMG model, though, is that enthusiasts of the Affalterbach company accept licensed installers as proper original builds. Such is not the case when it comes to tuners like Alpina, Hartge and Ruf; generally speaking, in those cases the only “true” original examples came from the manufacturer’s facilities in Germany. In these cases, examples that are properly sorted and original can be worth double, triple or even quadruple what an identically modified car from a licensed installer in the U.S. would be worth. On top of that, AMG continues to be a bit of an aberration in the tuner realm since most other period modified examples of Porsches, BMWs, and Audis are worth less than a pristine stock example. It’s a bit of a head scratcher, since generally speaking, companies such as Alpina and Ruf put out equally good looking products when compared to AMG, and properly modified were just as luxurious and just as fast. Nevertheless, a tastefully modified example like this period Ruf-modified 1987 Porsche 930 just doesn’t seem to draw the same attention as a AMG 560SEC Widebody 6.0 would, for example. Let’s take a look at what a reported $75,000 in mods got you in the late 1980s:
We’re all pretty familiar with Ruf’s long history of producing automobiles derived from a Porsche chassis. Their ethos falls similarly in line with Porsche itself, though with everything turned up a notch (or in some cases many notches). Whether they are Ruf-modified Porsches or possess an actual Ruf VIN, these cars combine the best of high performance and refinement. One of the cars we see most frequently is the BTR, which used the 3.2 Carrera as the basis for producing a variant of the 911 Turbo. The successor to that model, generally called the BTR2, was produced for the 993 and is the car we see here. They could use most any configuration of the 993, whether the rear-drive Carrera 2 or the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 (though I’ve even come across one based off of a Turbo S) as their base and from there received the typical Ruf treatment that provided a single turbocharger, modified suspension and braking, and a redesigned interior with integrated roll cage. Since either the Carrera 2 or Carrera 4 could provide a base, Ruf was providing either an alternative to the 993 Turbo in its all-wheel drive configuration or a toned down version of the GT2 with rear drive. The example we see here began life as a Carrera 4S prior to being shipped off to Pfaffenhausen for its conversion and features a fairly interesting interior showing off what seems to be a cross between houndstooth and tartan inserts. I’m not sure what we’d call that, but it’s quite eye catching!
You’d be forgiven for not knowing much about this model because Ruf has been known mostly for their outrageous turbocharged models and the RGT was their first real stab at a naturally aspirated model. But a pretty serious stab it was, with a GT3 derived dry-sump flat-6 pumping out 385 horsepower from 3.6 liters – some 30 more than Porsche managed from the same motor. This goal was reached by massaging the heads with larger valves, integrating Ruf’s proprietary engine software along with model specific catalytic converters and exhaust. Performance was close to Turbo levels, with 60 arriving in 4.6 seconds and a terminal speed reported to be 190 m.p.h.. The narrow bodywork also had special Ruf front and rear bumpers along with a purposeful wing that mimicked the race cars, and indeed was later similarly adopted by Porsche on the post-facelift GT3. It ran alongside the first generation 996 GT3 as an equally potent but (theoretically, at least) more street-biased suspension setup. Compared to that model, the expensive Ruf model was apparently a bit of a headscratcher for most and apparently only 17 were produced in the year this car was made. I was lucky enough to see one of these cars new at Summit Point back in 2001; at a time when the GT3 was unavailable in the U.S., it was certainly a revelation to see the lightweight race-inspired RGT and in Viper Green it reminded me of the car which ultimately inspired it – the original RS. Today’s car is a different kind of revelation and is certainly one of the most unique RGTs out there: