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.
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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:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf Kompressor on eBay
The RUF BTR Cabriolet we featured back in December 2013 has come up for sale again, this time with a much higher price! The original auction, which did not sell, had an asking price of $199,500. The car then was relisted at $149,500 and still failed to sell. The current listing has it at $285,000, which is a lot. These are amazing machines with a fantastic pedigree and they have tended to do well on the market, a point which should continue to hold true in the future. But this is asking too much, especially given the previous auctions.