Tuner Tuesday: 2001 Ruf RGT

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Ruf RGT on eBay

Continue reading

2004 Porsche 911 GT3

We speak a lot about the performance value to be found with the 996. That designation applies most to the 996 Turbo, surely one of the best performance values on the market, but also to the standard 996 Carrera. The GT3 and GT2 have typically been considered exceptions, but when I look around at other available options within the 911 line I’m beginning to wonder whether the 996 GT3 shouldn’t also be held in such company (the GT2 is still very expensive). Granted the price of a GT3 will come in well above most other examples of the 996, including a X50 equipped 996TT, but as a total package, and for fans of natural aspiration, the GT3 brings a lot to the table. The example here showcases some of that nice value potential: a Speed Yellow 2004 Porsche 911 GT3, located in Georgia, with 25,820 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 on eBay

Continue reading

2014 Porsche 911 GT3 – Paint-to-Sample Mexico Blue

Every iteration of Porsche’s 911 GT3 seems to push the boundaries on what we think is possible from a performance perspective from a road car. The GT3 RS then extends those boundaries even further, but usually with the sacrifice of some of the day-to-day usability. With each new model Porsche manages to produce more power from a seemingly confined package while increasing road-holding and other performance benchmarks, but with little apparent sacrifice. Even as a variety of jurisdictions develop increasingly more stringent emissions standards that make it seem impossible for cars such as these to continue to exist, let alone improve, the GT3 manages to do just that. And the example we see takes all of that exceptional Porsche engineering and wraps it in one of the best colors in the 911’s long history. Here we have a paint-to-sample Mexico Blue 2014 Porsche 911 GT3, located in Arizona, with 3,200 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: 2001 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

The number of Porsche 911 variants can be baffling. Just the other day, Rob and I were joking back and forth that at one point a few years ago, Porsche offered no less than 20 variations of the 911 model to the public. Not to be outdone, the current lineup has added one more and created a nice drinking game of “How many current 911 models could you name?” Add in the racing variants, and things get even more convoluted. Porsche’s top of the heap racing model has always varied, but when it came to the 996 Porsche went full-bore with the 911 GT3 Cup program and created a potent race car for pros and well-to-do amateurs as well. Indeed, the GT3 Cup program was the model for many customer-based race programs that exist in Audi, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Ferrari and the like today. But the lineage of the GT3 gets confusing, too. Launched in 1998, it was effectively a replacement for the 993 Carrera Cup model. Called the GT3 Cup, it was a stripped out factory built race car with a turned up motor and some trick suspension and wheels, along with a little added aero tweaks that would be the basis for the later road going model named after it – the 911 GT3. Confused? Well, in 1999 Porsche dropped the “Cup” from the name and added “R” to make race models distinct from road going models. Now, that’s easier. Then, they brought the GT3 Cup model back in 2000 with some mild performance upgrades. But things really started to get messy in 2001, when the company launched the GT3 RS model – not to be confused with the GT3 RS road going model, which wasn’t launched until 2003. Still with me? Well, then in 2004 they needed to differentiate the road and race GT3 RS, so with some more upgrades was launched the GT3 RSR. On the way from Cup to RSR, Porsche added more downforce, wider flares and more vents, along with more power and even wider tires. The 2001 RS model struck a balance between the Cup and RSR, with wider rear track and flared front fenders, but without the massive venting and sequential gearbox of the later model:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Porsche 911 GT3 RS on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: ex-Dempsey 2013 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

There has always been an allure about racing for actors, and some pretty famous ones have been associated with the Porsche brand. The list of famous movie stars that have piloted racing Porsches is pretty illustrious; Steve McQueen certainly made a splash, but then so did Paul Newman. Of course, James Dean is always linked with the brand. So does Patrick Dempsey belong in that storied group? You could argue that perhaps that wasn’t the case for acting, but in terms of passion for racing Dempsey has shown through his actions that heading to the track is a top priority for him. He even went so far as to say he’d quit acting if he could get a full-time racing ride. His exploits at Le Mans are at least on par with McQueen’s famous movie. And yes, you can say that too much has been made of it – but in my mind, Dempsey’s spotlight on the privateer competitions has only highlighted how fantastic the sport is, how diverse the drivers are, and represents the best aspects of the passion of racing. To prove that he’s serious, coupled with factory driver Patrick Long, Dempsey secured 2nd at Le Mans in 2015 and 3rd in the GTE Championship overall. That’s seriously impressive no matter how you slice it. Today, you can buy a piece of that Dempsey magic and plant your bottom right where Dr. McDreamy sat:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: 2012 Audi R8 LMS Ultra

If you were a gentleman racer over the best part of the past decade and a half, there was only one natural choice for your steed; the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car was, and still is, the most popular choice for factory supported full race cars to buy brand new. But we can thank the success of the Cup formula for an entirely new lineup of racers, from the Lamborghini Super Trofeo to the track-oriented Laguna Seca Mustangs. In the FIA mandated GT3 field, the advent of the Pro/Am designations have similarly diversified the field from the standard Porsches to new entrants, from the seemingly outrageous Bentley Continental GT3 to the Aston Martin Vantage GT3. But while those names may seem like newcomers on the international circuits, the reality is that both the heritage of Bentley and Aston Martin lay exactly with those gentleman racers. No, the real newcomer to the block is the Audi R8; a name steeped in Le Mans history but a chassis built for the street, the GT3 effort resulted in the popular and sonorous R8 LMS Ultra, as Audi shifted its focus from showcasing quattro all-wheel drive in racing to the lightweight technology incorporated into the new mid-engined racer:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Audi R8 LMS Ultra on Race Cars Direct

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera X51 ex-Koni Challenge

There are countless enthusiasts who have converted street cars to track cars for their own pursuit, this author included. Few of them are professionals, though (this author included), and consequently buying a used one is always a bit of a mixed bag of dealing with shortcuts, ill-conceived modifications or poor planning. At their base, these cars were also often used street cars initially, with years of miles on the road softening their chassis and electrical connections. Shifting gears, though, there are special cars built by enthusiasts that really stand out. These are close to factory builds; pro teams who take brand new street models and convert them to race cars for specific series. Today’s 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera was one such car; built for the popular production-based Koni Challenge, it’s an upgraded version of the already potent 911 that’s available for a fraction of the cost of the original build:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera X51 on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera

The Porsche 996 is arguably the best deal going in the rear-engined Porsche world. I say arguably because there are many who utterly detest the water-cooled replacement for the venerable air-cooled 911. On top of the revision in power, the 996 power unit has come under scrutiny for potential failure of the intermediate shaft bearing. But let’s be honest for a second; Porsches are expensive cars that can be very expensive to maintain, regardless of chassis and configuration. And in terms of driving experience, the 996 was quite fun. It was not the fastest or wildest version of the 911, but in two-wheel drive Carrera form it was great fun. I was lucky enough to drive a brand new 40th Anniversary Carrera around a race track, and though it was certainly a road-biased machine, the brakes, suspension, transmission and importantly engine and soundtrack were a stirring experience. Add some real track-dedicated modifications to one, then, and it should be a great dual-purpose weapon:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

There are few marques in the automotive industry whose name is as synonymous with road racing as that of Porsche. While Porsche’s reputation has been built largely through their racing success it also comes through their continued desire to make available to their customers lightened or more powerful variants of their road cars. Or in the case of the car we see here, a 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, a full on racer. The homologation requirements of many of the road-racing series that Porsche competes in do make this somewhat of a necessity, but that still doesn’t change the fact that for a (considerable) sum of money interested buyers can live out their dreams to take part in semi-professional racing behind the wheel one of the most renowned road-racing machines in its class.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Porsche 911GT3 Cup on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: Porsche 911 GT3 Cup v. Cayman S

For German car fans who love racing, it doesn’t get much more exciting than Porsche’s long history of endurance racing. Indeed, Porsche’s venerable 911 seems intrinsically linked with racing – undoubtedly, part of its mystique. However, true factory racing Porsches have always been pretty expensive when new and still are so. Watching yesterday’s coverage of the 24 Hours of Daytona had me cringing as the multi-hundred thousand dollar Le Mans class 991 Porsches took each other out, attacked Opossums and exploded crankcases. It wasn’t a great day for Porsche at a track where the company has had an impressive string of successes. So, today I decided to take a look at two racing Porsches as an homage to their first rate engineering, their enduring appeal and incredible performance:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on eBay

Continue reading