Tuner Tuesday: RUF Auction Roundup

It’s August and that means it’s car auction time. Much of the car-collecting world will be out in California this weekend either at Monterey or Pebble Beach – maybe even Carmel. A lot of cars will change hands and some of those will help set the market over the next six months. I always like to highlight a few that seem particularly fun.

As usual, there are a lot of Porsches on auction, though truthfully there is less this year that really grabbed my attention than in years past. But there is always good stuff even if there are fewer of them. For instance, if you’re a very esoteric Porsche fan, Gooding & Company will be auctioning this 1 of 1 1966 Porsche 911 Spyder. This post will not be about that car, in part because I don’t even know where to begin with that car, and, in fact, this post will be slightly tangential to Porsche. We’re going to look at RUF because there are a few very cool RUFs being auctioned. These are the real deal; these aren’t conversions carried about by shops here in the US nor even are they conversions carried out in Pfaffenhausen at the RUF factory. All three of these have a RUF VIN. They are all insanely rare and like all RUFs insanely fast and focused.

We’ve seen a lot of RUF 911s come up for sale over the years, but the three we have here are some of the best examples available. They all come from the 911’s air-cooled days and are a mix of almost unknown and iconic. Let’s begin with the icon: a 1989 RUF CTR, the model famously tested as the ‘Yellowbird’ and which put the rest of the tuning world on notice:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 RUF CTR at RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auctions

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Tuner Tuesday: 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo RUF RTurbo Conversion

How do you take one of the Porsche’s best performance values and make it even better? You send it to…RUF? To be honest that would not have been the answer I’d have thought was correct. A RUF conversion isn’t exactly a cheap enterprise to undertake so while the performance and overall appeal certainly will be increased those improvements typically come with a significant increase in price. Such does not appear to be the case with this 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo, which in 2012 was converted to RUF RTurbo specs.

Granted we are a few years down the road and pricing for a RUF conversion always has been significantly lower than for one with a true RUF VIN so perhaps it does make sense that the pricing here seems quite reasonable relative to the performance. But in a world where we frequently see a 996TT with the X50 package priced higher than this (with the caveat that those are asking prices and not necessarily selling prices) I think this one represents kind of a nice bargain.

It also looks phenomenal. Ordered in paint-to-sample Bugatti Strong Blue and then enhanced by the various RUF additions, this 996TT stands well apart from others of its kind. I’m not sure if this sort of lighter, non-metallic, blue will appeal to everyone, but it most definitely is unique. I happen to love it!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo RUF RTurbo Conversion on eBay

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1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet

There is something wonderful about the excesses of certain ’80s automobiles. I assume at the time this was all taken quite seriously, but looking back now it is always good for a laugh. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t like these cars. In fact, I like them quite a lot, but driving a convertible with a massive spoiler supporting its huge rear surely can’t elicit feelings of seriousness. It’s not as head-turning as a Slantnose, but still these 930s are ridiculous in the best possible ways. The only thing that can make these better is when its excesseses are turned up even more. If you’re going to punt subtlety, then why not go all the way?

This Porsche does just that. Here we have a Slate Grey Metallic 1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet, located in San Diego, with a special order Lobster Red interior and a whole host of additions by the tuning mavens at RUF. The RUF bits are mostly of the cosmetic variety so there isn’t much in the way of additional performance to be had here, but the 930 does just fine as standard and those cosmetic enhancements help this 930 stand apart a little more. As if it needed much help. I love it!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet – Ruf CR4 Conversion

It’s generally safe to say that we all like RUF. Their full builds can be spectacular both in appearance and performance, but almost any RUF to wear the badge, or simply share the name, possesses upgrades that make them very desirable. We very rarely see any related to the 964 so when we do come across one it’s always worthwhile to pause and take a closer look.

This is a 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet that was sent off to RUF for a “full” CR4 conversion perhaps around the year 2000. Like many conversions what exactly is meant by “full” might be a matter of debate, but in this case the engine does appear to have been blueprinted by RUF with horsepower now at 330. That engine likely represents what buyers will care most about. From the documentation it looks like the owners of this car purchased it from RUF in May 2000, but it’s not clear when that means the conversion itself actually occurred. Maybe there is other documentation to support that. It then was imported into the U.S. where it has resided ever since.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet – Ruf CR4 Conversion on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1987 RUF BTR

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 RUF BTR on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Porsche 930 Slantnose

Have you been looking for the most ’80s Porsche you can find? Not just an ’80s model, but one that has taken the extra steps to modify it and add those little details that really showcase the time period? We’ve got just the car for you. Here we have a Black 1985 Porsche 930 Slantnose Coupe. The Slantnose itself always has been right at home in the ’80s exhibiting the general sense of excess in design with which we’re all familiar from those days. We dealt with the issue of authenticating the Slantnose conversion in our feature of this Slantnose and the issue presents itself again here as well. As the seller notes it isn’t until the ’87MY that these determinations become much easier.

The details don’t stop there though. This is more than just a Slantnose and especially once we step into the interior things really get interesting. The history of how this 930 came to be in its current state are a little fuzzy, but it’s had a good bit of work and houses some nice RUF upgrades. Let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Porsche 930 Slantnose on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo – RUF Turbo R Conversion

Yesterday I featured a regular 993. It was very pretty. Today we’re going to take that design and turn everything up. The performance, the look,…, the price. But I have to say this one isn’t any less pretty than the other one. It’s a heck a lot more aggressive looking though.

The 993 Turbo already does great things with the 993’s lines. With a couple of small tweaks by RUF it looks even better. We all know RUF GmbH. In the tuner world they may be the most well known name around. For Porsches they are certainly the most highly regarded. Unlike some Porsche tuners that followed more in the footsteps of Porsche’s racing designs, RUF stuck mostly with subtle modifications to its road cars. The uninitiated might not have even known the car had been modified. While few Porsches could ever qualify as sleepers, a RUF almost could, assuming that others mistook it for a “regular” Porsche.

For the 993 RUF gave us the Turbo R: 490 twin-turbocharged horses directed to all four wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. That’s 82 more hp than a standard 993TT and still 66 hp more than the Turbo S. Heck it’s even well up on power compared to the GT2 all while retaining a healthy does of civility. And here’s one such beast for sale!

This 911 began life as an Arctic Silver 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo before undergoing a conversion to the RUF Turbo R. At 37,500 the mileage is quite low, the condition looks great, and it’s said to come with its paperwork.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo – RUF Turbo R Conversion on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday GCFSB Alumnus: 2002 Ruf Volkswagen Beetle Turbo S Concept

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.

It’s back!

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?

-Carter

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Ruf Volkswagen Beetle Turbo S Concept on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site November 9, 2011:

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Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Porsche 930 RUF BTR Conversion

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Porsche 930 RUF BTR on eBay

Year: 1984
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. Per documentation, it was completed by German car-manufacturer RUF Automobile. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from RUF, this Porsche 911 Turbo received the RUF 17-inch wheels, revised suspension, front spoiler with oil cooler, heavier-duty “dog-leg” 5-speed gearbox, steering wheel with RUF-embossed center pad, and a boost gauge. The engine was also upgraded as a RUF BTR with 374 HP, thanks to 3.4L pistons and cylinders, an intercooler mounted underneath the vented whale-tail rear spoiler, revised camshafts and a 4-pipe exhaust system.

The BTR designation came from “Group B,” “Turbo” and “RUF.” A respected manufacturer and tuner, RUF had a close relationship with the Porsche factory. Its modifications could easily double the cost of a Porsche 911. In the mid-1980s, RUF-built Porsches ranked among the fastest cars in the world. In top-speed tests conducted by “Road & Track,” the RUF Porsches achieved the highest top speed and best reliability records. Blue with black leather Recaro seats, this 1984 Porsche 930 RUF BTR also comes with Simpson competition seat harnesses and its letter from RUF, which includes a list of all modifications from RUF Automobile. All of the interior is remained untouched an original and completely functional.

Recently serviced it performs like an absolute animal, putting about 300 miles on the car recently this 930 is incomparable to any others in its league. The 3.4L engine starts up first crank always with no issues, no leaks or oil consumption. Once on boost it screams to the redline in any gear, the dogleg transmission enters all gears with no grinds or pop out issues. Set at about 0.8 bar it is rated at about 380hp but was variable up to 1.1 bar safely and the output was about 425hp, there was no Porsche in its era or let alone other sports car that could compare to the performance this 930 offered.

35,014 original miles

Turbocharged 3.4L flat 6 engine

RUF BTR engine upgrade:

RUF intercooler

RUF 4-pipe exhaust system

34.41 pistons and cylinders

Ruf camshafts

RUF 17 inch wheels

Ruf Revised suspension

RUF front spoiler with front oil cooler

RUF Dog Leg 5-speed manual gearbox

RUF steering wheel

RUF boost regulation valve

RUF Certificate

Can be viewed in Miami, FL 33126 – Inspections welcomed – Trade in welcomed

I saw this car cross the auction block at Mecum’s Monterey Auctions. High bidding on that day reached $170K and like many of the cars crossing the block – especially some of the higher end Porsches – it did not sell. As we can see from the asking price here, bidders weren’t even all that close. My sense at the time was that $170K was pretty good money for this car. As noted, it’s not a RUF VIN. Those are the cars that command serious money. It is a really nice example of a converted 930 though and there is value in that.

The mileage is quite low at just over 35K and the condition looks really good inside and out. Everything is said to be completely original with regard to the conversion. I imagine it’s level of documentation will be the deciding factor. It does come with a letter from RUF Automobile confirming the conversion, but that is all, or at least it’s all we’re shown here. If it also has a full maintenance history and other historical documentation then perhaps it will achieve this asking price if the sellers are patient. Cars like this are very desirable so it may just be a matter of waiting for the right buyer to come along. Otherwise, the Monterey auction may be as much as this 930 will see.

-Rob

Tuner Tuesday Roll The Dice? 1986 Porsche 930 Ruf

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?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 930 on eBay

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