Tuner Tuesday: 1987 Porsche 930 Coupe

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 930 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf BTR Conversion

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!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf BTR Conversion on eBay

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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

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Tuner Tuesday “What Not To Wear” Porsche Faceoff – 1977 911 Turbo Cabriolet v. 1994 Strosek 911 Turbo S Widebody Speedster

Here’s something a little different for Tuner Tuesday! Last July and September respectively I wrote up two terribly expensive and terribly tuned 911 convertibles. The first was a Strosek 911 Turbo S Speedster back in July, and the second was a 1977 911 Targa that was converted into a 993-bodied turbo cabriolet that was simply marvelous if you believed the interior. In a not particularly surprising development, both are back up for sale having had no takers the first time around. The question I pose to our readers is which is a better (or worse?) deal? I’ve put my original posts below starting with the 1977 and I wasn’t particularly complimentary to either, but let me know in the comments which is really “what not to wear”?

The below post originally appeared on our site September 1, 2015:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet…ish on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Ruf BTR 3.4 Cabriolet – REVISIT

Back in October I took a look at a Ruf Cabriolet. Originally listed as a BTR3, the listing has been corrected to refer to the car as a BTR 3.4. Last time around one of our knowledgeable readers commented that there were injection differences between the two. There’s also been a pretty substantial price drop of $40,000 to a still nose bleed-worthy $200,000. Is it likely to find a home this time around?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Ruf BTR 3.4 Cabriolet on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site October 13, 2015:

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Tuner Tuesday: 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS RCT

Take two very desirable machines and stick them together and you get…? Well, for starters you get a car that I haven’t ever come across before. You also get a conundrum, but more on that later. Here we have a Guards Red 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, a highly desirable and ridiculously wonderful machine in its own right. However, this isn’t a standard Carrera RS, but rather a Carrera RS whose 3.6 liter flat-six has been turbocharged by the wonder-workers at Ruf Automobile GmbH. That means 370 hp in one of the lighter 964 variants produced. It means a narrow-body 911 with a healthy does of power being delivered only to the rear wheels. And it means an object of much desire.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera RS RCT on 4 Star Classics

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1989 RUF RCT EVO Conversion – Revisit

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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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 RUF RCT EVO Conversion on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 23, 2015:

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Ruf BTR3 Cabriolet

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

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1989 Ruf RCT Evo Conversion

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

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Tuner Tuesday Mega Tuner Showdown: Dinan v. AMG v. Treser v. Alpina v. Ruf

I’m always a fan of the showdown posts; no surprise, since I think I’m the only one who does them here! While it’s nice to highlight one car at a time, I’m just a fan of the opportunity costs; considering what my money could go towards otherwise. Plus, though we see comparisons of new cars in magazines and online fora, it’s not often that we have comparos including nearly 40 year old cars. While I usually highlight this type of comparison in my 10K Friday posts, today is a bit different and I believe the first time I have a showdown on Tuner Tuesday. I’ve rounded up a quintet of neat cars that are all modified from stock by some of the most famous tuners of the 1980s; which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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