Around this time each year it’s nice to draw up a ‘wish list’ of things that, were I obscenely rich, I’d love to get myself as a holiday present. And if you’re Jeff Bezos, bored, reading this blog, and feeling spendy for some reason, this one is top of my list. What you see here is a car that not many are very familiar with. It comes from the firm Isdera, which doesn’t sound particularly German at all. But Isdera is an acronym for Ingenieurbüro fur Styling, DEsign und RAcing, which does seem particularly German. In fact, I’m surprised it’s not just one word. Anyway, Isdera was the brain child of Eberhard Schulz, who started off by building himself a sports car called the Erator GTE that looked very similar to the GT40, but had gullwing doors. Shulz worked for Porsche and Mercedes for a bit as a result of this impressive prototype, and later moved to the tuning firm B&B which ultimately led to the CW311 show car in 1978. Based upon Mercedes-Benz mechanical components and stylistically the successor to the Mercedes-Benz C111 rotary prototypes, Isdera then launched his own topless form of the CW311 called the Spyder 036i, 17 of which were made, and finally a ‘production’ version of the B&B CW311 called the Imperator 108i.
Not stasfied with 20-odd 108is produced through 1991, Shulz then dropped a 6-liter V12 in the middle of the chassis and hooked it to a Ruf-modified gearbox, Porsche suspension, a windshield wiper yanked from a Japanese Skinkansen bullet train, and a name befitting the founder of a certain Italian supercar maker. The result was stunning in 1993, and I’d argue it’s still pretty stunning today. And if you can pony up a whole lotta cash, the one existing example can be yours early next year.
As the Turbo era died off in the early 90s and nearly everyone abandoned forced induction thanks to newer, more stringent fuel economy and emissions standards, Porsche’s ‘Gott verdammt, ve continue to do things the same vill!‘ attitude extended to boost. Instead of backing away from their somewhat flawed design, Porsche doubled down and launched a ‘brand new’ Turbo model of the 911 for 1991. I say ‘brand new’ because while the body looked modern and the interior updated, in reality this was the same old-school Porsche 911 Turbo underneath. It was still rear-drive only, still a single turbocharger with a ton of lag, and still capable of ripping your face off. Still displacing 3.3 liters, revisions to the intake, exhaust and ECU left the flat-6 churning 315 horsepower and 333 lb.ft of torque, the 964-era Turbo hit 60 in under 5 seconds if you threw caution to the wind and was within a breath of 170 flat-out. Outside, the 964’s smooth bumper covers replaced the impact-era units and 17″ Cup 1 wheels filled the flares, but squint and not much looked different from 15 years prior. Yet sure enough, newfangled technologies had crept in: anti-lock brakes, airbags, power steering *gasp!* In many ways, though modern and certainly capable of hanging with the best cars of the day if not exceeding their performance, they felt a bit like a dinosaur unabashedly sticking its middle claw up towards progress and the future. It’s that attitude, reputation and look that today continues to drive the desirability of this model in the used market:
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:
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!
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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: