1988 Porsche 911 Turbo / RUF-Converted CTR

Jonathan Green ©2016, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RUF’s ascension from little-known Porsche tuner to household name came after the publication of the July 1987 issue of Road & Track magazine. In an article titled, “The World’s Fastest Cars,” the Road & Track staff assembled a venerable “who’s who” of the world’s most incredible street-legal supercars, of which the Ferrari 288 GTO and Lamborghini Countach sat at the slower end of the spectrum — with top speeds of 179 mph. Rocketing past the Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG “Hammer” and even the Porsche 959 at 198 mph, the Ruf CTR soared to a top speed of 211 mph, flying head and shoulders above the competition.

That particular CTR would henceforth be known as the “Yellowbird” for its distinctive color and would become RUF’s most iconic creation, considered by many to be one of the most recognizable 911s ever built. In 1989, the Yellowbird famously lapped the Nürburgring in an incredible 8.05 minutes, a production-car record that held until it was bested by the Bugatti Veyron.

Along with the sheer speed that Alois Ruf was able to extract from the Porsche 911, the RUF legend was backed by impeccable and demanding build quality, which made his high-horsepower machines eminently reliable on a daily basis. To transform a 930 Turbo into a RUF CTR, the engine was bored out to 3,367 cc and fitted with a DME fuel-injection system that was first developed for use on the Porsche Type 962. The addition of another turbocharger and intercooler brought power to just shy of 470 horsepower.

This particular CTR was born as a standard 911 Turbo in 1988 and was then immediately sent to RUF to be upgraded to BTR specification, increasing power to 375 brake horsepower along with a 0–60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph. After three years in BTR configuration, the owner opted to further upgrade the performance to RUF’s ultimate (and breathtakingly expensive) 6-speed CTR specification in 1992.

Today, with only two registered owners, the most recent of whom purchased the CTR from its original keeper in 1994, the odometer shows just 51,000 kilometers (31,689 miles), a majority of which were accumulated by its enthusiastic first owner. The car was reported to be absolutely amazing to drive in a recent outing by an RM Sotheby’s specialist and was noted to provide virtually flawless performance in every respect following a recent service.

Thanks to the Yellowbird’s success with Road & Track, as well as its fabled dominance of the Nürburgring, the CTR firmly positioned RUF as one of the most well-respected tuning companies in existence. Nearly 30 years after that road test, the legendary RUF CTR can still easily outpace many sports cars produced today — a testament to its incredible performance and durability.

RUF CTRs rarely come available to the public, and this stunning example will not be overlooked.

Prescott Kelly

Prescott Kelly - SCM Contributor - %%page%%

Prescott bought his first Porsche, a 1964 356SC coupe, in early July 1967, just before starting his first job. The next weekend he bought a refrigerator — thereby establishing priorities for life. He has owned many Porsches and is a Contributing Editor for Porsche Panorama, where he concentrates on arcane corners of Porsche history, writes the regular “356 Collectibles” and “MarketWatch” columns for the 356 Registry Magazine, and contributes to Excellence and the Journal of the Society of Automotive Historians.

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