Posted Jun 13th 2012 1:30PM
There are so many tuners and so little time given to historical research that we tend to dismiss a fettled car with "Oh, another one...". But, German speed merchant Ruf is very different: it's actually classified as a manufacturer, not a tuner, it's been in business since 1939, and it began working on Porsche models with a 1963 Porsche 356. Ruf also made an indelible mark with its 1987 CTR Yellowbird, based on the standard Porsche 911 Carrera but then taken to infinity and beyond with lightweight body panels, an RS interior, and a twin-turbocharged 3.4-litre flat-six doling out a claimed 469 horsepower – it was suspected to be much higher – and 408 pound-feet of torque.
The result was that the 1,179-kilogram (2,600-pound) coupe that got from standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.7 seconds. More importantly, at an event held on a Volkswagen test track, it ran 340 km/h (211 mph), beating supercars like the Porsche 959 and Lamborghini Countach, then topped that with a 342 km/h (212.5-mph) on the Nardo test track. Road & Track called it "The fastest car in the world."
In an episode of Car and Driver Abroad, Jethro Bovington drives that original car on a wide-open airport runway, speaks to Ruf about the car and its accomplishments, then takes its modern successor, the CTR 3, out of the gates for a 200-mph (322 km/h) blast on the Autobahn.
Click here to find the video. As well, Bovington mentions the legendary "Faszination at the Nürburgring" promo video for the Yellowbird, so we've included a clip of that, too. It features Ruf test driver Stefan Roser – wearing no helmet, no gloves and no driving suit – caning the original CTR while threading afternoon 'Ring traffic. It should not be missed.