RUF CTR FOR SALE
More Mintbird than Yellowbird
An ultra-rare example of RUF'S most famous creation, the original CTR and also known as the Yellowbird thanks to the distinctive yellow coachwork of some examples, is up for sale. One of just 25 made, it's being offered by RM Sotheby's at their Paris sale on the 7th of February.
Though the CTR is rare, its vital statistics are well known. The engine is a bored out, twin-turbocharged version of Porsche's 3.2 Carrera lump. Courtesy of the fuelling and ignition system lifted straight from the Group C 962 racer, output was rated at 469bhp, an outrageous figure for a 1980s car. Drive was initially channelled through a five-speed gearbox designed in-house with customised ratios. A six-speed option was later made available.
All that power pushes a radically modified G model 3.2 Carrera body. The standard car's steel doors, bonnet and engine cover were replaced with aluminium, reducing curb weight by a massive 200kg overall. The car's rain gutters were also shaved to reduce drag, while glassfibre front and rear bumpers were fitted and the rear arches widened slightly to absorb the tasty Speedline wheels. Optional Clubsport models also received aluminium wings and a full aluminium roll cage.
The result, even by today's lofty standards, was spectacular. In 1987, Phil Hill clocked an incredible and record-breaking top speed of 211mph for Road & Track magazine, a vmax that would stand for over a decade. The CTR likewise went on to hold an unofficial lap record at the Nürburgring-nordschleife for several years. The CTR was also, of course, the subject matter of the infamous Faszination at the Nürburgring video in which a certain tassel-footed Stefan Roser did unspeakble things behind the wheel.
This particular not-so-yellow 'bird began life as as a Guards Red 3.2 Carrera. The car’s original German owner drove it some 40,000km before delivering it to RUF for conversion to CTR specifications. It retains its original Clubsport features, including the full suite of aforementioned weight-saving components. After being converted at Pfaffenhausen in 1991, it remained in Europe until being exported to Japan in 1993, where it spent most of its life, accruing an impressive 197,000km.
In 2015, it was re-imported into Europe and delivered to RUF in Pfaffenhausen for a gearbox overhaul and subsequently a complete health check at a Norwegian air-cooled Porsche specialist, where the twin K26 turbochargers were overhauled.
RM Sotheby's has placed a sale estimate of €275,000 to €325,000 on the Mintbird. But it's offered without reserve, so you might just get a bargain.
Find out more from rmsothebys.com.
Offered for auction with no reserve by RM Sotheby’s at their Paris sale in Feb, this Ruf CTR is unlikely to be much of a bargain, though