RUF: his­tory and con­cept

Total 911 - - The Legend Of Ruf -

Alois Ruf’s fa­ther, Alois se­nior, set up his busi­ness in 1939. A tal­ented, in­no­va­tive en­gi­neer, the com­pany’s work with Porsches came about by ac­ci­dent – lit­er­ally. Passed on a road by a 356, it crashed, and Ruf of­fered to re­pair the car. The com­pany quickly gained a rep­u­ta­tion for re­pair­ing Porsches, though it wasn’t un­til Alois se­nior’s pass­ing in 1974 that saw the firm ded­i­cate its busi­ness wholly to en­hanc­ing Porsche’s prod­ucts.

The early years saw RUF work on the Turbo, giving it a 3.3-litre en­gine, the SCR be­ing RUF’S take on the SC, giving it per­for­mance close to that of Porsche’s stan­dard 911 Turbo. In 1981 RUF was given man­u­fac­turer sta­tus, al­low­ing it to add its own VIN codes to its ve­hi­cles, it tak­ing body-in-white shells from Porsche to cre­ate its own mod­els. The most fa­mous re­mains the CTR, the twin-turbo Yel­low Bird that set records and ex­ploded the RUF name onto the global au­to­mo­tive con­scious­ness. Its 469hp was thought to be con­ser­va­tive. Porsche was said to have been fas­ci­nated by it, send­ing en­gi­neers to a later 1988 Nardo high-speed test to mon­i­tor the cylin­der head tem­per­a­tures.

RUF’S scale seems to be its sanc­tu­ary: it’ll never build enough cars to be any con­cern to Porsche it­self, so largely the op­er­a­tion is left to its own de­vices. It’s a pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship. RUF isn’t alone though: Alpina has a sim­i­lar sce­nario with BMW, Brabus with Mercedes-benz, the de­gree of en­gi­neer­ing changes suf­fi­cient that they too are given man­u­fac­turer sta­tus. Porsche ben­e­fit from sell­ing RUF parts, and RUF op­er­ate in a sphere that’s dif­fer­ent to Porsche’s usual cus­tomers, while cre­at­ing prod­ucts that are dif­fer­ent from its own.

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