Ruf started because of a crashed Porsche 356
Ruf is probably most famous for its original CTR “Yellow Bird” unveiled in 1987, but the company’s roots go back further, much further.
Ruf was founded by Alois Ruf, Sr. in 1939, originally as an auto repair center located in the German town of Pfaffenhausen, a short drive out from Munich. The company later designed its own tourist bus, and it was while driving one of these that Ruf, Sr. saw a Porsche 356 lose control and run off the road.
After seeing that the driver received the medical attention he needed, Ruf, Sr. then offered to restore the 356. Ruf, Sr. eventually ended up with the restored 356 and during a drive with the car in Munich one Sunday, with his son Alois Ruf, Jr. in the passenger seat, someone ran up and offered to buy the car on the spot. The mystery buyer paid generously, and in cash.
2017 Ruf CTR, 2017 Geneva auto show
Today, Ruf, Jr. is running the company which not only modifies Porsches but build its own cars from scratch. The latest is the retro-fantastic fourth-generation CTR that debuted at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show. It’s been styled to resemble the original CTR of the ’80s but features a bespoke carbon fiber monocoque, a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 tuned to deliver 700 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque, and a 6-speed manual transmission.
Ruf has just released a 30-minute documentary detailing its history, as told by Ruf, Jr. and his wife Estonia, fellow Ruf employees, and a few guest speakers. The list includes car designer Freeman Thomas, Porsche modifier Rod Emory, “Gran Turismo” video game producer Kazunori Yamauchi, and Ruf collector Bruce Meyer.
“Over the years, the story of Ruf has become marked by key moments in our history,” said Ruf, Jr. “This film pulls back the curtain. We want to share with the world that it has taken the work of hundreds and the passion of many more to get us where we are today.”