RUF Turns 80 Years Old - A Historic Highlight Film
If you happen to be over the age of five, chances are you're already at least remotely aware of RUF. Like most, I remember admiring RUF and their achievements from the pages of auto magazines growing up. But truthfully, I wasn't innately aware of how the company even got its start or much more than how influential that first 211mph RUF CTR (a.k.a Yellow Bird) really was to put this humble German tuner from Pfaffenhausen on the map.
The original RUF CTR "Yellowbird" at Road & Track's Top Speed Run
Actually after watching it, it's a bit unfair to classify RUF as simply a "tuner". Watching the mini movie made me realize just how thorough they are in both building their iconic CTR line and carrying out meticulous restoration and manufacturing. But their mission is something true to my heart—as cars continue to become less "connected" to the driver, there exists a minority of people who crave an injection of soul into cars. I think there's often a sweet spot for car enthusiasts—a brand, or even a particular chassis, imprints on us all and RUF has been able to identify those sweet spots for generations of Porsche fans.
RUF CTR (The New One) - Image courtesy of Robb Report
In doing so, they've been able to create "it"—that intangible feeling of connection, passion, and soul into a machine built of metal—albeit with human hands. Surely it's the sum of those human-made parts that make the experience a special one: the vibrations, sounds, the unhinged and unbridled acceleration.
In a strange way, it's a fitting time to celebrate a company like RUF. Amidst COVID-19, we're forced to examine the things that really matter to us and many of the conversations I've had strip our desires down to three things: human connection, following your passion, and a fruitful life experience. All of these things have been cornerstones of RUF's car-making philosophy and have helped make them a lasting figure in car culture today.