Porsche RUF BTR

Porsche RUF BTR

Coupé, 1987


  • VIN: WP0JB0939HS051217
  • Engine No. BTR34037
  • Guards Red on Black

The name of Alois Ruf is worshipped among Porsche cognoscenti; what was once a small tuning shop in Pfaffenhausen is now a recognized automobile manufacturer in its own right. Over the past four decades these much-sought-after machines have proven themselves able to out-perform the best supercars in the world. Indeed, RUF first stunned the automotive community in 1987 when it’s astonishing narrow-body turbocharged “Yellow Bird” overwhelmed Road and Track magazine’s first top-speed shootout by turning laps of more than 210 mph on Volkswagen’s 15.5-mile Ehra-Lessien research oval, almost 10 miles an hour faster than any other challenger. RUF would eventually construct a small number of BTR ‘Group B Turbo RUF’ for well-heeled customers on un-numbered bodies-in-white, sourced directly from Porsche, perhaps no more than 30. For others who sought a BTR, there remained another path. Purchase either a new or used Porsche 930 Turbo and deliver it to RUF for conversion.

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The vehicle in detail

This striking RUF BTR began life as a new, heavily-optioned 1987 Porsche 930 ordered by Illinois resident Charles Latimer for Tourist Delivery in Stuttgart. The purchase agreement shows that this new Guards Red over full Black leather Turbo would be delivered with such standard equipment as a sunroof, air conditioning, limited-slip differential, a raised-hub steering wheel, heated and electrically-adjustable sport seats, tinted glass, a rear wiper, a black headliner, a distinctive rubber-edged “Whale-tail”, and much more. Including taxes and fees, the total invoice came to just over $64,000. Upon completion in May of 1987, the coupe was driven to Pfaffenhausen where RUF converted it largely to BTR specification.

An included invoice from RUF Automobiles itemizes the work, which included an upgrade of the turbocharged and intercooled engine to 3.4 liters. Output was increased to 374 horsepower and 354 foot-pounds of torque via a larger turbo and intercooler, twin-plug ignition, and a four-pipe exhaust system. The engine bears the RUF stamping number BTR34037. A RUF-built five-speed manual replaced Porsche’s standard four-speed. Recaro leather sport seats and a RUF-embossed leather steering wheel were also installed. RUF fitted a new front fascia with an additional oil cooler, a louvered rear fascia, an oil temperature gauge, and bespoke 17-inch-diameter five-spoke alloy wheels, 9 inches wide in front and 10 inches wide in the rear. This BTR conversion also featured a lowered and upgraded suspension. New boxed-rockers and rear-quarter grills similar to those in Porsche’s own Slantnose package were fitted. Finally, a K40 laser radar detection system was installed. Mr. Latimer paid an additional DM 66,422 for the conversion work.

Mr. Latimer recalls that after he picked up the car he and his wife drove it in Europe for a while with their Touring Pass, then shipped it home. He enjoyed it for about ten years, regretfully selling it when his son was approaching driving age. He engaged Alex Poppi at St. Charles Motorsports in St. Charles, Illinois to find a buyer. The car soon changed hands and eventually the Turbo made its way to a dealer in Memphis, Tennessee. Collector, restorer, and longtime Porsche Club of America member John Hirt purchased it and after a few years sold it to another enthusiast. Having missed it dearly, he bought it back in the early 2000s. It has been driven sparingly since. The consignor states that the engine was rebuilt during his second ownership by Pat Williams Motorsports in Memphis. This RUF is supplied with its original Blaupunkt Reno SQR 46 stereo and incredible early documentation. The odometer currently reads 37,472 miles, which the consignor believes is correct. RUFs of any sort rarely come to market; here is an opportunity for the Porsche enthusiast seeking a taste of the best.

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Year of construction: 1987
Model: RUF BTR
Body: Coupé
Series: RUF
Power: 374 HP
Cylinder capacity: 3,4 Liter
Steering: left
Transmission: Manual
Drive: Rear drive
Fuel: Gasoline
Configuration: Sun roof
Interior color: Black
Interior material: Leather
Exterior color: Red
Manufacturer color code (exterior): Indischrot/Guards LM3A
New / used: Used car
Ready to drive: yes

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