Alois Ruf started wrenching out of his father’s service station in 1960, and from Day One his passion was Porsches. In 1974, he took over the shop and stepped up his game. A year later, the first Ruf-tuned Porsche took to the Autobahn… it would not be the last. And the world of performance Porsches would never be the same.
In 1977, Ruf produced its first complete car; a 930 with a stroked 3.3-liter engine and a bunch of boost. Ruf became a supercar builder, not a tuner, who used Porsches as his preferred platform. His breakout creation was the CTR Yellowbird, the world’s fastest production car when it dropped in 1987.
So, there was a big buzz in the building when, on January 28th, word came down that Alois Ruf would be stopping by. Mr. Ruf was in town for one day, checking on a Ferrari motor build at nearby Alfa of Tacoma, and an impromptu visit to see the Griot’s Garage facilities and check out the Auto Display was arranged.
Naturally, Mr. Ruf gravitated toward the Porsches, showing a keen interest in a pristine, Royal Purple 1973 911. He seemed to appreciate the attention to detail of the car’s restoration, examining elements as intricate as glass trim, gauges, and of course engine tidiness.
He was also enamored with the 1978 930 Turbo project in the work area which will be turned into into a street-car tribute to the IROC racers of the late ’70s. Mr. Ruf seemed to appreciate how the car will run the turbo engine with a duck-tail spoiler, which will require custom engine mounts and other tricks to attain the nominal clearance to make it work. Traditionally, 930s require the larger whale tail to accommodate the turbo system’s intercooler.
“Mr. Griot’s taste and mine are very much alike, so many of his cars you will find in my own collection,” said Mr. Ruf, who smiled and continued, “Of course mine is a little more Porsche oriented. I am happy to see Griot doing so well. I have been following him starting 20 years ago.” It turns out when Richard took factory delivery of his 993 in 1996, he toured the German countryside, stopping by the Ruf facility and, apparently, made a lasting impression.
Speaking of impressions, Mr. Ruf made a lasting one with us. He was knowledgeable, engaging, and down-to-earth. It was a memorable (if somewhat surreal) experience for those of us who grew up with Yellowbird posters pinned to our walls.
Have fun in your garage!