When A Turbo Carrera Isn’t Fast Enough, RUF Has You Covered
Most enthusiasts are familiar with RUF thanks to the infamous CTR Yellow Bird—Gran Turismo 2, anyone? In 1939, Alois Ruf Sr. opened up a small petrol and service repair station in Pfaffenhausen, Germany called Auto Ruf. The founder’s son, Alois Ruf Jr., naturally became obsessed with automobiles after growing up around his father’s repair station. By the late 1970s, Ruf Jr. began tinkering with Porsche’s deadliest weapon, the 930 Turbo, by cranking up the snail-fed flat-six with more boost—the rest, as they say, is history.
As you might expect, buying a new RUF 911 isn’t cheap—but there’s another way to get the RUF tuned treatment. RUF offers aftermarket support to Porsche owners who feel their sportscars aren’t ludicrously fast enough. The degree of these RUF modifications is up to the owner, enabling ‘sleeper’ builds to complete RUF conversions both aesthetically and mechanically—and everything in between.
The car offered here is a tasty blend of the original Stuttgart recipe with some RUF spices to liven things up—nothing too visually loud or mechanically extreme for public road enjoyment. Balance is key in a street car.
The 930 Turbo is, to many, the very best 911 design. It’s elegant while aggressive with functionality and usability harmoniously packaged—the ultimate 911 for real world excursions. This 1987 Porsche 930 Turbo retains most of its Porsche factory looks with restrained RUF modifications. For instance, the accordion impact bumpers and “Whale Tail” wing are still present, but the Fuchs have been swapped out for lighter and wider RUF alloy wheels.
If you’re a Porschephile, you’re quick to notice the grated quarter panel side brake ducts normally found on the Flachbau, or Slantnose, 935 inspired Turbo. Yet, most unsuspecting blood bags wouldn’t notice these functional additions.
Finished in L980 Silver Metallic Silver metallic over Lobster red leather with a lightly tinted greenhouse, the colors add a classic but original combination that doesn’t shout, “I’m packing 450 horsepower.” The only real tell this 930 might be packing a little extra oomph is the large single exit exhaust—which bellows a thundering note at WOT.
This car began life as a standard Porsche 930 Turbo. The silver finish beautifully contrasts with the black body trim while the inviting vibrant red and black two-tone leather cabin offers a warm welcome. The first owner held onto the car for 12 years until handing over the helm to John Cupelli in 1999. According to records, it was John (the second owner) who decided this 930 needed more power.
The car was handed over to Montclair, New Jersey based garage Exclusive Motorcars—the original licensed RUF liaison in North America. The accompanying history file catalogues more than $50,000 was spent on bringing the car up to RUF specifications. The 3.3-liter flat-six was punched out to 3.4 with a twin-plug setup and stuffed with Carrillo connecting rods, RUF pistons, RUF cams, larger intercooler and turbocharger, custom exhaust manifolds, and tune.
935 style side ducts were cut into the quarter panels for extra brake cooling and more aggressive offset RUF wheels were added for lightness and additional grip. The interior remains unrestored and original with the exception of the RUF adjustable boost knob—which the current owner notes shouldn’t be maximized carelessly.
The car was at least partially resprayed, if not entirely repainted, to accommodate the added vents but was done so with great care and the results are impeccable. Though the reasoning is vague, paperwork shows just a few years after the RUF treatment, the car spent some time at of Blauvelt, New York. This service expenditure totaled an additional $25,000-plus in work. It goes without saying this car is the product of unwavering passion and commitment to mechanical upkeep.
Repainted in factory original metallic silver
RUF 935 style quarter panel brake ducts
Minor stone chips on front bumper
Small scuffs on rear quarter panels near exhaust
All original “Lobster” red leather interior in great condition
Fully functional instrumentation and RUF boost adjuster
Factory power Sport bucket seats
Seat covers show minor creasing but remain rip/tear free
Leather dash cover has minor shrinkage
Full RUF 3.4-liter engine build producing ~450 horsepower
Starts, idles, shifts, and runs without issue
Very, very fast
Brake rotors and pads will soon need replacing
As previously mentioned, this car was converted to RUF specs meaning many of the original mechanical equipment have been replaced and upgraded. The car has never been restored but, instead, sympathetically maintained throughout its life. The body wears at least a partial respray but was likely completely repainted back to the original silver finish—the seller isn’t 100% sure. Although the paintwork is an older application, the car has great shine with only minor imperfections incurred from logging wheel time.
The engine and transmission are numbers matching original units but the block has been bored out from 3.3 to 3.4 liters and built to handle much more power than its stock configuration—400 to 450 horsepower depending on your bravery with the RUF adjustment knob. The suspension has been refreshed with OE and RUF components and is one of the driving highlights of the car—the owner compliments the compliant but subtle ride, set up for spirited street use without jarring rebound.
Included in the sale is the original spare, complete factory tool kit, owner’s manual and booklets, Porsche and RUF Certificates of Authenticity, routine service records dating back to new, and extensive invoices detailing the Exclusive Motorcars RUF conversion and DeMan Motorsport refreshening.
1987 – 1999 | Unknown
1999 – 2013 | John Cupelli
2013 – 2016 | Anthony Placzek
This is an enthusiast’s car: modified by one of the industry’s best Porsche tune marques and spiritedly enjoyed by its owners. This isn’t a show queen. This 30-year-old sportscar is not without flaws, but that’s not to say it hasn’t been cherished. There are paint chips on the fascia and frunk lid and the RUF wheels are showing their age, but the body is free of rust with good rubber seals, glass, lighting equipment, and gaskets. The interior is original with good carpeting, fully operational gauges, and clean overall presentation with only minor seat cover bolster wear and slight shrinkage to the leather dash top.
The mechanics of the car, however, were built to make silly power with reliability and longevity in mind. The car is fast. It is a hot rod 930—a car that, in stock trim, is unforgiving to those who don’t respect its capabilities. Yet, it manages to soak up bumps and cruise down the highway without tramlining uncontrollably. It is powerful, it is beautiful, but it can be enjoyed without worry. If you’ve dreamt of converting a 911 to RUF standards, this 1987 Porsche 930 Turbo could save you serious coin—someone else already picked up that tab.