RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sale Preview
1989 RUF CTR “Yellow Bird”

Knotty Nawadhinsukh Words by Knotty Nawadhinsukh
Signature roll cage is necessary as the "Yellowbird" is pretty much a track car after all

As many ardent Porsche 911 enthusiasts for the last 30 years would know, the folklore attached to the RUF Group C Turbo Ruf or CTR “Yellow Bird” may have helped with the estimated price that RM Sotheby’s had given for this black example, which is slated among the many Porsches that will be auctioned at their Monterey sale near the end of this August. Its scintillating overall performance and incredible 211 miles-per-hour recorded top speed against those under the supercars category at the time, namely the Ferrari Testarossa, the 288 GTO and the Lamborghini Countach in Road & Track’s 1987 “World’s Fastest Cars” feature were well-documented and legendary.

They say the twin-turbocharged, twin-intercoolered and uprated 3.4L Flat-Six makes a chirping sound through the blow off valve. But really the nickname came from the yellow example that blasted everybody else in an '87 Road & Track feature on "World's Fastest Cars"

The tenth of only 29 CTRs originally built with the chassis direct from the Porsche factory here has all the major RUF-tuned features of a late 1980’s Porsche 911 Carrera. These included twin-turbocharging the stock 3.2 Litre air-cooled Flat-Six (and uprating it to 3.4), lightening the car further to just a shade over a ton by replacing the main body parts with those made from alumimium, adding a roll bar to increase body stiffness and safety and modifying the five-speed gearbox, brakes and suspension. In addition to these, there were revisions in the aerodynamics and inlets, as well as a more flared rear to accommodate the wider tires.

“Yellow Is The New Black…”—This RUF CTR was ordered in black using highly desirable original chassis straight from Stuttgart and still in unrestored original condition

Why this particular “Yellowbird” is regarded as outstanding could be also because of its original condition. From the day it was completed for a German customer back in 1989 up to the present time, it has been driven for more than 52,000 kilometers without the need of restoration or major repairs.

Porsche 935-esque wing mirrors were a part of making the CTR slippier. Weight saving alloy panels and fiberglass bumpers made the car over 400lbs. lighter than standard Carreras

An opportunity to acquire a  200-plus mph RUF CTR “Yellowbird” that has been able to retain its originality and was not the one made from the customers’ own donor 911s would be a quite mouthwatering prospect indeed.

(Estimate: US$1,000,000 – $1,200,000)

It took only a world-beating track test for a magazine and one stonking lap around the Nurburgring to create a legend. Slightly wider rear wheel arches and RUF Speedline wheels were "the business"

All Photos Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s