Happy Friday! Here’s Some God Level Driving

James Walker Mar 15, 2019

Below you’ll find a video from 1987. In it, a very brave and very skilled man drives a Ruf CTR ‘Yellowbird’ around the Nurburgring. Actually that’s a bit of an understatement. What he really does is wrestle, bait, and hurl a car with 1980s levels of turbo lag around one of the world’s most fearsome racetracks. Before the video, the car.

Faster Than The F40

Ruf built the Yellowbird with the body shell from the 964 Carrera 3.2. By replacing panels and much of the car’s gizzards with lighter pieces they managed to slash 411 lbs off the car’s curb weight. The rain gutters were shaved off and a modified spoiler added in the quest for aerodynamic perfection. A roll cage was installed as were upgraded suspension and braking systems to (hopefully) keep everything under control.


Handling aside, the powertrain is where the Yellowbird really shone. Packing a highly tuned and twin-turbocharged version of the Carrera 3.2’s flat six it made 469 horsepower and 408 lb/ft of torque. Rumour has it the car actually made much more than that, and Ruf were deliberately underselling the performance figures to avoid scaring potential customers away.

Tranny Troubles

At the time there was no Porsche road car transmission that could handle that kind of grunt so Ruf built one themselves. The early prototypes were so powerful that they would spin their rims INSIDE the tires. That must be quite a nice problem to have as a manufacturer.

And So, The Video

The Yellowbird (and its massively talented driver) became the stars of one of the world’s first viral videos. In one of the best displays of driving skill you’re ever likely to see, Ruf test driver and superhuman Stefan Roser flings the CTR around the Nurburgring smoking the tires through every corner and overtaking motorcycles while going sideways. Without further ado, here it is: Ruf’s Faszination.

James Walker

James Walker is a freelance writer with a passion for four-wheeled things and twisty roads.

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