Five years after Ruf wowed the world with its 1987, 211mph CTR, the tuner used the Porsche 964 to create this, the RCT. It wasn’t a direct follow-up to the record-breaking Yellowbird – that car’s posterboy rank was left unchallenged. Instead, it was a slightly watered-down take on Ruf’s insanity, although this still meant 370hp from a turbocharged flat-six, mated to an in-house six-speed gearbox. The CTR was based on the narrowbody 911 and, to the untrained eye, looked no different to your average 964. The same could never be said for the Yellowbird.
Anyway, as ever the devil was in the details. The RCT you see here was reportedly the firm's show car for 1993, based on a Carrera 2 that was sent from Chiswick Porsche to Ruf, where it was duly upgraded. That included fitment of a comprehensively re-engineered 3.6-litre flat-six with a single turbocharger and innovative features like an EKS electronic clutch system and Ruf’s six-cog transmission - when Porsche only offered up to five ratios in 911s at the time. The powerplant alone must've felt special.
Elsewhere Ruf uprated the chassis, brakes and bodywork, with tweaks to improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce lift. This sort of stuff had long been a priority for tuner, its engineers having repeatedly based their creations on Porsche’s narrower 911 platforms thanks to the reduced drag compared with widebody alternatives. With its niche customer base, Ruf could get away with removing rain guttering from the 964 body to aid aero – presumably because its owners weren’t the sort to leave their car parked outside all year round. The result was as aesthetically beautiful as it is technically impressive.
So popular was the RCT that Ruf still offers them to this day. Just 29 cars were originally produced, but several more have been built as re-engineered 964s. That makes the car here extra special, because it’s a genuine 1993 conversion and, barring a switch back to a manual clutch system, is in completely original form. That’s not come at the expense of use, either, because 60,000 miles on the odometer confirm this is one RCT that’s been enjoyed properly. Only 9k miles have passed since a full engine rebuild by specialist GT One (admittedly in 2000) and there’s lots of paperwork and history – so there’s nothing obvious to prevent the next custodian from keeping up the regular use with confidence.
It looks terrific, too. The front’s protected by stone chip guard, the dished wheels appear utterly spotless and the cabin looks as welcoming as the Park Lane hotel this car is parked outside of. Add in the relative celebrity status of this particular RCT (inevitably it has featured in car mags) and you have yourself a bonafide collectable. Or else a very special way to tour your tier. That much has been clear since Stefan Roser donned a pair of slip-on loafers 33 years ago.
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