Blue Wonder

As a teenager, Alois Ruf sees an early predecessor of the Porsche 911 on the autobahn, which ultimately ignites a lifelong passion. And what sounds like fiction is, in fact, actually true: around 50 years later, he discovers the car in Enamel Blue in his own garage.

Blue Wonder

In April 1964, a young Alois Ruf catches a glimpse of his future on the autobahn A 8 near Günzburg in Bavaria, halfway between Munich and Stuttgart. Riding in an Opel Rekord with his father, 14-year-old Alois is gazing out the rain-streaked window when a blue car suddenly appears and speeds past in a cloud of grey mist, the sound of the tires drowned out by a brief, but mighty, roar. Alois, a car enthusiast and subscriber to the hobby technology magazine, knows at once that it must have been the new Porsche 2000 – that’s what the magazine called the prototype from Zuffenhausen. Though mere fractions of a second, they mark the beginning of a deep passion that exists to this day.

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His first Porsche:
Alois Ruf is given the sixth 901 ever built for his 19th birthday, without knowing anything about its eventful history. Nearly 55 years later, he still owns the car that goes by the nickname Quick Blue.

“We were impressed,” says Alois Ruf, director of the Porsche service center in Pfaffenhausen, recalling the encounter on the autobahn. “Now I know it was the first Porsche of that kind I had ever seen. Or heard. Crazy!”

Even before this moment on the A 8, the Ruf family as a whole is fascinated by the Porsche brand. The youth’s passion for the Zuffenhausen models is ignited when his father, a qualified mechanic with his own repair shop, brings home the first Porsche 356.

Quite a few 356 models ultimately pass through Ruf Senior’s workshop. But then in fall 1963, Porsche introduces an exciting, new model that appears more and more frequently at the workshop in the years following the first encounter with the blue sports car: the 901, from spring 1964 in series production and in fall of the same year sold for the first time. Due to possible legal issues, however, the type is renamed – instead of 901, from that point onward it is named 911.

In 1969, on the occasion of his 19th birthday, Alois Ruf Senior gives his son a used Porsche with minor damage from an accident. “So I’d have something to work on and drive once I had my driver’s license,” says Alois Ruf. “But because the previous owner had held on to the six-cylinder engine, we installed the four-cylinder of a 912 instead. My father thought that was more than enough power for me.” In the years to come, his first very own sports car provides the ideal opportunity for Ruf to get better acquainted with the 911, which has since become a classic, and to transform it visually into a 911 S. With newer models vying for his attention, the car is parked off to the side in the garage after many kilometers covered on Bavarian roads and over time evolves into a classic car. With Ruf fully focused on developing his own company, many years pass and he postpones the long-planned restoration of his old 911, nearly missing out on a sensation.