1997 Ruf Porsche CTR2 Sport Prototype At Bonhams Grand Palais Sale
- February 7, 2019
- Posted by Marc Enger
Runner-up at the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb’s Open Class in 1997, the stunning Ruf Porsche CTR2 offered here is the 11th of this most exclusive series of supercars and the first Sport model built. From tuner and modifier of Porsches, Alois Ruf graduated into automobile manufacturer, being awarded that status in 1981 by the German Automobile Manufacturers Association.
The first group of Ruf-designated cars – numbered BTR1, BTR2, and BTR3 – was constructed in the 1980s. Ruf’s favoured Porsche 911 was the basis for the trio. The BTR’s engine was based on the 3.3-litre Turbo’s but displaced 3.4 litres and was fed via a Ruf inter-cooler by an oversize KKK turbocharger. The resulting 369 horsepower was transmitted to the road via a Ruf five-speed gearbox, while the suspension and brakes were of Ruf design also. Finished cars could be purchased either directly from the Ruf factory, or customers could have their own cars converted.
Ruf’s concept of a super-tuned and upgraded Porsche 911 progressed via the CTR and CTR2, the latter based on the Type 993 model introduced for 1995. Testing one of the first CTRs, Road & Track magazine nicknamed it ‘Yellowbird’ on account of its striking bright yellow livery, and the name stuck. With a top speed of around 213mph (343km/h), the original CTR held the title of world’s fastest production vehicle for many years.
The successor CTR2 was based on the Type 993 Porsche 911 Turbo, its 3.6-litre engine tuned by Ruf to produce 520bhp and 505ft/lb of torque, while later versions came with 580 horsepower on tap. Other enhancements included Ruf’s own suspension system, bigger brakes, Kevlar body panels, lightweight glass, integral roll cage, redesigned rear wing, and Recaro racing seats with Simpson five-point safety belts. With a recorded top speed of 217mph, the CTR2 was, just like its predecessor, the world’s fastest production vehicle at the time of its introduction. Two-wheel and four-wheel drive versions were available.
The car offered here is one of two special wide-body CTR2 Sport prototypes entered in the 1997 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The two cars were built by Ruf to conform to both FIA and Pikes Peak regulations, and despite being tuned to produce 702bhp – the most powerful CTR2 engine ever built – were road registered and street legal, unlike most of the opposition. The Sport’s Ruf-tuned engine has a very linear torque curve peaking at a relatively low 5,000rpm, just what was needed for a hill climb that placed a premium on acceleration out of slow bends. Also of note is the multi-function rear spoiler, which not only increases downforce but also directs airflow to the twin side-mounted air-to-air inter-coolers. This main rear wing is much higher than the standard model and augments the adjustable bi-wing for enhanced downforce and aerodynamic balance. Other noteworthy features include a Ruf six-speed manual transmission (this car is two-wheel drive), lightweight carbon fibre doors, and a 100-litre fuel cell.
In a demonstration of the Ruf CTR2 Sport’s exceptional flexibility, the two prototypes were driven to and from the Pikes Peak course by brothers Steve and David Beddor. Underlining the Sport’s supreme versatility, Steve Beddor finished 2nd in the event’s Open Class while his brother David (in the second Ruf) finished a close 4th in class. Steve Beddor’s Ruf CTR2 Sport prototype would go on to win the Virginia City Hill Climb three times (1999-2001) while racking up numerous other 1st place finishes in circuit races and other events, making it arguably one of the most important ‘non-Zuffenhausen’ Porsche competition cars of the 1990s. The statistics below say it all.
1st place finishes: 22 (41%)
2nd place finishes: 13 (24%)
3rd place finishes: 6 (11%)
Total Podiums: 41 (76%)
The current owner bought this CTR2 Sport prototype from its owner Steve Beddor (via Ruf). Since then the engine has been completely overhauled by Ruf (9,000km ago) and fitted with a water injection system (to counteract detonation) as fitted to the Porsche GT2 RS competition cars. In addition, the shock absorbers have been overhauled by their maker, Öhlins, at the Nürburgring. To make the car legal for road use in Germany, the exhaust system incorporates an extra silencer and the engine now produces a maximum of around 600PS (591.5bhp) on pump fuel (in race trim a special competition-grade fuel was used).
The impressively comprehensive history file contains Steve Beddor’s Club Racing Vehicle Logbook listing all events entered and all race results. Additional documentation includes the following:
Ruf paperwork for this actual car including the Sport engine power curve
Detailed records of Ruf maintenance 2001-2007
Ruf CTR2 Sport specifications
Original photographs of this car being built (plus diagrams)
Archive photos of the car in action
Press cuttings featuring the car
Numerous test reports
Representing a wonderful opportunity for the Porsche enthusiast, this unique car retains its original State of Minnesota license plate and also comes with a German Fahrzeugbrief making it road registered in Germany. It should be noted that the German registration document quotes a maximum output of 382kW (519PS or 512.2bhp).
Estimate: € 1,300,000 – 1,600,000 – Find out more
Report by bonhams.com