Ruf first came to worldwide prominence when Auto Motor und Sport test driver Stefan Roser took a CTR Yellowbird around the Nurburgring in a pair of loafers and clouds of tyre smoke. These days onboard videos, sideways supercars and the Nordschleife are motoring media staples. Back in 1987, few people had heard of Ruf or this old race track in Germany but, as the internet grew, so Roser's sideways lap in the Ruf brought both to worldwide attention. Arguably this one video set the tone for which cars would be represented on film to this very day and both Ruf and the Nurburgring became the stuff of legend.
The other big moment for the brand was when Porsche decided not to let its cars feature in Gran Turismo. Big mistake. As I've written about many times in this column, this one title has influenced a generation of gamers and now drivers, myself included. Although its cars are based on recognisable Porsche models, Ruf is classed as a manufacturer in its own right. In a stroke of genius, it exploited the fact to let Gran Turismo use the likeness of its cars, thereby granting millions of gamers access to 'Porsche' shaped vehicles bearing the Ruf brand.
The other day I called in at Bradford tuning house A Kahn Design, a controversial but highly successful company with a thriving business customising Range Rovers, Defenders, G-Wagens and Jeeps for those with tastes best described as 'unapologetic'. Upstairs the Kahn Automobile showroom has an eclectic range of cars for sale, including this rather lovely Ruf. It's up for a quarter of a million pounds which, in the current climate of mental prices for rare 911s, doesn't seem completely ridiculous. It's also rather gorgeous.