My Car Quest

June 29, 2022

RUF Porsche Gathering at the 2022 Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals

Text and photos by Derek Meluzio –

It all starts at the top. When the boss sets the tone and is a good person, the trickledown effect takes over and it bleeds through to all the aspects of a company. Alois Ruf Jr. took over the company that his family started many years ago. He has set the tone for decades as to how they do business and how they treat their customers and fans.

RUF THR 993

RUF THR 993

If you have ever met Alois you know that despite being in charge of one of the most famous exotic car manufacturers in the world he is a very humble and down to earth person. He is known for taking time out of his day to talk with anyone and everyone. If you ask him about any RUF automobile he will tell you anything you want to know.

He is a true “carguy”. The members of his family are the same way. His wife Estonia, his son Marcel, and his daughters Aloisa and Nathalie are all as genuine and humble as Alois. They are all always willing to share their love of the RUF brand with anyone. The employees of RUF Automobile are also the same way. They are all motorheads and they all appreciate not only their customers but their fans. It is clear that they have an example set in front of them by the family and they followed it.

Last weekend a group of RUF owners and enthusiasts gathered at the 2022 Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals. If you are not familiar with the show, you should make yourself familiar with it. Over 1,800 cars crowded the Carlisle fairgrounds during the two days that included international vehicles, international food, and international car owners. The show field is divided up by country of origin. The Fiat Club hosts multiple Italian cars including Fiat, Abarth, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and more. The Rolls Royce club and the Mini club line up under the Union Jack flag on the show field. This year Japan was highlighted as Nissan loaned a brand new “Z” car to be displayed along with a heritage display of different Nissan Z cars from previous decades assembled by the promoters. It is truly one of the best events in the country for automotive variety.

RUF RTurbo

RUF RTurbo

We had a large tent set up in the Germany section located directly alongside our friends from the Central, Pennsylvania chapter of the Porsche Club of America. We had 7 total owners of genuine RUF vehicles or RUF modified Porsches come from all over. Some were from Pennsylvania, some New Jersey, New York, and even one as far away as North Carolina! A few owners trailered their cars straight to the show and met up with us there but a few met at my father’s garage each morning. After a brief tour of my dad’s collection, including Barbarossa the Porsche 901 prototype, we headed out together on a short driving tour to the show.

RUF RTurbo Conversion

RUF RTurbo Conversion

Some of us had met in person before but many of us only knew each other by email address or through social media. By the end of the two days that would change and we would all get to know each other really well. The display featured a brilliant RUF CTR3 Clubsport, a genuine RUF RTurbo, a factory RUF RTurbo conversion, a beast of a RUF THR (Turbo Huber RUF) 993, a factory RUF modified Porsche 996 Turbo, a heavily RUF modified Porsche 993, and even a Porsche 968 with RUF wheels. Everyone hit it off right away. Any ego was checked at the door and it was pretty much a bunch of RUF lovers and “Carguys” sharing stories and drinking German beer for two straight days.

RUF CTR3 Clubsport

RUF CTR3 Clubsport

RUF vehicles are so special and so custom that there are literally almost no two that are exactly alike. One RTurbo there was a true “W09 vin’ed” RUF, one was a genuine factory conversion completed in Pfaffenhausen, and one was a modified 996 Turbo. Some had parts the others didn’t have and vice versa. The yellow genuine RTurbo was a true unicorn. The car had panels on it and fenders that you won’t see on any Porsche and the color just screamed like it wanted to be driven at the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

CTR3 Engine Bay

CTR3 Engine Bay

The black RTurbo conversion looked like the perfect daily driver for Batman as it was a stealthy flat black with yellow accents. The silver RTurbo modified Porsche 996 is actually the very car that is featured on the RufAutomobiles.com website under the “Modifications” tab. It started life as a stock OEM Porsche and with the help of RUF it has been heavily modified with some RUF “show” and some RUF “go”.

The dark green Porsche 968 equipped with RUF wheels and Porsche GT3 seats was a rare example of a RUF oriented transaxle Porsche. The 993 RUF THR sounded as good as it looked and maybe smelled even better! It ran on race fuel and the owner fired it up on multiple occasions to the delight of the crowd. The vehicle has a really interesting racing history in Japan. Another 993 based car that was there was really well balanced and had a beautiful stance with the RUF wheels and front and rear RUF bumpers along with multiple performance modifications.

Porsche 968, RUF modified 993, RUF modified 996 turbo

Porsche 968, RUF modified 993, RUF modified 996 Turbo

The most talked about and photographed RUF in the display was the silver CTR3 Clubsport. This car is rolling automotive artwork. For those that don’t know, the RUF CTR3 is a ground up designed and built RUF supercar that is made to resemble a street legal Le Mans racer.

Perhaps what was even more impressive than the cars that had been gathered was the group of owners. All such nice people with a common bond…their love for RUF and Porsche. When the weekend ended everyone headed their separate ways but instead of just being internet acquaintances they were all good friends.

It really is amazing how not only is the chairman of this exotic Bavarian car company a down to earth and easy to get along with person, but so are his family members, so are his employees, and so are his customers. Being Mr. RUF, being a RUF owner, or being a RUF enthusiast…they are all part of an amazing car culture that was created years ago, continues today, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

THE AUTHOR: Derek Meluzio grew up in a car loving family in Central, PA. He still lives there with his wife, daughter, and car loving sons. Derek is an amateur autocrosser who attends track events, Concours/shows, and Cars and Coffee events all over. He has an appreciation for all cars but especially anything Porsche.

RUF Porsche

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RUF Porsche Gathering at the 2022 Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals
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RUF Porsche Gathering at the 2022 Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals
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Recently a group of RUF Porsche owners and enthusiasts gathered at the 2022 Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals.
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