Monterey Car Week 2015 – RUF Registry Porsche picks

Since this was such a popular post last year, I’m going to do one this year. Many of us are choosing to forego Monterey Car Week for Porsche Rennsport Reunion this year, but it’s not like Monterey is going to be any less significant or have any shortage of awesome cars passing through its auctions.

You guys liked last year’s picks, especially the Daytona-winning Kremer 962. This year, there are quite a few tuned Porsches including more RUFs and RUF conversions as well. My personal opinion is that since the Porsche market is basically on fire, everything factory-stock is top-of-mind and has sort of gotten into a rhythm as far as prices rising, but the tuner cars are now just being “discovered” by the auctions and there are opportunities to be had for both buyers and sellers. Furthermore, the price trackers on Hagerty and other sites do not clearly delineate the tuner stuff from the stock, with RUF and especially RUF-VIN cars being a prime example of something that can throw the numbers off if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Many think that there should be a discount from a 100% bone stock car given identical mileage and spec, but this isn’t necessarily the case and there are divergent opinions on whether for instance a Porsche 930 Turbo factory slantnose cabriolet is worth more or less money than a RUF BTR factory slantnose cabriolet and then depending on what your opinion is on that, where does a Porsche 930 Turbo slantnose cabriolet WITH RUF BTR conversion fall? And then there’s the whole slantnose vs. standard fender debate and on and on. I digress, let’s get to the cars!

Mecum Monterey 2015: Mecum has definitely jumped in the deep-end when it comes to offering tuner Porsches. They’ve got a few cars running through every day and a very special CTR2 on Saturday. Auction coverage will be broadcast on NBCSN, and I always love filling up the DVR with their auctions and then spending the following week going through it a couple hours a day after work. The broadcast team is definitely more well-versed in the muscle car stuff and often get the details horribly wrong on the Porsches, or try to annunciate everything they say and end up sounding totally clueless, but it’s still fun to watch and the coverage is pretty good on the nicer cars.

1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S RUF CTR2: This car has evaded me for quite some time now. I don’t know the full history on it, but it spent some time in Puerto Rico, has been in the states for a while and there are also some fairly recent photos from a few years back of the car getting serviced at the factory. To my knowledge, this is the only CTR2 to feature a unique, 911 Turbo S rear spoiler instead of the standard RUF unit. As such, the intercooler placement is also different. The standard CTR2 has intercoolers that are at a fairly acute angle to the ground and get fed by the mail slot vent at the leading edge of the rear wing, the configuration on this car more closely resembles the original 911 Carrera 3.2-based CTR with the intercoolers standing perpendicular to the ground. This car also does not have the unique RUF airbox either, opting to go with a standard Porsche airbox that has had the cover cut open. The original piece just has a small snorkel that connects to a hole in the intercooler frame to pull air from the grille on the wing. On the interior, it’s tough to spot, but it looks like this car may have the EKS clutchless shifting installed. It is not mentioned in the description, but the one photo showing the period airbag steering wheel also reveals that there may only be a gas and brake pedal. The next picture in line is a nice shot of the cabin and you can clearly see the passenger floorboard, but the driver’s side has a dark shadow over it. Finally, the auction description shows a Porsche VIN, not a RUF VIN which starts with “W09″. The estimate is $325,000 to $350,000 with no mention of mileage. It will be interesting to see where this sells in relation to what a similar-mileage Porsche 993 Turbo S is worth. Obviously taking this back to stock, even if restored to a high level, would probably never bring the same kind of money as an untouched car, but if bidding stalls out low enough it begs the question: Is it worth more as a RUF or a Porsche?

1985 Porsche RUF 935 Widebody: I’m trying to reconcile the poor description with the photos. I think the auction description here is either taking a lot of liberties or written by someone who’s unfamiliar with Porsches. This seems like a relatively early, low miles, well-kept BTR conversion, but it’s not equipped with a RUF intercooler. The DP front spoiler with oil cooler was a typical RUF add-on in period, so that’s correct. The interior has the “dial-a-death” boot knob just under the ashtray and appears to have a boost gauge with tell-tale, although there isn’t a close enough photo showing the gauges to be RUF or just the standard Porsche. In conclusion, this appears to be a pretty well-kept car with some odd details that are either wrong in the description or missing on the car. Could be an opportunity for someone to get a good deal. $150,000 to $200,000 estimate feels like all the money in the world for a stock, very well-represented later car with the same kind of mileage, let alone a RUF BTR.

1986 Kremer 935 K2: What?! A Kremer on the RUF Registry? Amir, have you lost your mind? Well, yeah…maybe a little bit. Actually, like I said before, the Kremer 962 from last year was one of the most popular cars, so when I saw this, I knew I had to include it. I’m still digging up some more history on Kremer and other tuners like Gemballa and DP. Kremer of course had the racing history and involvement to fall back on. They did a lot of the aero development on the 935 racecars and I personally believe are a big part of the 935′s prolonged history as a winning sports racer and endurance champion. The other red Kremer 935 and the gulf blue and orange DP car are cool, but neither of those really struck me the way this car did. I can’t speak to the mechanical details, but would say that 462hp from some cams and an intercooler seems a little risky to me and perhaps a little ambitious. The condition of the car appears to reflect the advertised mileage and it’s the other touches that really bring out the awesome in the car. The best part of this car has got to be the exterior, the BBS wheel fans finished in a bright contrasting white to the cars red paint and the testarossa-style strakes in the side really exude that cool ’80s vibe. The upholstered rollbar with PORSCHE KREMER branded seatbelts inside and polished fullbay intercooler in the engine compartment are nice finishing touches on a wild car. The only thing I’d be weary of is a lot of these cars ended up having issues with the composite panels forming cracks where they are bonded to the original metal Porsche body parts. I’m not sure how or where to look, but given the low miles and the fact that it’s been kept inside at a steady temperature, I don’t think it’ll be an issue with this car. The description says “Call for Estimate.” I’d be curious what kind of numbers they are hoping for, if anyone has inquired, please reach out

1988 Porsche 930 Turbo Slantnose Targa: Talk about rare. People who don’t know much about Porsches always ask me how many Slantnoses they made or how many Turbo Targas they made. The best answer to all these questions is always “However many they had demand for and people were willing to pay for.” It was a different time in the ’80s. If you had money you could pretty much have Porsche build you whatever configuration of car you liked based on current offerings. Now with all the requirements to keep variations to a minimum to meet as much world demand as possible with the least amount of financial outlay, these cars will probably never happen again. What I like about pairing the Slantnose with the Targa is that both of those on their own deviate pretty aggressively from the classic 911 coupe profile, let alone together. They have an uncanny ability to work with each other very well with the wedge shape of the slantnose complimenting the “triangled off” rear glass of the Targa. I like this car. It wouldn’t be my recommendation to someone who wanted to get into Porsches, but for someone with an early 911 coupe, a 993 Turbo and maybe a 997 GT3, this is the perfect addition to a collection and makes a great weekend getaway car. Given the miles and rarity, it’ll be worth a pretty penny, $190,000 to $225,000 feels a little rich though for something this oddball. With that said, I’d love to eat my words.

1953 Porsche 356 Pre-A Coupe: I wish I knew more about all the different intricacies of the early 356s. I know the later ones well enough and the Speedsters as well, but these Pre-A cars are real foreign to me. The orange Continental from last year’s Monterey car picks caught my attention because of the color and this one’s no different. Yes, it is just black on the outside, but what’s that on the top? A factory sunroof in a cool beige canvas complimented nicely by the whitewall tires and hubcap wheels. But it’s the interior that really grabbed me. I absolutely adore the green leather with beige carpets and beige finishings on a polished black dash. The leather compliments the green gauge markings perfectly and it’s all tied together with that almost white steering wheel. This car exudes style and elegance with that classic Porsche sportiness that no other brand or car can touch.

Gooding & Co. always has a great grouping of cars, and probably does the best job of finding vehicles that aren’t just rare or valuable, but have something interesting or unique about them. Whether it’s an intereting color combo, set of options or ownership lineage, all their lots seem to be “must watch” and since they broadcast the auction live on their website, you can watch auctioneer Charlie Ross work the room with his funny bravado.

1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.8 RSR: I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one. My favorite color is green and it’s an original 2.8 RSR that was delivered in this Viper Green. It looks like it has a very light amount of patina and presents very well. Maintained by Brunn in Germany with all kinds of cool provenance. If I had a million bucks burning a hole in my pocket, I would buy this car this weekend and then race it at Rennsport Reunion next month!

1996 Porsche 993 Turbo Jeff Zwart Pikes Peak Racecar: I remember having a poster of this car that was given to me by a Porsche dealer at the time. It featured the car on Pikes Peak with the sky behind it, although it was wearing its standard Turbo Twist wheels in the photo. Cool to see how well kept it is and even cooler that Zwart followed up this car with a number of turbocharged Porsche roadcars ending with the GT2RS before switching to the 997 Cup Car he raced at last month’s Pikes Peak Hillclimb. I think my favorite detail from the auction photos are the Cup 1 wheels on one side of the car and the Cup 2s on the other. A very subtle detail that not many people will pick up on, but I believe that’s how it was raced and that’s how the consignor wanted it presented.

1982 Porsche 956: 1st overall, 1983 24 hours of Le Mans. Enough Said.

1988 Porsche 959 Komfort: There are a few other 959s for sale in Monterey, but nothing this unique. Ownership history aside and only looking at the car itself, this is truly something else. One of only 3 cars finished in black, a totally awesome caramel brown special interior and my favorite part, practically every single surface you touch is covered in leather. There is no mention of whether the black wheels were part of the Porsche exclusive treatment, but regardless, I like the way they look on this car and would leave them as-is.

RM Auctions Monterey 2015: RM has the crazy Pinnacle Portfolio with a couple of nice Porsches, but neither of them really struck out at me. Porsches aside though, I think it will be the talk of the town and it’s all happening on Thursday. I’m assuming they’re trying to avoid any and all competition. Bonham’s did something similar with the Maranello Rosso Collection last year and the Ferrari 250 GTO that came in way below where speculators (myself included) were estimating. Regardless, RM always has a robust selection of cars, although maybe not as unique or “attainable” as the other auctions.

1967 Porsche 911S Coupe: Tangerine gets me every time (after Viper Green of course). It’s also not very often you see an original short wheelbase car in Tangerine. I don’t think Porsche buyers had quite warmed up to the brighter, more flamboyant colors at the time and it seems to me from a purely observational point of view that these kinds of colors are more prevalent on the long wheelbase cars. This car is finished in Tangerine with a black interior and appears to be presented very well. I actually selected it because it was originally delivered through Culver City, California to its first owner in Granada Hills which is very close to where I grew up in Woodland Hills. To think, if I was around at that time, I may have seen this car zipping around the San Fernando Valley.

1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI Coupe: Bottom line with this one is that you’re going to pay $1 million and up for a ’73 RS in the same condition and color combo. Yes, the impact bumpers and more pedestrian interior styling don’t have that super iconic style of the original RS, but I think these cars are coming into their own and being appreciated a lot more now for what they are than what you’d “settle for” if you couldn’t get an early car. That and it’s green, so I have to include it, hehe!

1956 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster: Alright, last one for this year, and surprise surprise, it’s another unique 356. It appears from the auction description that this particular car wasn’t born in this color combo, but it looks KILLER in Stone Gray over Red leather. I usually a fan of the standard steel wheels either with or without the hubcaps depending on color and “style” of build, but the Rudge knockoffs have really grown on me since the black car from last year. There might be a deal to be had with this car since it isn’t finished in its as-delivered color combo, but to hell with that. Buy this sucker and drive the wheel off it. When the paint’s sandblasted and the interior’s tired, redo it back up in its original color combo and sell it or drive it back down and redo it in yet another awesome color combo.

Alright, that’s it for this year’s picks. For those of you that are going, have a great time. If you’re going to Rennsport, drop me a line, would be great to meet up at the track.

All photos courtesy of the auction houses.