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Rare Ruf cars to star at upcoming Porsche sale

A delectable duo of extremely rare, highly exclusive RUF sports cars are to be among the lots at Silverstone Auctions’ 2018 Porsche sale. Established as a highlight of the calendar year, the 2018 Porsche Sale in association with Porsche Club GB takes place on 28th September at a new premises at the Dallas Burston Polo Club. The sale of all things Porsche takes on added significance in the midst of the company’s 70th year celebrations, though two lots which caught our eye hail from the production line of revered German manufacturers and Porsche tuners, RUF Automobile GmbH.

This 996-based 2002 RTurbo, resplendent in Speed yellow, was formerly used by RUF as a Nürburgring press car, featuring in the promotional ‘RUF RTurbo Nurburgring Lap’ video while also appearing on the front cover of Marc Bonger’s book ‘Porsche and RUF Sportscars’. Equipped with 550hp, a six-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel-drive, the RTurbo hails from a private collection and boasts just under 30,000 miles on the clock. Its estimate is £180,000-220,000.

Silverstone Auctions are also pleased to announce a 993-based BTR2, one of just 15 produced, will also be presented for sale on 28th September. Estimated at £150,000-200,000, the BTR2 produces 420hp, races to 62mph from standstill in just 4.1 seconds, and powers on to a top speed of 191mph. Finished in Arctic silver, the car has returned to Rufplatz every 12,000 miles for servicing, with other maintenance work carried out at OPCs.

“RUFs are a very special breed of vehicle. When you take a car as well respected as a Porsche and try to improve it, it can lead to some incredible results,” says Harry Whale, classic car specialist at Silverstone Auctions. “The pair of RUFs on offer at the Porsche Sale are truly impeccable examples, one from a single ownership and a vendor who has clearly cared for the car dearly, and another which is famous around the world for appearing in RUFs own promotional material, taking on the legendary ‘Green Hell’, the Nurburgring. We couldn’t ask for two better examples of RUFs unbeatable engineering prowess and skill.”

For more information on the Porsche sale and to browse the lots ahead of auction, visit silverstoneauctions.com.

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Inside The Porsche 356 International Meet From Sunny England

With everything you hear about the poor weather in the UK, we can only imagine how ecstatic these Porsche 356 enthusiasts were when their big annual meetup was blessed with golden rays of sunshine. They probably don’t get many opportunities to run around with the top down on their Cabriolets, Speedsters, and Roadsters. The hardtop folks likely enjoyed a bit of sun as well, it lifts the spirits. Things could not have gone better for this 43rd annual Porsche 356 International get together. The four-day affair had plenty of interesting events for all attending, and likely built a few new friendships along the way.

The Porsche 356 International kicked off on the afternoon of Thursday, May 3rd with cocktails and dinner following check-ins and hellos for over 140 participating Porsches. Friday, a gaggle of 356s enjoyed a winding drive on country roads to spend the day at Hedingham Castle, a 900 year old example. This is where the video’s featured archery, falconry, and medieval combat tournament occurred. Saturday saw a lovely selection of driving activities at the local aerodrome and the awards dinner held at the Imperial War Museum. Participants were treated to dinner among famed flying conveyances such as Lancaster, Spitfire, and Concorde.

In any case, it looks like the 356 owners of the Porsche Club GB put on a heck of an event for international members. There were quite a few rare 356s in attendance, and we should praise the owners of those Porsches for having driven them to and during the event. Hats off to you, sirs and madams.

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996 v 997 Turbo

If you’d been lucky enough to work as a motoring journalist in the 80’s (when budgets were generous, and launches went on for days) you’d have laughed at the proposition that the 911 Turbo would evolve into the definitive secure, all weather supercar within the next decade or so. The original 930 Turbo may have become mildly more approachable with the 1989 advent of the G50 gearbox, it’s 5 ratios making lag slightly less of an issue, but here was a car that always carried a serious sting in its tail.

A reputation cemented by a dastardly combination of short wheelbase, turbo lag, tail heavy weight distribution and strong lift off oversteer characteristics meant only the most skilled could extract the best from it, whilst many less skilled would find themselves in trouble, and a consequently broken car. Of course for some this defines the very appeal of a 930 Turbo, but for many the car proved hugely exciting but occasionally terrifying to drive – particularly if rain had fallen.

1995 marked the beginning of the evolution towards the 911 Turbo as we know it now; the 993 Turbo introducing technology that had first appeared almost a decade earlier in the seminal 959. Twin turbos delivered an even bigger, yet more manageable hit of power. Married to modern chassis technology & four wheel drive, the 911 Turbo was suddenly a car capable of covering ground with immense speed and security. And if the 993 generation Turbo heralded a new direction in the evolution of the 911 Turbo, the 996 cemented what the 911 Turbo would come to stand for: the definitive all weather supercar.

The 996 represented so much for Porsche, bringing with it the biggest revolution in the 911’s development so far. It introduced a new way of building cars (hence the commonality with its Boxster cousin), a water cooled flax six for the first time and truly modern aerodynamics; the platform would form the basis of the 911 for the next 15 years. It also formed the basis of the 911 Turbo that many regard as the optimum balance of speed, usability and purity of driving experience.

Why? It offers perhaps the perfect blend of compact dimensions (it’s little wider than a 718 Boxster), immense performance from the unburstable Mezger flat six, and a chassis which delivers a secure, communicative driving experience with a purity supposedly lost to PASM & computerized chassis control systems of future generations. Or so the accepted wisdom says….

To read the full in-depth feature of our definitive 996 v 997 Turbo test, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 159 here or download from Newsstand. 

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Is this the best colour for a 991 GT3 RS?

When it launched in 2015, Porsche’s 991 GT3 RS set a new benchmark for 911-oriented performance, kicking the 997 GT3 RS 4.0 into touch as the most accomplished naturally aspirated race car with licence plates. As expected, demand was high among enthusiasts for the new Rennsport, which as a Porsche GT car wasn’t ever going to be built on the same scale as more mainstream 911s.

This quickly gave birth to an unscrupulous second hand market, with a number of 991 GT3 Rennsports almost immediately made available for heinously inflated prices over list. In the market’s infancy, Total 911 witnessed some examples advertised for as much as £300,000. Sadly, most only had delivery miles registered on their odometer.

Thankfully, the fact that Porsche ended up building far more examples of the 991 GT3 RS than many speculators anticipated (the number is rumoured to be 7,000 worldwide) prices have softened, ensuring these cars have found the very home they were built for – the race track. Even better, Porsche’s Paint To Sample programme also proved particularly popular for 991 GT3 RS owners who were prepared to wait a little longer for delivery of their vehicle, and as the brilliant PTSRS Instagram page will show you, a full palette of colours have found their way onto examples around the world.

There are many one-off hues out there that brilliantly accentuate the wide body and outlandish aero of the latest naturally aspirated RS, however our favourite 991 GT3 RS PTS hue is Voodoo blue, exemplified by this stunning example currently for sale with Porsche Centre Bournemouth. A non-metallic colour (paint code Z12), it is originally thought to be a shade used by Toyota, Porsche’s current LMP1 rivals in the WEC. We’re told the voodoo represents water preventing evil spirits passing across it, with some folks of past painting their windowsills blue to stop these evil spirits entering their home. Whether that’s true or not, we’re not sure, but what we do know is there’s not a better colour for the striking curves of a 991 GT3 RS, in our opinion.

With a healthy 5,400 miles on the clock, this car has been used as it was intended, with a good specification to boot – and if you believe in the legend, that rare hue adorning its bodywork should even bring its next owner a healthy dose of good luck.

What’s your favourite PTS 991 GT3 RS? Comment below with your opinions.

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Lee’s 996 Carrera diary: 4000 miles, one engine scare

A lot has happened since my last diary entry, where I reflected on my first six months of Porsche 911 ownership. My 996.2 Carrera 4 and I have visited six countries (more on that very soon), amassing over 4,000 miles in the process, and by and large the Porsche has been faultless – except for one potentially catastrophic incident.

Driving back south from a meeting one afternoon, my dashboard illuminated with the sort of warning sign that could elicit instant heart failure for a discerning 996 owner. I’m pretty sure that for a second on the M27 motorway that day, I came close to such a fate.

The electronic display showed a picture of an oil can followed by the dreaded words ‘failure indicator’. Bollocks. Blood pumping fast, I switched the radio off and listened intently for any foreign noises emanating from the back of the car, but could only hear the conventional thrum of an M96 engine chugging car and driver along at motorway cruising speed.

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Bravely (or naively, I’ll let you decide), I drove gingerly back to base, the radio remaining muted while my ears pressed to pick up unusual sounds and my eyes scanned the road ahead as well as, every half a minute or so, the dashboard for any new info. Bizarrely, save for that failure indicator message, nothing else happened, adding to the unwanted mystery that had unfurled on an otherwise nondescript journey.

A quick Google at home revealed the likely cause of the problem which, I’m told, is common for Porsche 996s. It’s a relatively easy fix and, most importantly, nowhere near as catastrophic as that on-board warning message will have you believe.

The culprit is the oil pressure sender unit, located above bank two (on the right-hand-side when looking at the engine through a raised decklid). The connection points can deteriorate or come loose altogether, meaning the oil pressure gauge in the cockpit becomes erratic, perhaps momentarily dropping to zero when driving under load. Giving the connections a wiggle could help but a replacement unit, for the avoidance of doubt, is less than £50 from Design911.

Thanks to Jim Gaisford for the above picture.

Thanks to Jim Gaisford for the picture.

 

Relieved at the prognosis, I dropped the 996 up to Ollie at RPM Technik, where it was booked in for some geo work anyway. A short time later I got the car back, oil pressure sender problem gone, and with much better handling too. I’ve previously mentioned the C4 suffered from serious understeer all summer but thanks to a stiffer rear and more negative camber on the front (as well as some replaced bushes), a lot of it has thankfully been dialled out.

So much so, in fact, that I managed to sneak onto one of the last track days on the Porsche Club GB’s 2016 calendar, which took place at Castle Combe. I’m a real advocate for track days with PCGB; the standard of driving seems to be pretty good and best of all you’re sharing track space with similarly powered cars. This means you’re not likely to go barrelling round Druids at Brands Hatch, for example, in a 991 GT3 RS, only to be met on the apex by a comparatively crawling mk1 Mazda MX5 (not that there’s anything wrong with those, as a former Eunos owner). Gawping exclusively at Porsche metal in the paddock during breaks and chatting with like-minded enthusiasts provides added appeal for any Porschephile at these events, too.

The 996 kept good company on track at PCGB's Castle Combe track day.

The 996 kept good company on track at PCGB’s Castle Combe track day.

 

Completion of the track day and subsequent drive home ticked the car over 6,000 miles since the last oil change, so the 996 will get new oil imminently before a renewed campaign of driving through the winter season… so long as there’s no more oil warning lights on the dashboard!

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