Intense focus and dedication can create greatness in the automotive industry.
It was a treat to watch the unveiling of Gateway Bronco’s new vintage-style LUXE-GT Bronco during this year’s Monterey Car Week.
Those first production examples of these modern-day vintage-style Broncos, sitting proudly on their stage at The Quail, was the culmination of years invested by both Gateway Bronco and Premcar to develop this next-level vintage-look model series.
These aren’t restomods. They’re effectively new cars. And their market positioning was very clear at The Quail. Fabled sports car manufacturers Pagani (from Italy) and RUF (from Germany) were neighbouring exhibitors, each of them enthralling audiences with their spectacular machinery.
A yellow 911 and a VHS tape
If you’re familiar with the name “Yellow Bird” and a 1989 VHS video cassette (remember them?) titled “Faszination auf dem Nürburgring”, then you’ll know of RUF (pronounced “roof”, not “rough”) and what it stands for.
Company leader Alois Ruf Jr is a visionary. His family business RUF Automobile GmbH started in the 1930s as a repair garage with a single petrol pump.
RUF’s famed journey with Porsche products began after his father repaired a crash-damaged 356. The business went on to maintain and restore Porsche sports cars before going on to become the high-performance tuner of the brand’s famed 911 and 930 turbo. He was so successful that Porsche encouraged him to establish himself as an independent vehicle manufacturer.
Achieving that in Germany is an impressive feat. Since 1983 RUF has applied its own VINs (vehicle identification numbers) to its cars.
RUF might have started out restoring and tuning Porsche sports cars – it still does – but its journey as an independent automaker that creates its own cars has taken it well beyond the status of a tuning house or “resto-modder”.
Why focus matters
The RUF CTR Anniversary is a revelation. It was unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show as a 30-year celebration of the original RUF CTR Yellow Bird, the famous turbocharged 911 that drifted all 22 kilometres of Germany’s fearsome Nurburgring-Nordschleife race track back in 1987.
It’s a ground-up design. It’s a new car. RUF spent five years developing the car’s composite (carbon-fibre) chassis. The outer shell of the body, including the roof, also made from carbon-fibre, weighs only 12 kilograms. The 710 horsepower engine is an in-house engineering development.
It’s an astonishing car.
It’s astonishing not just because of its 3.5-second 0 – 100 km/h time and 360 km/h top speed. Or because of its hand-crafted finish.
It’s astonishing for its concentration of focus and purpose.
The RUF CTR and its non-turbo SCR sibling are extraordinary examples of what happens when an experienced automaker dedicates the best of their decades-long know-how to a single vehicle model of their own making.
RUF rightly ranks amongst the greatest sports car brands in history.
The brand doesn’t seek to be everything to all people, or even most people. Their intense focus on precision engineering, quality and one type of vehicle helps make their cars sought after by specific buyers the world over.
RUF’s greatest creation might resemble an iconic model from a famous brand, but it’s a new car with its own DNA. Alois Ruf Jnr says it’s “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Most fans would probably describe it as sports car perfection.
Bernie Quinn – Engineering Director, Premcar Pty Ltd
About Premcar – Premcar Pty Ltd is a leading Australian vehicle engineering business that specialises in the automotive, defence and aerospace industries. For more than 25 years, global car-makers have made Premcar their go-to partner for the complete design, engineering and manufacture of niche-model new cars, full-scale new-vehicle development programs, and electric vehicle (EV) conversions and manufacturing. As the name behind more than 200,000 new cars and 55,000 new-vehicle engines, Premcar’s body of work is extensive and has delivered technical and sales success for major car brands from Europe, the USA, Japan, China and Australia. Visit premcar.au.
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