Yellowbird: The Extended Cut of Ruf’s CTR Nürburgring Video

If you’re going to watch one thing on YouTube today, make it this.

RUF

Like so many, my introduction to the Ruf CTR was through Gran Turismo, which led to a bootlegged VHS copy of Faszination on the Nurburgring. It’s a bleary, porno-soundtracked thing that showed Alois Ruf’s masterpiece being wrung to the bone by test driver Stefan Roser. It was a promo, a well-filmed playday. But the 1987 video invented a genre.

Twenty years later I was re-introduced to the Ruf legend. A new car, the Rt 12, turned up at a Navy runway for a 0-200-mph test. It was a customer car, one driven a couple hundred miles from Southern California. Hard. While other tuners and manufacturers went through exhaustive warmups and jockeyed for the earliest, coolest slots in the day, Ruf’s guy just turned over the keys. Nobody bothered to wipe off the bugs picked up on Interstate 5. Our gang then watched it make an easy 200-mph pass, got a quick “thank you” and watched the Rt 12 drive off, headed home.

I’m still in awe of that kind of confidence. It’s what makes Ruf relevant, even thirty years on, and what made Faszination so incredible in the VHS era. That, and giant, prolonged oversteer at unimaginable speeds. Ruf’s official YouTube page just uploaded the complete hair-raising track session, plucked straight from Faszination. If you’re going to watch one YouTube video today, make it this.