RUF ‘Yellowbird’ classic

Posted by Tom Ford at 11:59 am on Tuesday November 18, 2008

 

Classic Nurburgring clip here from 1987 and one for all petrolheads. Stefan Roser (I mistakenly said ‘Walter Rohrl’ originally!) (legend) is driving a RUF modified Porsche 911. We particularly like the white socks, stonewash denim and heroic car control. Think back to the last late ’80s car you drove, then pick your jaw up off the floor…

TAGS// , ,
  1. Adam Mead said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Ever since i was a very young boy, i have absolutely adored that car, despite it being a freakin’ death trap.

    Also, you’re right, that is absolute heroics, to keep that beast pointing the right way (just) round there is nothing short of miraculous.

  2. Robin said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 12:35 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Great video. although by the looks of it he was having a bit too much fun rather than going for a fast time. If he kept the back end in check he would have achieved a much faster time. to be fair tho, if i had that car i don’t think I could keep it straight. Way too much fun going sideways.

  3. Tom Ford said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I think Walter Rohrl may have an idea what he’s doing… Group B can do quite a lot for your car control…

  4. Torch(USA) said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 5:11 pm Link to comment Report comment

    woo, one for me.

    This clip is probably one of the most badass display of driving ive seen. mid 80s porsches were unruly enough but that RUF job was a true terror. Looks like a hell of a lot of fun though. not quite as amzing as that Ken Block clip from last week but still epic.

  5. Kuang said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Wasn’t that actually Stefan Roser, RUF’s test driver at the time?

    Amazing piece of driving regardless.

  6. Tom Ford said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 6:06 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Ach, it was wasn’t it? Apologies for my patronising ramblings while getting it actually…er.. wrong. Walter was testing Porsches around that time and I got confused. Mind you, he was also rallying for about seventeen different teams. I went out with Walter once.. in a 997 Turbo a couple of years ago. He made me smile for about three days. He is – and was – a 6ft 5inch pensioner.

  7. Kuang said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 6:29 pm Link to comment Report comment

    No pologoes needed, I fully understand why that could have been Rohrl as he knows his way around a Porsche like almost nobody else. I’ve seen ‘Faszination..’ attributed to him many times, with good reason.

    Whenever I think of Rohrl I always recall Portugal in 85, screaming down a tight gravel track in a Quattro S1 and missing the spectators by inches – it’s all too easy to forget that he wasn’t a soft touch on tarmac either :)

    For posterity – a video of that very drive, featuring absolutely magnificent footwork. How anyone could ballet dance those brutes around is beyond me..

    http://uk.youtube.com/wat ch?v=yyVHj3sHVHQ

  8. Torch(USA) said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 7:16 pm Link to comment Report comment

    wow, just . . . . wow. that footwork is amazing. left foot braking and heel and toeing all at the same time. Hell of a driver. and man those S1s were badass

  9. PJ said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 8:45 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Thats not classic, wasn’t there a smart car there at the start? Or a civic or a mini?

  10. Kuang said...
    Tuesday November 18, 2008 at 10:32 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @PJ: I’ve been trying to work out what that is and I think it might be a heavily tweaked MK2 Polo with different rear lenses. The video clip is definitely from the right time though.

  11. 4Realist said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 1:44 am Link to comment Report comment

    WOW ! The RUF Yellowbird is only a couple of seconds quicker than the Chevy Cobalt SS??!!??

    Frontwheeldrive,a live torsion beam axle in the rear and Yankee made..
    But we can only drive fast in a straight line huh?
    How is that possible?
    This car is supposed to be a Legend right?

  12. Kuang said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 7:38 am Link to comment Report comment

    This lap was purely showboating for a promotional video, and the car was running on 1980s street tyres with no clever electronics or driver aids. The lap was fast enough to take the record at the time, and 0-60 in 4 flat and 211mph is still pretty impressive. I gather that car has managed an 8:05 lap since then.

    The Cobalt managed 8:22 according to Chevy, which is pretty good in anyone’s books. It just shows how technology has come on, but it doesn’t mean that the achievements of the past are pointless beause they’ve been superceded.

  13. Dave said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 5:35 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I may well be very wrong, but that black car he passes right near the beginning of the clip looks weirdly like a Mk2 Corsa (the one that followed the Nova in the UK).

  14. 4Realist said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 7:09 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Actually Kuang .. the Sledgehammer Corvette ran 3.xx to 60 and Tens in the 1/4 mile and went OVER 250 mph! in the mid eighties.
    If this Ruf “tuner car” counts as a production car then the The Callaway Corvette was the fastest car EVER! till the SSC Ultimate Aero came along.
    Look it up.. over 250mph with mid 80s tech and all!and OVER 1G in the turns as well.
    I mention the Cobalt SS because the YellowBird was 5 times the cost EVEN at 1980s money and was also tuned on the Ring.
    BTW,, the Pirelli tyres on the ‘Bird and Goodyear Eagle GT “Gatorbacks” on the Sledghammer were a 10,000 mile tyre and provided awesome grip for a NON race tyre,, even today.

    My point being,, Euros should be glad Chevy JUST discovered the Ring here in the last decade or so, or Porsche and Ferarri would have a few less Checkered flags on their resume’.

    8 )

  15. Kuang said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I’m not aware of the Sledgehammer ever taking on the ‘ring, but I’d like to see how well it would handle it – it had the straight line speed without question, and could turn on smooth US style circuits, but the Nordschliefe is a whole different ballgame. Power isn’t everything on tracks like that, finesse counts for a lot too.. which is why seemingly underpowered cars like the Radicals and Ultimas are capable of putting down such amazing times. I think that car is actually owned by somebody in Germany now so it may well already have had a go. I also gather that they said at the time they’d make you a replica of the Lingenfelter one that set the speed record but you’d be paying $400,000 for it, which puts it way about the cost of the RUF.

    The RUF counts as a production car because they proved to the German equivalent of trading standards that the modifications were extensive enough to classify it as a whole new car, and therefore make them a manufacturer rather than just a tuner.

  16. 4Realist said...
    Friday November 21, 2008 at 8:49 am Link to comment Report comment

    “smooth US style circuits”? lol Sebring smooth?? Infineon Raceway?? Laguna Seca smooth??
    WOW lightweight cars have high cornering speeds?? blimey.. thx 4 the 411 on Radicals,Ariel Atoms and such..(BTW Ultimas have 100 hp per liter carbureted Chevy v8s in them, they are HARDLEY underpowered)
    The Corvette that the Sledgehammer was based on is the C4 Corvette,, the same model that OWNED SCCA Showroom Class in the eighties they beat Porche and BMW soooo much they had to give the car it own series “The Corvette Challenge”
    white Corvettes filled up the first 4 spots EVERY race.
    Watching dozens of full time Porche and BMW engineeers scratching their heads race after race was absolutlely priceless…
    This car had awesome 1.xx G cornering power and the best factory brakes anyone offered in the eighties.This is MORE than enough chassis to take on the Ring.
    Besides,, 250 plus mph down the long straight after Galgenkopf as well as the other high speed sections…plz
    It would be no contest.

    P.S. $400,000? huh? You could get the 2008 Zo6 based, 1000+ hp, Lingenfelter twin turbo Vette right now for $135,000.

    P.P.S. Great Blog Tom!

  17. Lowlife said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 9:57 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The car at the start looks more like a Fiesta XR2i to me.

  18. stig said...
    Wednesday December 3, 2008 at 2:32 pm Link to comment Report comment

    this vid make me feel that the car want to kill his driver in every single corner. Porsche and ruf are way too dangerous… and will always be til they put the engine in wrong position

  19. pjwheel said...
    Monday April 27, 2009 at 4:01 am Link to comment Report comment

    if anyone has ever played granturismo 4 on a playstation2,you can win & drive a “Ruf Yellowbird” at the Nurburgring ciruit.!!!

  20. Stirling said...
    Saturday December 5, 2009 at 3:16 am Link to comment Report comment

    maestro,A craftsman at work aboslute dededication ,pure adrenalin,precision,AMAZI NG!!!!!!!!

Post a Comment

Advertisement