RUF Yellow Bird Ready to Fly to the Auction Block
1989 RUF Yellow Bird one of 174 lots up for bid at RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, California this August.
RUF’s legendary status as a manufacturer can be traced back to the July 1987 issue of Road & Track, when the magazine published a feature on the hottest supercars of the era. Gathered together at Volkswagen’s secret testing ground in Ehra-Lessien, Germany were cars like the Ferrari Testarossa, Ferrari 288 GTO, even the Porsche 959. But it was RUF’s CTR “Yellow Bird” that stole the show, and won the title of “World’s Fastest Car.”
Of the 29 original Yellow Birds built, this 1989 example, chassis no. 10, will go up on the auction block August 25, when RM Sotheby’s makes its annual visit to Monterey, California during Monterey Car Week.
Unlike the bright yellow CTR chronicled in the Road & Track feature, this CTR is more a black crow than a yellow bird. The stormy theme continues on the inside with a gray interior, including black Recaro seats and a gray-painted roll cage.
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But it’s out back where the CTR earned its place (and its nickname) in the hearts of those who saw its greatness way back when. The 3.4-liter twin-turbo, twin-intercooled flat-six makes 469 horses and 408 lb-ft of torque. All of which is sent to the nearby 17-inch RUF Speedlines via RUF’s own five-speed manual transmission. Those turbos chirping like a yellow canary all the way.
With only 32,436 miles on the odometer, this Yellow Bird is ready to add a few more. And the best part? The CTR has never been restored or crashed, and remains “highly original throughout” to this day. The Yellow Bird is expected to go for $1 million to $1.2 million on the block, and at least 200 mph on the track or the perfect, straight stretch of empty road. And to think it all began on a cloudy German afternoon in 1987, followed by a widely read magazine article.