That’s Not A Porsche: The Red Baron RUF
Here at Street63 we aim to tell stories beyond the car you’re seeing on your screen. There is always a human element behind every build - the men and/or women behind the cars. Almost every story has a unique twist of their own, from converting their daily into a racecar or cutting the fenders for their widebody supercars, each car enthusiast has a different experience of their own. We promise stories from the various car folks from our humble archipelago, and that entails looking at various styles and approaches to building a car. That said, we cannot limit ourselves to just “high profile builds” - because sometimes the greatest stories come from vehicles that are in stock form.
The car we have here is an example of what I am talking about. In order to properly tell the story behind it, we have to go back to 2010 - when the current owner of this ‘997’ would go through the routine of browsing through bank listings of purchased and repossessed land and vehicles. Among all of the cars listed, this Porsche grabbed his attention.
After spending a few days thinking about the listing, he decided to visit the warehouse where the vehicle was located in order to check it out for his cousin (to whom he offered it first). As he was getting closer and closer to the bright red Porsche, he knew that there was something different about it - the iconic Porsche crest wasn’t there and instead was the legendary RUF logo.
To his surprise, the Porsche that he was supposed to check out was apparently a RUF R Kompressor. For those unfamiliar with this name, RUF is a German automaker known for manufacturing insane vehicles based off several Porsche chassis. This R Kompressor is based on the Porsche 997 and is fitted with a supercharged 3.6L engine.
Upon realizing that this may be a once in a lifetime chance, the current owner did a lot more research and thinking about this car. The plan of offering it to his cousin was scrapped, as he wanted this RUF to be part of his collection too.
To further verify his discovery, the owner used the car’s VIN to trace the vehicle’s history and specs - but even this part of the buying process had surprises waiting. The specific car that he saw was still using a Porsche VIN instead of RUF’s own, and upon contacting RUF about this they found out that this was one of the first few RUF R Kompressors ever made.
This newly-acquired information has led him to decide that he will no longer let this opportunity pass. He gave the bank an offer and was later on the proud owner of The Red Baron, the only RUF R Kompressor in the country (the other white RUF residing in the country is the RT12, which is the R Kompressor’s turbocharged counterpart). The name Red Baron was the name given by its previous owner in the United States, and was inspired by the German fighter pilot famous for having 80 combat victories.
Eight years later, the R Kompressor still looks exactly the same as when he got it. The only modification the owner wanted to do was to change the suspension to a set that would raise the car a few inches to help clear obstacles when driving on Manila roads - RUF however declined this request as they said that it may change the aerodynamics and feel of their well engineered car.
The exterior of the R Kompressor can easily be mistaken for a “regular” 997 to the untrained eye, but the front bumper and wing are telltale differences to the standard Porsche. The somewhat iconic 5-spoke RUF wheels are also a giveaway if ever you do see this car parked or stuck in traffic.
The interior is not much different from the 997 either - the normal Porsche pedals and shift knob have been replaced with RUF branded parts to make it look more exclusive and still stay minimalistic at the same time.
As mentioned earlier, the R Kompressor is powered by a 3.6L supercharged flat 6 engine which gives out around 430hp. Not much engine modification has been done by the owner, but plans of upgrading to the 3.8L RUF engine are in the cards soon.
This RUF proves that not all great stories come from years of building your project car, some great stories are already waiting to be discovered and are hiding in plain sight. Beyond its rarity, this RUF R Kompressor carries a story of opportunity - and knowing full well to seize it.
Words and Photos by Jaime Miguel Echavez