This rare RUF CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ is up for sale

One of 29 originals up for auction. Isn't yellow. Is superb

It was the photographers on a shoot for America’s Road & Track magazine who gave the CTR its nickname, because of how its bright-yellow paintwork gleamed even on a dull, German day. The shoot, at VW’s Ehra-Lessien, involved nine of the fastest cars in the world at the time. All of which the CTR beat, when it clocked 211mph in R&T’s tests.

That earned it some good publicity, but its legendary status wasn’t cemented until 1989 – two years later – when RUF took it to the Nürburgring, bolted in test-driver Stefan Roser and the Eighties equivalent of a GoPro, and set it loose. The result was called ‘Faszination on the Nürburgring’ – an on-board video of such unparalleled excellence, it’s become essential viewing for anyone even remotely interested in driving.

In the end RUF built 29 Yellow Birds, of which this is one. The body is from a normal, slim-hipped 911 Carrera 3.2. The engine is, too, but RUF bored it out to 3.4-litres, added twin-turbochargers, twin-intercoolers and a fuel-injection system originally developed for the Porsche 962. It also fitted a five-speed gearbox (911 Turbos of the era only had four forward gears), massive brakes and tyres from the Porsche 959. RUF claimed 469bhp – but it’s widely believed this is as epic an understatement as ever there’s been.

This Yellow Bird isn’t yellow, which is mildly disappointing. But it is all original, and that counts for a great deal. Originally destined for RUF’s Swiss importer, chassis #10 was bought by a German. He had another CTR on order, but bought this one to tide him over until that car was finished. He kept both, and now this one’s going up for auction in Monterey in a week’s time. RM expects it to fetch between $1m and $1.2million. Which sounds like a bit of a bargain.

If you do buy it, don’t try and emulate Roser. You’re not that good.