The latest Ruf CTR (AKA Yellowbird) was a guest participant on the recent Mille Miglia. Jonny Hart’s Electrocooler electric A/C system was tasked with keeping Alois Ruf and wife Estonia cool on the run down to Brescia for the start of the rally and over the three days of driving to Rome and back.
With almost five hundred cars on the start list and what often seems like the same number of corporate sponsors on board, the modern-day Mille Miglia is a bit of a glamour puss. But no doubt some of the drivers are there to give their cars a reasonable thrashing and Alois falls into that camp. The primary job of any Ruf creation is to take the experience of driving to another level, so the factory does not spare the testing miles. Mille Miglia might have been part marketing trip, but the lessons learned over several thousand kilometres behind the wheel will all be fed back to the Ruf engineers.
“I’ve returned to Germany for several technical liaisons since you and I first met the Ruf guys almost a year ago and it’s wonderful to work with such a professional engineering group,” Jonny Hart tells me. “The team responsible for this car know their stuff, so there would be no way to bluff my way through this opportunity.
“It goes without saying that Alois is a very cool guy, even without the help of our electric air conditioning. Hearing his appreciation for how well everything works when fitted to the car is such a huge buzz. He’s been great about keeping us informed on progress and recently gave me a call just to express his appreciation for our involvement and for delivering such a reliable product. What a class act! Few people of this stature would bother to make a call just to say thanks. It is a real dream come true to have our products fitted to this awesome machine.”
Ruf recently shared a “Making of the 2017 CTR” video on their Youtube channel and you can watch it below. The video predates the first fit of the Classic Retrofit air con and HVAC, so I love the air tube pointing at the windscreen in a 934 style. These guys are super laid back.
“One thing I really like about being part of this project is how up for it everyone is,” says Jonny. “No one batted an eyelid when we were working on some of the system integration in Pfaffenhausen and Alois suddenly arrived in the workshop. A customer had turned up unexpectedly and the boss politely asked if he could take the chap out for a drive, assuming it was not an interruption. Five minutes later, the panels had been refitted, tools were out and the CTR was ready to go: no tantrums, no egos and no complaining. Just calm professionalism and a very cool car.”
Main pic courtesy of Ruf Automobile on Facebook