Improving The Breed Stuttgart reinvented. Ruf is far from the only company to try to take Porsches to another plane. Giving Porsches a bit more pep or a facelift has been a boom industry ever since the 1980s. Malcolm Thorne checks out the best of them. Photography LAT/Rinspeed.
Ruf is far from being the only firm to have tinkered with the DNA of Stuttgart’s sports cars: plenty of enterprising businesses and individuals have taken up the challenge over the years. The Porsche-modifying movement really took off during the 1980s, when widebodied, bespoilered excess with dollops of extra power and cutting-edge electronic toys – built-in fax machine anyone? – became the ultimate yuppie status symbol. Some of that decadent decade’s more successful tuners are still plying their wares today on the latest generation of Porsches, but they have been joined by a new band whose objective is to meld classic looks with the practicality, poise and pace of the later models. And then there are those who simply seek to tailor their car to meet their own specific set of goals. The breadth of ideas is too diverse and varied to include everything, but here are some of the more memorable examples.