Working full-time creating content for several independent Porsche specialists has sort of drained my blogging brainpower in recent years. I began the year hoping to get out and about to meet more people and see their cars during 2017, but this has been one of the busiest work years yet, so blogging is running slightly behind schedule. I am working on it…
Anyway, the last few weeks have been pretty good for Porsche travel. I got out to Ireland following the Tuthill RGT Porsche on the Donegal Rally, then cruised down to my home town of Limerick, where another visit to Jon Miller at Classic Carreras was in order (love Jon’s approach to the life and a blog is overdue).
I came home from Ireland through Wales then and instantly headed back into Wales, again with Tuthills, to meet Federico and Lucia on the Nicky Grist Rally. The couple have been rallying air-cooled 911s this year, to earn enough signatures for their International Rally Licences and take on some marathon rallying from next year in something like a Safari car or similar. Their rally journey is super interesting and they are lovely people. That story is coming to a website near you.
These client trips are great for me, as I get to do them on two wheels: my 1150RT for the Donegal trip and the 1150 GS Adventure to Wales. Coming back from Wales, I had enough time to put the bike in the garage, pack a bag and then fire up the Polo for a run down to East Sussex. I stayed the night at Classic Retrofit Jonny’s and we set off early the next morning to catch the Eurotunnel to France and drive on to Germany. I’d planned a three-day road trip to celebrate Jonny’s three-year anniversary in business and the first stop was Bebenhausen, just south of Stuttgart.
The trip down was fantastic, hotel was amazing and that left us with two hours to cover the next morning to get to Pfaffenhausen, for a day at Ruf Automobile GmbH. The godfather of Porsche tuning has tracked Jonny’s work for many months and Alois even visited the Classic Retrofit workshops to see the research and development process for himself. He extended an invitation for Herr Hart (below with Yellowbird) to visit and discuss engineering collaboration on their new CTR project, so Jonny took me along for the ride.
Many Porsche-owning friends have experienced Ruf as part of Porsche club visits, but I don’t know how many people have ever sat in engineering meetings with Ruf and his technical team: the guys who built the original Yellowbird and who now assemble the spectacular CTR3. Well, thanks to my clever friend, Mr Hart, and his excellent electronic skills, I am delighted to say that I have now sat in one of those meetings and even made a contribution or two. That was pretty cool.
We had a great day at Ruf. I lost count of how many times Jonny and I shot each other a look that said “is this really happening?” but it was a super successful day out. Alois is the perfect gentleman and was very giving of his time. Son Marcel is also great company and a highly trained engineer in his own right. The family business is in good hands and I will share some more stories from our visit.
Once we had finished at Ruf, we had a two-hour drive back to Stuttgart, where we stayed in a nice little hotel around the corner from the Porsche Museum. Next morning, we enjoyed a short visit to the museum and shop before heading home to consider our findings. All in all, it was an excellent trip which left me with plenty of work to do – the vicious circle of non-blog activity continues!