Rockin’ Cars: Eddie Van Halen’s Gorgeous RUF Modified 911 Turbo

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Van Halen RUF Modified 911 Turbo

Rock icon summoned customizer to California to modify guitarist’s air-cooled 911 Turbo, which is now on the auction block.

For our younger readers, Edward Van Halen rose to fame as a rock and roll guitar god in the 1980s with his band, Van Halen. He’s renowned as one of the, if not the, best guitarists on the planet. Along with the fame and money of the 1980s came the excess and a legion of wild stories featuring drink, drugs, and sex. We’re more interested in his cars though, and Van Halen has shown himself to be a connoisseur. This one we found on Bring a Trailer and are surprised to see it only has 21,000 miles on the clock. Our only disappointment is that the band ‘s former/current/former/current lead singer didn’t own it so we could make a David Lee RUF joke.

Van Halen RUF Modified 911 Turbo

According to the posting, Van Halen bought the Porsche 933 Turbo new and had it well optioned. That includes a driver’s racing seat, a sunroof, and extra leather trim around just about everything, including the fuel filler door pull knob. Other luxury options include leather-covered instrument rings, stainless steel door sills and, unsurprisingly considering its original owner, CD storage behind the parking brake. The color is Arena Red over black leather with Dark Rootwood trim, and we think it looks very much of its time, but still stunning.

The 993 Turbo came from the factory with Porsche’s ferocious twin-turbo air-cooled 3.6-liter flat-6 engine. The car is special enough with all of its elegance and power, while also being the last of air-cooled Porsches. Having the rock stars name attached and the work done by RUF that was reportedly ordered by Van Halen himself puts it well over the top for desirability. There’s no paperwork shown in the listing, but it’s claimed the work was done in 2000 and includes having RUF camshafts, turbochargers, and exhaust system installed along with an EKS computer. The standard 993 Turbo engine made 408 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque from the factory, and it’s hard to estimate what this particular one has packed under the hood after RUF were through with it. We’ve no doubt that it’ll be noticeable and, checking out the video, we can hear just how guttural it sounds at idle and when it takes off.

RUF was doing amazing things with the 993 during its short run, including the RUF Turbo R, BTR 2, and the successor to the legendary Yellowbird, the CTR2. We can only assume Van Halen just wanted the extra power RUF could add and retain the ride quality of the 993 for cruising on the roads.

As of this writing, EVH’s Porsche has a top bid of $119,000. Man, we wish we learned to play guitar in high school!

Photos: Bring a Trailer

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Ian Wright has been a professional automotive writer for over two years and is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum, Jaguar Forums, and 6SpeedOnline, among other popular auto sites.

Ian's obsession with cars started young and has left him stranded miles off-road in Land Rovers, being lost far from home in hot hatches, going sideways in rallycross cars, being propelled forward in supercars and, more sensibly, standing in fields staring at classic cars. His first job was as a mechanic, then he trained as a driving instructor before going into media production.

The automotive itch never left though, and he realized writing about cars is his true calling. However, that doesn’t stop Wright from also hosting the Both Hand Drive podcast.

Ian can be reached at [email protected]

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