The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
5/19/20 1:03 p.m.

Story by Johan Dillen • Photography by Dirk de Jager

In Pfaffenhausen, South Germany, you’ll find a church. On one side resides the local Storchen brewery, a place that has provided for many a pleasant evening in this small, picturesque town. But the most powerful tales come from the other side of the church, where Aloïs Ruf laid the foundation for Ruf Automobile.

“This is the exact place where my father, 80 years ago, decided to open up a local repair workshop and a filling station,” explains Aloïs Ruf Jr. “I was born in the house behind the petrol station.

“That was shortly before the war broke out,” he continues. “Real activities only started after the war, but at that time everything was scarce: money, raw materials. The whole economy was based on bartering: ‘If you can fix this for me, I’ll give you 15 eggs’ and so forth.”

Ruf’s ties to Porsche started with two simple iron bars set down in the garage. “Do you see these two bars, son?” the senior Ruf asked. “Next year, they will form the basis of a tour bus.” Right on schedule, one year later that bus had materialized, and Ruf Sr. began taking the locals on Sunday tours, on their only day o, work.

“On one of those trips, our relationship with Porsche took form,” his son explains. “A bad form at first, because a red Porsche 356 crashed just in front of the bus. My father got out and suggested he take the wreck to the garage. He paid a small price for the wreck and set to work restoring it.

“The result was beautiful. And so others thought as well, because one day we took the car on a trip to Munich and someone started chasing my father on foot in the streets, yelling, ‘Please, sell me this car now!’ So my father pulled over and they discussed. Afterwards, my father told us he had never made so much money in one day.”

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