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Porsche 930 Races Acura NSX, Ferrari F40 and Ruf CTR Yellowbird Join In on the Fun

General Motors experimented with turbocharging back in the 1960s, but alas, the Corvair Monza and Oldsmobile Fire didn't catch on. The 1970s, however, saw this technology enter the mainstream thanks to racing cars such as the Renault RS01 and series-production cars like the 930-series Porsche 911 Turbo.
Porsche 930 drag races Acura NSX, Ferrari F40, Ruf CTR Yellowbird 47 photos
Photo: Petersen Automotive Museum / edited
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The Petersen Automotive Museum and Doug DeMuro sourced one such vehicle for a series of drag races against formidable rivals from different eras, beginning with the Acura NSX. The silver 930 in the featured clip is the first customer car ever sold in the United States.

Doug says the Neunelfer cranks out a respectable 282 horsepower and 243 pound-feet (329 Nm) of torque, channeled to the rear wheels by a four-speed manual transmission. A far newer design in every respect, the NSX-T rolled out in 1995 with a removable targa top.

The mid-engined New Sportscar eXperimental premiered in 1989 with 270 horsepower and 210 pound-feet (285 Nm) on tap from a naturally-aspirated V6 connected to a five-speed manual. In the first of two dig races, the NSX launches better yet admits defeat by the halfway point of the quarter mile. The gentleman behind the wheel of the 930 improved his launching technique on the second outing, thus beating the NSX-T once again.

After handily beating the Japanese icon, the force-fed 911 was presented with a far more difficult rival in the form of the Ferrari F40. Built around a tubular steel chassis reinforced with carbon-fiber inserts, the limited-run supercar is rocking a 2.9-liter V8 and two IHI-supplied turbos. Equipped with a manual that sports the same number of gears as the NSX's tranny, the F40 is more powerful and lighter than the rear-engined 930.

Those advantages are immediately noticeable in a straight-line showdown. The F40 didn't even brake a sweat obliterating the Porker in the quarter mile, clocking 13.8 seconds compared to 15.8 in the first race. As you might have guessed by now, both the second and third races ended with the F40 crossing the line first.

Doug and the Petersen Automotive Museum didn't stop there, though. Enter the Ruf CTR. Pretty much a G-body Carrera 3.2 on steroids, the twin-turbo land missile was once hailed as the world's fastest production car. That claim is a little bit polarizing because fewer than 60 examples were produced between 1987 and 1996 by the Pfaffenhausen-based company. Ruf also underrated the 3.4-liter mill of the CTR to 463 horsepower instead of the more realistic average peak output rating of 500.

Nicknamed Yellowbird by Road & Track's photographers back in 1987, the Group C Turbo Ruf is shockingly quick in a straight line given its age. Not only did it obliterate the Ferrari F40 and a ZB II-gen Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR, but it also shamed the 930 with an ET of 12.1 seconds versus 15.1 seconds.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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