Just before my teenage years, my mother's interest in early American antiques blossomed into a fully-blown, fully-funded mania. Our house was filled with precious furniture, from highboys to tea tables. The walls were crammed with portraits, maps and samplers. Surfaces were covered with silver, baskets and early glass. You may have been told not to tip your seat backwards at dinner, but I bet your butt wasn't parked on a Windsor chair. According to Mom, "A person's collection always reveals their personality." In this same spirit of refined excess and psychological insight, we're about to embark on a mutual adventure in automotive acquisition: the Jalopnik Fantasy Garage (JFG). Here's the deal...
We have unlimited funds and space for 50 cars. I'll propose an addition to the Jalopnik Fantasy Garage. Using the comments' section, you either agree with my unimpeachable, infinite taste or shoot down my nomination like a grouse on the Glorious 12th. We'll run a yes/no vote on whether or not the nominated vehicle gets a slot. Once the JFG is filled with 50 cars, you'll vote on which one gets turfed-out to open a spot for a new one.
I'd like to begin this collection with a RUF RT12. I nominate this car because I'm assuming that every single one of you is going to drive the snot out every single automobile in the JFG. (Our fantasy mechanics will keep every car in perfect working order.) Not knowing your driving abilities, and cognizant of the fact that a fantasy death would necessitate fantasy grieving and a fantasy lawsuit, I believe the RT12 provides the unholy trinity we need for our first purchase: insane performance, grandmother lovin' user friendliness and bullet-proof build quality.
Let's start with the performance. How does a 911 with 650hp @ 7000 rpm and 641 ft.-lbs. of torque @ 3500rpm sound? Like someone ripping a hole in the time - space continuum, as played through a stack of Marshalls. If you can withstand the aural assault, the RUF RT12 can catapult its occupants from zero to 60mph in 3.2 seconds — faster than a Carrera GT. RUF's 911 conversion tops out at 219 mph. OK, we don't expect you to play with the top end, but this bad boy will cruise at both grocery getting and autobahn annihilating speeds.
Equally important, the RT12 is built like a brick shithouse. To ensure mission-critical robustosity in an engine tweaked to 180.6 hp per liter, RUF's boffins disassemble Porsche's "old" 996 powerplant, bore it out to 3.8-liters, pop on some titanium conrods and convert the camshafts. We also get a stronger clutch, new shocks and springs, uprated Brembo brakes and calipers, a built-in roll cage (hidden under sumptuous Alcantara) and their latest hydraulically adjustable suspension height doo-hickey.
At the risk of alienating the Porsche purists (for the reasons stated above), I suggest we sign-up for four wheel-drive. As for style, I'm thinking speed yellow or red with a black interior and a black tail spoiler and body colored (four point) seat belts. Oh, and a serious upgrade in the stereo department.
And there you have it: the first nomination for Jalopnik's Fantasy Garage. Again, please submit your arguments for or against this selection in the comments' section, and vote yea or nay. Don't get hung up with counter-suggestions. Remember: we're just getting started; don't worry if your first choice isn't mine. (Submit proposals for future acquisitions to firstname.lastname@example.org.) We've got plenty of time to assemble an automotive collection that will reflect the taste and passion of our collective imagination, available for your fantasy driving pleasure.
[Robert Farago's Jalopnik Fantasy Garage will run every Tuesday.]
New Ruf RT12 Porsche 911 at Essen [internal]