Five-time World Series winner and baseball Hall of Fame inductee Reggie Jackson opened a Triangle Honda dealership in January. But his personal pantheon of vehicles features some of the world’s rarest automobiles.
Car connoisseurs with beefy budgets had the chance to buy an especially exclusive member of Jackson’s collection in an auction that closed Wednesday: a 1990 Ruf BTR III. The German supercar is a custom-built version of Porsche’s 930 Turbo.
Its winning bid of $345,000 was paltry compared to previous price tags on other BTRs.
The Ruf BTR III is one of the rarest cars in the world. Ruf, a licensed German automaker, built only 20 to 30 units in the 1980s and 1990s, according to Sotheby’s.
While Ruf aesthetics mirror Porsche models, they’re not kit cars or conversions. Scratch-built Rufs, such as Jackson’s BTR III, were made using unmarked Porsche chassis. They have unique vehicle identification numbers that start with “W09.” Ruf sometimes converted donor Porsches, but their VINs started with “WP0.”
The RUF BTR series was among the quickest cars of its era. Jackson’s featured a turbocharged 3.4-liter BTR flat-six engine rated at 408 horsepower and topped with a Ruf intercooler. The iris blue body is Ruf built and branded. Its custom suspension and front and rear spoilers are designed to optimize track performance.
“Widely regarded as the fastest-accelerating road car in the world during production, the BTR was consistently revised until 1993 with performance modifications running from their earliest ‘BTR I’ offerings to the latest and most extreme, the ‘BTR III,’” Sotheby’s says.
Reggie Jackson Airport Honda
Jackson opened a 75,000-square-foot Hendrick Honda dealership in January at 9530 Lumley Road in Raleigh. It’s the largest Hendrick facility in the area, eclipsing Durham’s Hendrick Southpoint Auto Mall, which hosts four franchises under one roof.
Jackson — known as “Mr. October” for his legendary performances in several World Series — has owned an interest in Florida’s Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Naples since 2015. But the 1993 Hall of Fame inductee, five-time World Series champion, two-time World Series MVP and one-time American League MVP had been searching for a chance to launch his own venture.
At the dealership’s official grand opening last month, Jackson told The News & Observer he would live part-time in the Triangle to oversee operations.
“I’ll have a place here probably within 12 months,” he said. “I’ll purchase a condo or get an apartment or something. Rick (Hendrick) had a conversation with me and said, ‘Reggie, you can do what you want... But you should consider sticking to it. Stay in the deal.’ I said, ‘I’m going to take your advice. You can count on me to stick to it and to be a person that’ll be part of the community.’”