Since its discovery as an oncogene more than 40 years ago, Ras has been and still is in the focus of many academic and pharmaceutical labs around the world. A huge amount of work has accumulated on its biology. However, many questions about the role of the different Ras isoforms in health and disease still exist and a full understanding will require more intensive work in the future. Here we try to survey some of the structural findings in a historical perspective and how it has influenced our understanding of structure-function and mechanistic relationships of Ras and its interactions. The structures show that Ras is a stable molecular machine that uses the dynamics of its switch regions for the interaction with all regulators and effectors. This conformational flexibility has been used to create small molecule drug candidates against this important oncoprotein.