David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/13/20 8:17 a.m.
feature_image

Go big or go home. That was Gemballa’s M.O. 

Uwe founded the German firm in 1979, with the original work being custom interiors–including trick stuff for the day, like TVs and audio system controls on the steering wheel.

Gemballa unveiled the Avalanche and Cyrrus in 1985–totally reworked versions of Porsche’s iconic 911 models. The Avalanche was the hardtop; the Cyrrus was the convertible. Defining features included a giant rear spoiler, Testarossa-like side slats and slope nose with flip-up headlamps. Some cars featured rear-view cameras instead of traditional mirrors. 

As the story goes, Vanilla Ice bought a 1988 Cyrrus in 1991. Soon after he sent it back to Gemballa where it was updated to 964 specs–and repainted from dark blue to white while receiving a very Miami Vice-appropriate all-white interior.

Fast forward to today, and a company carrying the Gemballa name is still turning out custom Porsches, offering their own takes on the 911, Boxster, Cayenne and Panamera. They can also employ their own form of magic to models from McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. 

How’d this all play out for the company founder? Not so well: After disappearing while in South Africa in February 2010, his body was found in a shallow grave that October. The reports of his disappearance and death often mention the words bankruptcy, money laundering and organized crime. 

The original Gemballa closed soon after its founder’s death, with Andreas Schwarz purchasing the name and “some assets” for the new company that bear the Gemballa name.

 

 

Read the rest of the story

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
1/13/20 8:26 a.m.

Why does the Gambella in the video have RUF plates?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/13/20 8:30 a.m.
pinchvalve said:

Why does the Gambella in the video have RUF plates?

That video came from the Ruf UK site. I believe they are (or were) offering the car for sale. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/13/20 8:37 a.m.

Wow, how cocaine-fully tacky those are.

 

Shadeux
Shadeux Reader
1/13/20 8:42 a.m.

The Baroque age, now with blow!

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
1/13/20 8:55 a.m.

And now I want to see an NA Miata with quad headlights. But not mine. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/13/20 9:02 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

Yes!!

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/13/20 9:16 a.m.

I know a guy with an early 00's Gemballa Turbo.  Unfortunately, he suffers from severe AADD and last time I talked to him, it hadn't moved off the lift in his garage for many years from when he started some suspension upgrades. It's a cool car, from what I remember of it.

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
1/13/20 9:30 a.m.

Not going to lie, if I had stupid money, I would take them up on the Carrera GT makeover.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/13/20 10:02 a.m.

By the way, is this the first time Vanilla Ice has appeared at the top of our home page? 

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
1/13/20 10:05 a.m.

I need to dig through my stuff and find the brochure I picked up at the 83 Frankfurt Auto show and scan them.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/13/20 10:47 a.m.

In reply to Aaron_King :

Pretty please?

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UltimaDork
1/13/20 11:04 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

By the way, is this the first time Vanilla Ice has appeared at the top of our home page? 

Sir-Mix-A-Lot had one too.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/13/20 11:19 a.m.
Gearheadotaku said:
David S. Wallens said:

By the way, is this the first time Vanilla Ice has appeared at the top of our home page? 

Sir-Mix-A-Lot had one too.

Some pics and info on the one that he sold in 2013.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
1/13/20 11:24 a.m.
Pete Gossett said:

And now I want to see an NA Miata with quad headlights. But not mine. 

I had exactly that though and then scrolled down to

find your post.

jstein77
jstein77 UberDork
1/13/20 12:28 p.m.
The0retical said:

Not going to lie, if I had stupid money, I would take them up on the Carrera GT makeover.

The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. -Douglas Adams

If you had stupid money, Grassroots Motorsports would probably not be your reading material of choice.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/13/20 4:05 p.m.
Duke said:

Wow, how cocaine-fully tacky those are.

 

Justin Amash / Camille Paglia - 2020 ticket

For a while, my Porsche mechanic had a red Kremer slope-nose cab: red over white with while BBS wheels. 

chandler
chandler PowerDork
1/13/20 5:18 p.m.

The pioneer car was a Gemballa, it's the car that turned me on to European cars. Saw it at a little stereo shop in Rome New York during a weekend promotion thing in 86/87/88 somewhere in there.

secretariata
secretariata SuperDork
1/13/20 5:59 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

For a while, my Porsche mechanic had a red Kremer slope-nose cab: red over white with while BBS wheels. 

How long have you been dying to drop that line on us? My Porsche mechanic...  :)

Also, I'm glad to see y'all finally got the "Word of the Day" instead of mislabeling "Words of the Day"...  ;)

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
1/13/20 9:23 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I will dig into the stash this weekend.  

300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
1/14/20 8:19 a.m.

Ah, another company founder suffering from Delorean Syndrome.......

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