Posts Tagged ‘Avalanche’

1986 Gemballa Avalanche

Remember the 80’s? Shoulder pads, footballer mullet hair-do’s, Don Johnson sleeves, Dallas, Wham, leggings and Yuppies of course.  If you liked cars, however, you might struggle to pick a favourite from the era of the ‘wedge look’ (Google TR7). Nonetheless the best hot hatch of all time, the Golf GTi (okay and the 205 GTi), was born back then along with the Ferrari F40. So some salvation at least from the acknowledged decade of excess.

Individualism was also high on the agenda in the car world of the 1980’s and the likes of TVR, Morgan, Marcos and Lotus enjoyed a level of editorial exposure that typically McLaren, Lamborghini, Porsche and Ferrari enjoy today. Different times indeed.

Of course car design is a very subjective thing. The traditional, conservative path tends to be trodden by the mainstream guys because, well, that’s the market they target in order to sell the most cars.

So how does individualist design stack up in the twenty teens? That can be answered in a heartbeat. In order to survive in the long term, no company can afford to be too adventurous because the numbers have to add up. Keep it safe, in other words.

The likes of Trevor Wilkinson and Colin Chapman would have a very big hill to climb these days so therefore all credit to the likes of Horacio Pagani and those designers that stretch our imaginations much further than our conformist world would prefer.

Uwe Gemballa was a car designer of his time and fortunately there are still a few of his sensational designs around 30-plus years later today. This 1986 Gemballa Avalanche is a superb example that is available to purchase right now.

Finished in Pearlescent White with a Black Leather interior this super-rare, left hand drive Gemballa Avalanche was first registered in the UK in April 2018 and was originally supplied brand new to a dealer in Puerto Rico, USA in 1986.

The Porsche 930 Turbo may well have been one of the fastest and most highly regarded sports cars of the 1980’s but a market for specialist tuners emerged during that time with RUF and Gemballa quickly making a name for themselves. Gemballa was founded in 1981 by Uwe Gemballa, an engineer who started out creating bespoke interiors before developing a strong interest in aerodynamics and associated aftermarket products. Gemballa soon turned his attention to producing complete cars based on Porsche 930’s and quickly gained a reputation for outrageous designs combined with wild performance.

The Avalanche debuted in 1985 with a price tag of 390,000 DM (nearly $700,000 in 1989) and quickly became the wheels of choice for some very high-profile celebrities such as the rap-musician Vanilla Ice who immortalised the car in the lyrics of one of his songs – “Of course a Vanilla rides the groove like a Gemballa Porsche”.

Each Avalanche was created by Gemballa with mostly bespoke body panels plus individual interiors filled with the latest technology for the time. Mechanical upgrades were completed by RUF with the cars being finished off by Gemballa to specific customer requirements.  (more…)