Uwe Gemballa’s Franken-Porsches Are the ’80s Nostalgia You Need

Vanilla Ice owned one. So can you.

August 31, 2017 9:00 am

In the world of autophilia, few are as picky as Porsche enthusiasts. By which we mean: they tend to frown upon modifications. A Porsche is a Porsche is a Porsche, and the mere notion that it can be improved upon is a misguided one.

But every now and then, a Porsche restoration comes along that even the old stalwarts can get behind, despite any perceived lack of authenticity. Such is the case with German customizer Uwe Gemballa and this ‘86 Gemballa Avalanche, set to cross the RM Sotheby’s auction block this September.

Gemballa (5 images)

Gemballa made a name for himself in the ’80s swooping up 911s and 930s beyond the pitch-perfect factory specs. The wild rides were a way for the more eccentric upper crust to flaunt their riches — as well as add a little personal flair to their fleet. Customers included Robert Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice.

The makes, like this number here, were unique in that they sported wider body kits, side strakes, upgraded wheels, flashier interiors, garish polish jobs, cameras instead of mirrors and Pioneer Hi-Fi systems throughout. Considering Gemballa was doing this to sports cars that were intended to be very tactile and analog out of the box, those upgrades represented a serious departure from the Porsche ethos.

They also represented a hefty price tag for the time: most Gemballa models checked in around $700,000.

The Avalanche seen above is one of only 15 ever produced — and the last built — and comes in mint condition (for a Porsche, a car meant to be driven), with just 13,800 miles on the odi. The aftermarket steed is modified with a RUF engine capable of at least 375 horsepower and finished with a black leather interior and metallic white paint.

Estimated to go for around $232,000 at auction, this is a rare opportunity to show your appreciation for the liberal fringes of supercar society.

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