Home / Automotive / Cars / Video: Take Me Back Tuesday – 1986 Gemballa Avalanche


Still accumulating value is the Gemballa Avalanche. Back in the 80s, these superior bespoke cars often carried a price tag of over $500 000. And now? Expect nothing less than $1 000 000.

Based on the already borderline-insane Porshe 911 turbo, the Gemballa Avalanche debuted in 1985 as a coupe, along with the non-turbo convertible version that was known as the Cyrrus. Founder of the company, Uwe Gemballa, had the vision to improve the 930 and, initially, focussed on aesthetics by adding a prominent rear wing linked to an aero package installed around the rear window – "Avalanche" iconography was prominent on the rear lip of the wing, and the immediately noticeable left and right side strakes, reminiscent of the Ferrari Testarossa, were designed to be aerodynamically functional by channelling cool air into the side intakes to feed the engine. The door handles were removed and replaced with a button under the top lip of the side strakes, you can imagine how this would go down with someone who didn't know how to get in (lol).

On that humorous note, Vanilla Ice owned a Gemballa Avalanche in the 80's, I'm sure you can agree that his ostentatious style was redeemed by his brilliant taste in cars. In fact, he loved this car so much he referenced it in his song "Get Loose" with the line “Of course a Vanilla rides the groove like a Gemballa Porsche”.

This specific Avalanche is one of the final examples, built in 1986 and finished in a metallic pearlescent white, contrasted by a black leather interior. The engine was modified by RUF to produce 375 bhp, up from the original 300bhp, and its only gathered 13 800 miles in its first 30 years of life.

Check out the gallery and video (which is as rare as the car itself!) and let us have your thoughts in the comments below.

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