London

6 September 2017

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Lot 159

1986 Gemballa Avalanche

  • Chassis no. WP0ZZZ93ZGS000145
  • Engine no. RUF-903-5-2-087

£145,000 - £180,000

Documents: Proof of EC Taxes Paid


  • An extraordinary example of ’80s tuning at its finest; a collaboration between Gemballa and RUF
  • Highly original with less than 13,800 miles from new
  • Believed to be one of 15 produced


Despite the Porsche 930 Turbo being one of the fastest and most highly regarded sports cars of the 1980s, a market for specialist tuners emerged during this time with RUF and Gemballa coming to the fore. 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. Not before too long, Gemballa turned its attention to producing whole cars based on Porsche 930s and quickly gained a reputation for outrageous designs and performance.

The Avalanche, along with the convertible Cyrrus, debuted in 1985. With a price of 390,000 DM (nearly $700,000 in 1989), it was clearly aimed at the flaunting wealth of less conventional members of society, the most famous owner of an Avalanche being the rapper Vanilla Ice. Each Avalanche was extensively modified by Gemballa with virtually unique body panels all-round and bespoke interiors filled with the latest technology for the time. Mechanical modifications were handled by RUF with cars being finished to customer requirements.

Believed to be one of 15 examples produced, this 1986 Avalanche was one of the last built. With RUF’s involvement with the project, it is known that this Avalanche received a RUF engine with at least 375 bhp. The interior was tastefully finished in black leather to offset the metallic white of the exterior. Today, this U.S.-delivery example is presented in original and excellent condition with less than 13,800 miles since new. With the Avalanche name recently revived by Gemballa, this represents an exceedingly rare opportunity to own a significant legend of the 1980s.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more