Uwe Gemballa missing in South Africa

Uwe Gemballa

Uwe Gemballa

It’s being reported that the founder and owner of Gemballa – Uwe Gemballa – has gone missing on a trip to South Africa.

Update 16/2/2010: We’re now hearing reports that the Gemballa business has been closed down by German authorities.

The name Uwe Gemballa might not immediately strike a chord. Unless you’re a complete petrol-head the creations of Uwe and his eponymous company may have passed you by. But if you read here regularly you will undoubtedly know that Uwe Gemballa has a big reputation for customising Porsches, often to the extreme.

More recently Gemballa has turned their hand to customising the Enzo Ferrai, and we ran a story a short while ago about the Gemballa MIG-U1 Enzo created for clients in the Middle East and now a part of Gemballa’s stock customisation offerings

Earlier today we had a call from a contact of Cars UK who deals with Uwe on an almost daily basis to say that Uwe had flown to South Africa a week or so ago, and no one has heard from him since. So we thought we’d have a dig around and see what we could find out. We checked with a big dealer group in Germany where the dealer principle speaks to Uwe on a regular basis. Same story. We also spoke to Alain Class Motors in the Middle East who are involved with the MIG-U1 – the same story there too.

Then we came across a post on Teamspeed saying exactly the same thing. Teamspeed have been dealing with Uwe on a joint project and speaking to him on a daily basis – but they too have lost contact.

Which is all very odd. Obviously everyone hopes there’s a simple explanation for Uwe’s disappearence, but South Africa can be a dangerous place, and Johannesburg particularly so.

So we all hope Uwe turns up alive and well very soon. The car world would be a less interesting place without his creations.

Cars UK Motoring Directory


  1. zameer says

    yeah ofcos… CAPE TOWN THE PLACE TO BE.. we even have Zonda’s and R35 skylines driving around. so please, don’t talk crap about s.a, you don’t live here, i myself drive a RS4 and didnt once get hijacked or kidnapped for the past 25 years iv been living here,unlike your european countries we have no bomb threats or bombings like you ppl do. we have no enemies at all. its safe is S.A i love it.
    peace out

    • CarsUK says

      Couldn’t agree more, Zameer. SA is a beautiful country. It has dangerous areas – but so does every country, UK included. The fact is Jo’burg can be dodgy so it was a fair comment. But we certainly wouldn’t want to put readers off visiting your country.

  2. Roan de wet says

    I’m from south africa and find your fear for Uwe’s safety hilarious. If you have some money you can stay away from dangerous parts of the country. Johannesburg has a reputation for hi-jacking, but if you know one or two things about being carefull it’s easily avoided.

    If he’s in SA he’ll probably in Cape Town in anyway, which is more European and metropolitan than many places in Europe. There’s even a Koenigsegg Trevita in Cape Town.

    Come live in South africa before you make any claims about it.
    The man’s probably tired of the snow and enjoying a week or two of HOLIDAY.

What do you think?