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.