Tag: Gemballa

By on August 6, 2015


Here’s a question for the B&B: When, exactly, did Mercedes-Benz completely lose its famous sense of aesthetic restraint? Was it the arrival of the Panzerwagen W140 S-Class, with its Bismarckian bulk and its little pop-up parking guides? Was it the debut of the two-tone Maybach 57 and 62, complete with their burl-walnut power window switches and sliding curtains? Was it the day that the CLA45 AMG proved that the company had no philosophical objection whatsoever to building what was basically a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution?

Whenever it was, it’s certainly happened. Those days of squared-off, buttoned-down diesel sedans and sensibly-sized S-Classes are long gone. But this is one of those rare cases where the reality was equal to the legend. There truly was a time when the W126, in V-8 SEL form, was simply the best car in the world. It was rapid, silent, safe, trustworthy, classic, and supremely comfortable. It existed in a space utterly beyond any but the most picayune criticism.

But it simply wasn’t enough. Wasn’t brash enough, wasn’t trash enough, wasn’t gold-plated enough, wasn’t gull-winged enough. Enter, therefore, the 1000SEL.
(Read More…)

By on October 4, 2010

About a year ago, a mutual friend introduced me to Uwe Gemballa. He looked a bit like a pimp from central casting: bleached blond hair, a flashy watch,  gold chain. He tuned Porsches. He wanted to import Gemballas to China, and could I help him? Like many China deals, that deal never got off the ground. And as I read the news today, I think to myself: I’m glad it fizzled. Dodged that bullet. Literally. (Read More…)

By on February 23, 2010

When I met Uwe Gemballa the first time, he looked like he could be the manager of the local strip club down the road: Shoulder long bleach blond hair, a flashy watch, a suit to match the watch, the shirt unbuttoned down to the chest. I then found out that he had brought a Porsche 911, that made upward of 750hp, to a friend of mine, to make it street legal. Gemballa had one of the hottest tuner shops in Germany. His mods to the Porsche Cayenne produced the fastest SUV in the world – at least that’s what Uwe told me. Last I heard from him was some two months ago. He wanted to import Gemballas to China, and could I help him? Then it became quiet. Now I know why. (Read More…)

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