RE: Gemballa Cyrrus | Showpiece of the Week

RE: Gemballa Cyrrus | Showpiece of the Week

Monday 10th June

Gemballa Cyrrus | Showpiece of the Week

The 911-based Cyrrus was designed for yuppies who thought RUFs too plain



Today, the most garish car designs are probably those intended for wealthy customers in Asia and the Far East. But in the 1980s, it was the yuppies of Europe and America who insisted on going way beyond the point where good taste stopped. Disposable incomes were often lavished on the Porsche 911 in this period - although, for some, it was never going to be brash enough to boast about. 

Many aftermarket firms were quick to realise this, with RUF the most famous to turn the wick up on Stuttgart’s sports car and create super high-performance versions. But while the German tuner focussed its attention on the mechanicals, others chose to centre their work on altering the 911’s clean-looking design. Take Leonberg-based firm Gemballa, which was established just as yuppie culture got going in 1981, and one of its first cars: the impressively wild Cyrrus.


Just 10 versions of this ‘Flat Nose’ were produced, each bespoke to the tastes of its buyer and using the naturally-aspirated 3.2 flat-six engine of Porsche’s two-door convertible. All came wearing Testarossa-mimicking side slats, which helped channel air into the side intakes and provided space for a hidden door button. There was also an enormous rear spoiler, as well as two-part BBS alloys. Inside, you got new dials, steering wheel-mounted buttons and an eight-track cassette player. 

RUF was tasked with providing an engine upgrade, upping power to 228hp thanks to the fitment of new pistons and modifications to the head. Although no performance figures were published, cars were estimated to be good for a 0-60mph time of under six seconds and 160mph top speed – more than enough to satisfy weekend warrior trips to the Hamptons.


Of course, the transformation came at a cost, with each example costing the equivalent of about half a million pounds in today’s money. Gemballa’s creation therefore attracted the attention of a certain kind of buyer, including, most notably, the rapper Vanilla Ice, who said in a song that he “rides the groove like a Gemballa Porsche”… So enthusiastic was he for the Cyrrus that he reportedly collected his car from Gemballa HQ in Germany and later had the car repainted from blue to white.

Today’s Showpiece also comes in yuppie-spec pearlescent white with a cream leather interior, and was apparently the personal vehicle of company founder Uwe Gemballa, meaning it gets arguably the sweetest mix of upgrades applied to any of the 10 Cyrusses. Note the gold wheels with chrome dishes, the fitment of a big-bore racing exhaust and those digital dials, for example.

As arguably the most important of all ten Cyrusses made, this one is not cheap. But for someone wanting to relive the glory days - as film and TV seem to be doing endlessly - few cars typify the loadsamoney culture more accurately. To the extreme, as Vanilla himself suggested. 

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Author
Discussion

Quickben

Original Poster:

40 posts

102 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Properly hideous. Suits the 80's to a tee.

P-Jay

8,936 posts

133 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Well... that's revolting.

dudleybloke

14,802 posts

128 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
It's certainly of its time.

Chuck328

1,145 posts

109 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
I expected to see the word 'replica'.

I'm sure someone will like it.

julian64

12,775 posts

196 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
While I think its hard to make a Porsche look more ugly, I think this actually manages it.
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EyeHeartSpellin

73 posts

25 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
So that's where Mansory started

Slippydiff

10,372 posts

165 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Penned by the world renowned design studio Charles and Wonder ...

cookie1600

1,143 posts

103 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Almost as dodgy as the way poor old Uwe Gemballa met his death

https://mg.co.za/article/2018-05-11-00-lured-into-...

Steamer

10,914 posts

155 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Was this when coke started to really become popular as opposed to marijuana and / or Acid?

...Just trying to work out what on earth these people were taking!

Greg the Fish

540 posts

8 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Gosh. I remember these when they came out. Certainly hasn't improved with age.


Burnham

3,487 posts

201 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
cookie1600 said:
Almost as dodgy as the way poor old Uwe Gemballa met his death

https://mg.co.za/article/2018-05-11-00-lured-into-...
Huh...I never knew that. Thanks for posting.

MDMA .

4,820 posts

43 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Is it a 930 if not a turbo?

tril

207 posts

16 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
MDMA . said:
Is it a 930 if not a turbo?
No it's not, 930 refers specifically to the Turbo

Turbobanana

1,363 posts

143 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Actually, if you squint, it's a bit dark and you've had a few beers, it's probably not too bad.

I'd want a coupe, though, not a convertible, and I'd certainly loose the rear spoiler which looks like one of those rubber bibs you put round a baby's neck at feeding time.

irocfan

19,424 posts

132 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
nearly make Will.I.am look like a talented designer

petemurphy

5,254 posts

125 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
so bad its great!

belleair302

6,071 posts

149 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Gemball did some radical interior work. Champagne cooler behind the passenger seat and some epic 80's in car hifi and TV's in the glove box. Love the front end, hate the extended tea tray rear. No sue about the Testarossa side, all very mid 80s.

geo1905

9 posts

6 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Wow ! The first word that springs to mind is execrable. On second thoughts, change that to excrement !

kiseca

7,413 posts

161 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
It looks awful but I do think those cars were very colour sensitive.

Back in the '80s when cars like that didn't look quite so daft, I remember in a Road and Track quarterly mag seeing the red hardtop "Avalanche" version of that car - bodywork wise at least, the Avalanche had a Ruf turbo engine - and thought it looked great.

I've seen the Avalanche in other colours, including white, and I think white makes them look awful. I also think this one would look better with the top down (and not white...)

The Avalanche also makes more sense of the huge curvy rear wing because it all joins up with other new bodywork around the rear window.






DrSteveBrule

1,746 posts

73 months

Monday 10th June
quotequote all
Turbobanana said:
Actually, if you squint, it's a bit dark and you've had a few beers, it's probably not too bad.
I couldn't physically drink enough to ever make this look passable. I like the 80s excess but this is beyond the pale. It's worse than Koenigs' offerings.