The agonizing uncertainty over the whereabouts of Stuttgart's famed Porsche tuner Uwe Gemballa has come to a horrific end. In late September, his remains were found in Atterdigeville near Pretoria, South Africa. Apparently the man Wolfgang Kaufmann collaborated with for many years became the victim of violence.
54 year old Gemballa who distributed his own Porsche accessories worldwide, had been missing since February 8, 2010.
Wolfgang Kaufmann finds it hard to put his feelings into words: "I am stunned by this tragic outcome, and cannot comprehend what has happened to Uwe Gemballa. I do not wish to take any part in the speculation that now revolves around his death."
The two men had a long and reliable partnership in the field of developing supersports cars. One first high point in their collaboration was the lap record for tuned road legal cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 2001. The lap of 7:32,52 min., recorded with a Gemballa Porsche GTR 550 Biturbo producing 550 bhp, stood as the record for many years. It was a masterful performance because the lap was accomplished on regularly treaded road legal tyres.
Over the following years, the proven team Gemballa/Kaufmann added some more achievmeents to their roster. In 2002 and 2004, for instance, Kaufmann won the prestigious Sport Auto-Tuner GP at Hockenheimwith the Gemballa Porsche GT3 Evo, and then the Gemballa Porsche GTR 600 Evo.
"For me, Uwe Gemballa led the way in the German tuning scene. The automobiles of Porsche are already at a high technical standard; the way in which Uwe and his crew were able to further refine these sportscars was simply magnificent. His achievements deserve respect and appreciation. He entrusted me with these valuable cars without any reservation, and I have not let down his trust. This developed and built to a respectful collaboration that is not common in motorsport."
A deeply saddened Kaufmann shares his memories of a long standing business partner who became his personal friend: "
Gemballa was a visionary, and a perfectionist, and he put his heart and soul into his company. He united various talents in one person, at the same time acting as designer, manager, handling PR as well as sales. Uwe had contacts worldwide and was always "on the case". He was the first in the office in the morning, and the last one to turn of his computer in the evening. To think that this man was killed in cold blood is beyond my imagination. My thoughts are also with his wife and his son who have to cope with this vicious blow of fate, somehow.
I feel deeply sorry for the two because we all have lost a wonderful and unique person in Uwe Gemballa!"