Gemballa have limited the production of Mirage GT to only 25 cars in total. Each one features an extreme body kit bolted to the Porsche Carrera GT. To walk into the factory and see number 20 and soon to be 21 there at the same time felt like a jackpot. As they say, to see one inside the factory is already a privilege, but rarely do we have two! Another interesting guest at the time of my visit was the classic Gemballa Extremo, based on the Porsche 993.
Gemballa is quite a controversial topic in the Porsche tuning world because they dare to be different and not all people like what they do. They seem to be quite pedantic when it comes to power – if the papers says a certain amount of horsepower, then one can be sure that your factory fresh car produces exactly that amount of horsepower. They go through a serious amount of testing – no compromises here and one have to respect them for that. One could assume that when there is so much emphasis on looks and body kits the technical aspects of the car end up getting less attention, but that is not true. They alter the whole package to create a highly personalized supercar – it truly is “Porsche Tuning at its finest“.
They told me the story of a customer who after purchase tested their car on another dyno, just to find out that the new dyno result did not match the result from Gemballas own dyno. What Gemballa did was to send their technician to the customer, in another country, to find out where the problem was. Turned out it was poor quality fuel that caused the loss of power in the car, and when they changed that, the car was just as promised again. When the yellow Mirage GT in these factory photos was ready to return to the owner of the car in Middle East, an employee from Gemballa personally traveled there with the car. If that is not good customer service, then I do not know what is!
When asked where their largest customer base is, they answered a lot of interest for Gemballa comes from Middle East. That answer makes perfect sense when we think about a tuning company like Gemballa, who will do anything so their customer can feel they are driving a car designed just for them. In Europe, most people choose not to flaunt with their cars. A German McLaren dealership will say that the most ordered McLaren colors are black, white or grey. Not the color one was expecting or hoping to hear – McLaren Orange. Apparently it is for many buyers too flashy, and they want to keep a low profile.
The Middle East, on the other hand, seems like a part of the world where individuality is not even a choice, it is a lifestyle. That is one of the reasons why tuning companies like Gemballa, among many others, can continue to create cars that truly stand out from the crowd – there is luckily a buyer for nearly everything.
There is nothing wrong with driving cars that make people turn their heads and obviously you can never please everyone. Personally I think if you spend that much money on a car, never do compromise to please someone else. Do whatever you need, to make it your ultimate dream car – and drive it with pride!