Quick, come up with some icons of the 1980s. There’s Don Johnson, Madonna, Hulk Hogan, even Ronald Reagan. In the world of cars, that list from that decade also bristles with the name of Uwe Gemballa. Who, you ask? If you’re posing the question, you clearly were absent from the Porsche enthusiast world during the real All About Me Decade. Gemballa is the brainiac behind a line of epnoymous, wildly customized and painted takeoffs on the Porsche 911 and especially, its awesome turbocharged variant, the 930. If you’re still drawing a blank, think of an outrageously modified powertrain inside a 911 body stretched with straked side intake, gigantic wings, steamroller rubber on BBS wheels, and paint in shades of fuscia pink and the like. That was, and is, a Gemballa, because this faded name of glory is about to make a comeback.
When those Porsches of yore were cobbled together, it was usually the result of a collaboration between Gemballa and RUF Automobile GmbH, the famed Porsche engine specialist and vehicle manufacturer, which functions as kind of an AMG or Alpina for Stuttgart. It’s a fabled pairing in Porscheland, and it’s about to be revived. Marc Philipp Gemballa. the founder’s son, is teaming up with RUF for their latest joint effort, which now has the handle of Project Sandbox. As Marc Gemballa explains, it’s an effort to wildly modify a current 992-series Porsche 911 Turbo S and repurpose it as a supercar with legitimate off-road capability, inspired by the landmark all-wheel-drive Porsche 959 supercar that, in considerably modified form, won the Paris-Dakar Rally back in the 1990s. To keep up with this alliance, whose end result is guaranteed to be anything but visually boring, go here. We do know that RUF will be responsible for the Project Sandbox powertrain, as only it can be, and is already promising 750 horsepower right out of the box.