Being born in Turin, the center of the Italian car industry, was already a great start to becoming a car designer. And when he studied at the Scuola Allievi Fiat, founded and sponsored by Giovanni Agneli, the patron of Fiat, it was clear where the designer of the BMW Glas GT 3000, Pietro Frua, was going to direct his steps, one of the main Italian car builders and designers during the fifties and sixties.
After spending some time at Fiat, Frua set up his own design studio, where he designed the A6G/54 coupé and the Mistral for Maserati, which was a great boost to his career as a designer.
In 1963, Frua began collaborating with the German company Glas, for which he designed the Glas GT Coupé and Cabriolet, cars that clearly evoked the Italian design of the time, more similar to Alfa Romeo, Fiat, or Maserati than to the cars being produced in Germany.
After the purchase of the Glas company, Pietro Frua presented various design proposals to BMW to expand its range of vehicles, but with little success, as Munich was focused at the time on developing the 3.0 CS. Furthermore, his models did not fit in with the company’s design guidelines, despite their elegant appearance, with a design similar to that of a Maserati Ghibli or an Iso Grifo, and clearly influenced by the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also collaborated with BMW on vehicle design.
Among these proposals that never made it to production was the Glas 3000 V8 chariot in Frua’s design, presented at various motor shows, including Frankfurt and Paris in 1967, the Geneva Motor Show in 1968 and, finally, Barcelona in 1969. The car was presented in different colours to show off its incredible design: light blue metallic in Paris and red in Barcelona.
The vehicle from which this prototype was derived was the Glas V8, a coupé designed by Frua that was first presented in September 1965 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where it was nicknamed “Glaserati” due to its design, similar to contemporary Maseratis.
In February 1966, Glas offered an improved version of the same with a 2,982 cc engine, which was not if not a union of the two engines of the 1,489cc model already sold by the company, and which offered a maximum power of about 160 hp that allowed it to reach 200 km / h according to the company’s data, which according to a test conducted by the motor magazine Auto Motor und Sport remained in 193Km / h. After the purchase of Glas by BMW, unlike its little brother the Glas GT, the kidney grille was not added to its front end.
Today, due to its exclusivity, Pietro Frua’s BMW-Glas 3000 V8 can command a market price of around €300,000.