What is the story behind the most Italian-looking BMW? The Glas GT was a sports coupé produced by Hans Glas GmbH in Dingolfing, Germany. The car was first presented as the Glas 1300 GT in September 1963 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with production starting in March 1964. The much rarer cabriolet version appeared in May 1965 and the 1700 GT in May 1965.
Deliveries of the Glas 1300GT began in March 1964. The body was designed by the Piedmontese firm Frua of Moncalieri, hence its appearance so different from the Munich cars, and closer to the Alfa Romeo and Maserati of the time. The body was built in Moncalieri, near Turin, by the Maggiora builders, and then sent to the Glas factory in Dingolfing for final assembly. The 1,290 cc engine was a version of the unit which had powered the manufacturer’s 1004 model since 1962. Power output on this model was 55 kW (75 bhp) which provided a top speed of 170 km/h (106 mph).
In September 1965, the maximum power was increased to 62.5 kW (85 hp). The car was fitted with larger wheels and the top speed was raised to 175 km/h (109 mph).
From September 1965, vehicles could be ordered with the 1,682 cc engine of the new Glas 1700 TS sedan, which had a maximum power output of 74 kW (100 PS) and a top speed of 185 km/h (115 mph).
BMW 1600 GT
And we come to the crux of the matter. From the summer of 1967, during its final year, the Glas GT took on the world with a BMW badge and grille, BMW rear suspension and a BMW engine. Why? BMW acquired the company, in order to take over the brand’s patents, and the company’s highly skilled engineering staff. With the BMW acquisition, the GT was modified to accommodate the 1,573 cc BMW engine already installed in the BMW 1600. By using the BMW engine, the car also gained an increase in power output to 77 kW (105 hp). BMW also took the opportunity to install “new” round tail lights, as fitted to the BMW 1602 from 1966, and to reconfigure the front grille to incorporate the BMW “double kidney” grille.
Between 1964 and 1967 Glas produced 5,376 GTs including 363 convertibles. Between June 1967 and August 1968, a further 1,269 were produced.
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