Two names appear in this post that aren’t nearly as widely recognized as they should be. The first is Andreas Glas, the proprietor of Hans Glas GmbH. In the 1960s, this company briefly moved away from its bonds as constructor of sewing machines and licensed Goggomobils to produce some seriously pretty coupes; the 1300GT and 1700GT were the first and better known, but the 2600 and 3000V8 were no less striking. That’s because of the second name involved in this post; Pietro Frua.
Frua isn’t nearly as well known as the other great Italian designers of the 1960s, but he had a unique style all his own. Well before Gandini and Giugiaro capitalized on the angular wedge era of automotive design, Frua’s low, long and flat lines stood sharply apart from the rounded arches that dominated Pininfarina, Ghia and Vignale. Glas used the designs, along with the pioneering use of timing belts, to offer a slightly different vision of German transportation. It was more emotive, more flowing and, frankly, more pretty than just about anything else in period from the major manufacturers. Indeed, many compared Frua’s work on the 2600 to the Maserati Sebring – exotic company, indeed, and fitting given that the designer went on to work on several of the Trident’s designs.
But Hans Glas GmbH was bought out outright by BMW, mostly for the procurement of the Dingolfing plant and engineering crew. Before BMW closed the chapter, though, they updated a few of the Glas designs with new Munich power, stuck some BMW badges on them and Viola! A new catalog of cars! This 1967 BMW Glas 3000 V8 is an example of the seldom seen period of BMW history:
There are always automotive “what ifs” that are really entertaining to consider. What if Audi had continued its Group B development mule which moved the turbocharged inline-5 to the middle of the car in order to better combat the likes of Lancia, Ford and Peugeot? Might the R8 have become a reality two generations earlier? What if Porsche had fully sussed out the Audi V8 in the back of the 964 instead of sticking with the flat-6? What if Mercedes-Benz hadn’t bought Chrysler and made a conscious decision to make their cars worse? These are but a few of interesting plot developments that could have spawned a Watchmen-esque alternate reality. The automotive landscape we look at could be entirely different. And to add one more potential to the plotline, what if BMW’s traditional design language was completely different? It’s pretty easy to spot the influences of the E9 and E10 in today’s car even though there have been massive changes. BMW even went to great lengths to try to convince consumers of today that there is lineage between the 2002 and the newly renamed 2-series. But what if BMW relied on Italian designer Pietro Frua to design their cars? Well, we would have gotten the 1971 Mustang a few years early, for one:
Noted for their Goggomobil micro cars of the 1950s and 1960s, Hans Glas GmbH delved into sports car production in the early 1960s with the 1300GT. Glas was the first manufacturer to use a timing belt with an overhead cam engine, part of the reason why BMW decided to take over the company after it fell into financial hardship in the mid 1960s. But before the Glas name was retired, they had one last trick up their sleeve in the form of the 2600 V8. Eventually the engine was enlarged to 3.0 liters in the 3000 V8, when a BMW badge would appear on the car. These sports coupes weren’t enough to save the company, though and in 1968, Glas was no more.
The company’s legacy lives on, as BMW’s Dingolfing production facility was formerly owned by Glas. This factory is BMW’s largest facility. This Glas 3000 V8 was brought to our attention from our reader Paul is for sale in Freiburg, west of the Black Forest near the French and Swiss borders.
Model: 3000 V8
Engine: 3.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 72,493 km (~ 45,045 mi)
Price: €75,000 (~ $100,177 USD)
Radio Becker, trailer hitch (from Glas/BMW V-8 3000 were only built 418 copies, of which 71 are under the direction of BMW. This car is in very nice restored condition. The interior is still completely original, with a very nice patina. Historically, this car is seen as probably the only originally registered car by Hans Glas GmbH and the second owner being Bavarian-Motoren-Werke AG. Miles are original, as is the complete history of the vehicle. A car whose rarity is unquestionable, since few of the 418 copies have survived.