Glass GT. Masterpiece with German and Italian roots.

ER Classics Desktop 2022

The design came from Frua. The comparatively small Glas- grown by the Goggomobil- gradually pushed up in the prosperity of the peoples that took hold of Western Europe in the 1963s. At the 1300 edition of the IAA in Frankfurt, the manufacturer from Dingolfing showed the Glas 1600 GT. It was a beautiful masterpiece that would eventually end its career as a BMW XNUMX GT.

Italian design, German technology. The Glas 1300 GT. Image: BMW AG / Hans Glas Gmbh
Italian design, German technology. The Glas 1300 GT. Image: BMW AG / Hans Glas Gmbh

The production of the German coupé with Italian genes was realized by both German and Italian hands. The body was given its basic shapes at Maggiora in Turin. After this, it was transported to Glas home base Dingolfing, where the housing was fitted with German technology. The chassis had two independently suspended wheels at the front. At the rear, a combination of swing axles, a rigid rear axle and leaf suspension was used. The driving forces were transmitted to the rear wheels via a split cardan shaft. The beautiful coupé made its market debut as the 1300 GT. Equipped with a 75 HP supplying 1.294 cc engine with overhead camshaft and toothed belt - a construction that Glas used early on - the beautiful 2 + 2 coupé accelerated to a top speed of 170 kilometers per hour. Braking was done via discs at the front and drums at the rear. The technical whole found its way into an exceptionally attractive design, which provided a good basis for the development of another 1300 GT variant. Four months after the coupé started production, Frua's creation was also available as a convertible, also as a 1300.

The open version of the Glas GT. A typical sixties beauty. Image: BMW AG / Hans Glas Gmbh
The open version of the Glas GT. A typical sixties beauty. Image: BMW AG / Hans Glas Gmbh

Expansion in September 1965

Modifications to the 1965 GT took place in September 1300. The 1.294 cc power source got more power. That was now jacked up to 85 HP. At the same time, the GT series (both the coupé and the convertible) was expanded with a 1700 variant. In the sporty Glas model, which was still modern in design at the time, the Dingolfing manufacturer fitted the power source from the equally attractive 1700 TS Sedan. The 1700 GT had the same chassis and dimensions specifications as the smaller motorized variant. But the larger power unit certainly paid off performance technically. The double carburetted 1.682 cc engine - also with overhead camshaft and toothed belt - applied 100 HP to the crankshaft and enabled the 1700 GT to reach a top speed of 182 kilometers per hour. The mounting of the larger engine resulted in a cosmetic change to the front. The bonnet got a small extension - equipped with an air grille - at the top to provide more space for the long-stroke engine. The cosmetic change also found its way into the 1300 GT.

After the acquisition of Glas by BMW, the GT was also sold as a BMW 1600 GT. This beautiful item is for sale at Potomac in Terborg. Image: Potomac
After the takeover of Glas by BMW, the GT was also sold as BMW 1600 GT. This beautiful copy was for sale at Potomac in Terborg. Image: Potomac

BMW 1600 GT

Glass was acquired by BMW in November 1966. For the Glas GT it meant a transformation into a BMW model. The launch of BMW's 1600 GT in September 1967 marked the outright end for Glas's 1300 GT. The 1700 GT from Glas continued to coexist with the BMW variant until the end of 1967. There were little differences in appearance, although a small BMW logo was mounted on the front. Under the skin, the differences were much greater. The front train remained unchanged. At the rear, the wheels on the BMW - in combination with a different rear axle construction - were independently suspended. The engine (105 HP) of the BMW 1600 GT came straight from the 1600-2 TI. The round taillights also came from the -02 series. The most mature version of the Glas GT bore the BMW emblem. Despite the “leap forward” mentioned by the press, the BMW 1600 GT did not last long. The curtain fell as early as August 1968. A sign that BMW started to focus more and more on its own models.

Production figures

In total, the Glas 1300 GT 3.526 rolled off the tire as a coupé and 242 as a convertible. The 1700 GT found 1.680 buyers as a coupé. 122 times a signature was placed under the order for the convertible. The BMW 1600 GT finally managed to seduce a buyer 1.257 times, with 2 (!) Times opting for the open version.


Give a reaction
  1. We have been a dealer of the Glas brand for six years, always fairly good, sold separate good clientele, all types were not cheap and had a lot of fun, especially when the CL types came with the so-called Third door. You know them Goggo Isar Glass 1004 1204 1304 TS 1700 and TS real crack guns Great time 1962 1968 Gr. Stef Hartogs👍

  2. What beautiful coupés with such a sloping roofline, all by Italian designers: this Glas GT, the Fiat Dino coupé, the Ferrari 250 GTO. I myself have one for 20 years Triumph GT6 mk3 (design by Michelotti) because I could not afford a real Jaguar E-type FHC. Wait a minute, that Jaguar E-type did not come from an Italian drawing board but was completely designed in England. Even Enzo Ferrari was impressed.

  3. 1959 Pontiac Slant six had a timing belt, 1960 Fiat used them in their as you all know the 124

    • Unfortunately, the Fiat 124 had a 1200 engine, not with a timing belt, but an underlying camshaft with pushrods.

    • I myself am fortunate to own a BMW 1600 Gt. Restored for 8 years. Yes, normal family life continued and I really wanted to do as much as possible myself. Now it looks great and I can tell you that it also drives great. A special car to own, to drive and above all to enjoy.

  4. Ha! I was also a 1204 rider at the time. What a fantastic and for that time idiotically fast car that was, you saw the thick Mercedes of that time keep getting smaller in your rear view mirror. They weren't popular cars, not beautiful, but what a joy it was to drive them. And the nice thing is that I now have one again. In barn find condition, but with a bit of good will, the car will become one of the few cars still running. At he is waiting for what is to come.

  5. Don't forget to mention that the Glas 1300 engine formed the basis of the Glas 2600 V8, with two toothed belts. This large Glas sports car, nicknamed “Glaserati”, was designed by Frua and the first thing that stood out, besides the beautiful lines, were also the enormous rectangular headlights with thick chrome edges. Those lamps were therefore from… a touringcar from Kässbohrer Setra. The intention was to gain experience with the 2600 V8 in order to equip a top class limousine with it later, but before it was developed, Glas was already down.
    However, the Glas 2600 V8 was continued for a while after the takeover as the BMW 2600 V8 and 3000 V8.

  6. @Hans A string has advantages but also disadvantages (breakage), just like a chain by the way (stretch). It can also be done in another way, namely with gears (eg 2CV), the best system, I think.

    Furthermore, a Glas looks like a sporty, slender, friendly and exciting sports car. Very different from the cars that BMWs are now struggling with.

    • However, the 2cv does not have an overhead camshaft (s) (so located in the cylinder head), so it is indeed possible to work with a gear pair

    • It is also possible with a king-size axle, such as with the Ducati, or with an eccentric, such as with the NSU Prinz.

      The small 2CV engine with underlying camshaft is able to turn an astronomical 7.000 rpm for that time, without the mechanism of pushrods, rocker arms and valves starting to “float”, but with larger and heavier engines, a high speed is real. an overhead camshaft, or at least high in the block, is required.

  7. I've had a Glass 1204. A very nice car. I drove it back and forth to Greece, in 1969 I think, to Athens, to take the boat to Mykonos there (in Piraeus). Mykonos was then a kind of hippie island, many young people from all over Europe were there, I had also been there a year earlier. Just before Athens the crankshaft bearings came out. With a lot of blue smoke we (me and 2 friends) made it to the BMW garage in Athens. Glass had already been taken over by BMW, a Glass was repaired by the BMW dealers. Fortunately I had an ANWB travel and credit letter, so that the repair could be paid. Four weeks later we were able to return to the Netherlands by car ...

    • That was a time when problems were simply solved (without legal hassle) and that afterwards a nice adventure came out, about how it went 50 years ago.
      And for the youth: without WiFi it also worked then 😉

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