Rare Rides: A 1967 Glas 2600 V8 (and Future BMW Coupe)
Today’s Rare Ride is a German V8 luxury coupe that was designed in Italy and hails from a brand unknown to many. It’s a Glas 2600 V8 from 1967.
Hans Glas GmbH (the company’s eventual name) was founded in 1883 by mechanic Andreas Glas. The brand began as a simple repair shop, branching out to farm equipment circa 1908. During its time as farm equipment manufacturer, the company moved locations a couple of times and fell into the hands of CEO Hans Glas, who renamed the company after himself in 1933. After starting scooter production in 1951, Hans Glas built its first cars in 1955. Beginning with the Goggomobil micro car, Glas quickly branched out into the luxury world.
By 1966 Glas had introduced a V8 luxury coupe called V8, 2600 V8, or 3000 V8, depending on who was asking. Glas hired Italian firm Pietro Frua to create the body work; the Italians put the coupe’s body on top of the company’s existing 1700 sedan.
Frua was instructed to design the new car as frugally as possible. This meant components were borrowed from other manufacturers: headlamps from a bus, window winders from a Mercedes-Benz SL, and door locks from a Porsche. For the engine, Glas used its existing 1.3-liter inline-four twice. The resulting engine was a 2.6-liter V8. Boasting dual overhead camshafts and two timing belts, the engine made about 148 horsepower.
Coupes were built by hand at the Glas factory in Dingolfing, Germany. Body panels were individually fitted and labeled with a serial number, and thus were not interchangeable between cars. The coupe, built with the 2.6-liter in 1966 and 1967, offered up a 3.0-liter version of the same engine in 1967 and 1968. But by then, Glas was no longer running the show.
You see, BMW had taken an interest in its competitor. BMW’s new 1500 sedan was popular, and production capacity at the automaker’s Munich plant was full. In 1966, the Roundel purchased Glas and took over its factory for extra capacity. The majority of Glas models disappeared within a year following a short term of confused identity where they wore BMW badges. The V8 carried on in its larger engine form, and was sold from late in 1967 through 1968 as the BMW-GLAS 3000 V8.
BMW closed down Glas entirely by the end of the Sixties, choosing to rework and expand the factory at Dingolfing. Today, that factory produces the 5, 6, and 7 Series, as well as Rolls-Royce bodywork.
Today’s Rare Ride is an exceedingly rare 2600 V8 produced after BMW took ownership of Glas, but before the larger 3.0-liter engine and BMW badge were implemented in the same model year. Located in Switzerland, this last gasp of Glas asks $92,000.
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