By on October 7, 2019

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.

[Images: seller]

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16 Comments on “Rare Rides: A 1967 Glas 2600 V8 (and Future BMW Coupe)...”

  • avatar

    Corey, it’s Hans Glas, not Glass. The 2600 is very unusual; people that have heard of Glas (like me) would be more familiar with the Goggomobil, and the Glas 1700 and 1700GT.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Love the gauges/instrumentation, the seating, and the proportions of this vehicle. Not to keen on its front end styling or engine.

  • avatar

    Glas 1700GTs are quite popular at the vintage automobile shows in my area (Munich). However, the larger and more luxurious V8-powered models are practically unicorns.

  • avatar
    Dale Houston

    Did BMW disable the turn signal controls once it became the BMW-GLAS 3000 V8?

  • avatar

    “Body panels were individually fitted and labeled with a serial number, and thus were not interchangeable between cars.”

    Standardization and interchangeable parts are a thing. I say this because it seems many (most?) manufacturers forget that this is the point.

    Standardization + higher volumes = better product at a lower price.

    (Instead, everyone wants to sell 200 units a month of something ‘special’ – phooey. Volume and mass appeal for the win.)

    ((Super extra double bonus points if you hang on to your basic design long enough to iterate it to greatness. GM especially never learned this lesson.))

    • 0 avatar

      Hand built cars were very much a thing then. And for a car that was built in the single digits per week, that makes perfect sense. Nobody ever planned to make these for the masses.

      And personally, I would rather run Porsche and make $20K profit per car, than Toyota and make $200 profit per car. Much more fun.

    • 0 avatar

      “Standardization and interchangeable parts are a thing. I say this because it seems many (most?) manufacturers forget that this is the point.”

      Light airplane production is traditionally like this in a lot of ways. The volume is too low to justify large capital investments like production line robots that are purpose-built for a few particular steps- although skilled, *good* workers aren’t cheap either!) and there is a lot of hand-fitting. CNC and nowadays 3D printing is changing that because you can use those machines for a variety of things. Come to think of it, those two technologies are making classic car ownership easier than it used to be.

  • avatar

    The later BMW-badged cars looked a bit odd as they had the familiar BMW roundels on them but looked nothing like BMWs. But some other former Glas model did get retrofitted with a new twin-kidney grilles, which did or didn’t make them look like real BMWs depending on model.

  • avatar

    My cousin had an early 70s 3.0 CS BMW coupe. I can see a bit of it in this Glas from the side view….but the front of this???? Horrible.

  • avatar

    Beautiful in a delicate old timey European way.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I think I would love the sound of a 2.6 liter V8. That’s a stately car.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Here it is, in 3.0 liter form:


      I love the gears on the carburetor!

      Now I know where the shape of the M1 came from. Interestingly, the tail lights remind me of the Mustang II or the Celica GT of the mid 70s.

      Great find, Corey!

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