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Glas 1700 GT- 1967

Glas 1700 GT- 1967

Hans Glas GmbH had modest Bavarian roots, begun by grandfather Maurus in the town of Freising in 1860, making and servicing agricultural equipment. With success, his son, Andreas, expanded the business to nearby Dingolfing, and also expanded offerings to sewing and baking equipment. This shrewd move allowed Glas to retain their skilled staff through winter. In turn, Hans, one of Andreas’ 18 children, assumed management of the company in 1920, after living and learning in the US during the War.
During an agricultural equipment expo in Turin, Italy in the late 1940s, Hans got the idea that a small, Vespa-like scooter might be successful back home, and by 1951, had introduced the “Goggo” named after his first-born son. Wildly successful, sales of the scooter soon outpaced the other offerings, and Glas transitioned into a consumer vehicle manufacturer. A string of small and mid-level cars soon followed, including the Goggo 250, 300, and 400, and the mid-size Isar. Desiring to move upmarket, Hans hired Italian designer Pietro Frua to develop a pair of sporting coupes for Glas. The larger, V-8-powered 2600 GT was playfully nicknamed the “Glaserati” due to its heritage, while the smaller 1300 and later 1700 GT (seen here) went on to much success.
The Frua-designed 1300 and 1700 Coupe (seen here) and Cabriolet were halo vehicles for Glas. Even though Glas was one of Germany’s smallest automakers, the GT series were very influential, marrying Italian design and German engineering in a marketable, successful package for arguably the first time. Glas also innovated with the introduction of the first belt-driven overhead cam engine design for mass production. Even with all the previous successes, Glas could not seem to expand fast enough to keep up with competitors, so with the help of the Free State Bank of Bavaria, BMW absorbed Glas in the mid-1960s. This was a win-win for a few years – thousands of experienced engineers and workers kept their jobs, while BMW gained the new OHC designs and room for expansion. The Glas name finally disappeared from cars by 1969. BMW built a new factory on the Dingolfing site. It is the company’s largest and is still the economic backbone of the region.

 

Specifications
Manufacturer: Hans Glas GmbH
Country of Origin: Germany
Drivetrain Configuration: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: 1682cc water-cooled inline four, belt-driven overhead cam
Transmission: 4-speed manual (5-speed optional)
Top speed: 183 km/h (114mph)
Years Produced: 1965-67
Number Produced: approx. 1790 (total: 5378 all 1300 and 1700 coupes and cabriolets)
Cost: $3785 at US dealers

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