In case of emergency, brake: Glas 1700
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking the small, elegant Glas GT coupé was an Italian offering. But although the car was penned by Frua (the revered Italian design house) and the body manufactured by Maggiora, it is a German car, with final assembly at the firm’s home in Dingolfing.
The 1963 GT coupé was a brave attempt to take on the national big guns, BMW and Mercedes, in a last-ditch effort to keep the independent Bavarian company alive. It was a radical departure from the micro-cars the firm was known for – most notable of which was the Goggomobil. The cars were well-received but competition, especially from the British, heavily impacted sales and, perhaps inevitably, the firm was sold to BMW. Rather than scrapping the Glas product line, though, the cars were refined, rebadged and integrated into BMW’s own range.
In May 1965, Glas introduced the GT 1700 with the bigger 110hp engine from the TS saloon. In a bid to boost sales, the car was homologated in the US; a then-lucrative market for European sports cars. Its pretty coupé styling was a lure, especially that raking rear roofline, sweeping towards the floor in a Porsche 911-esque fashion. They’re very rare, too.
Nowadays, Glas can be a refreshing alternative to the more common small British and Italian sportscars of the day. And why not buy the best? This gorgeous blue example has been extensively restored and is allegedly the GT 1700 used for originality reference in car club circles. It’s extremely well-documented (even the original Blaupunkt radio warranty booklet is included) and is said to perform admirably, even by today’s standards. So if you want to arrive at the next classic car meeting in a real talking point, then look no further.