Unique BMW 1600 GT Prototype Brought Back To Life

Classic Cars

It's the only example to have survived from an obscure chapter in BMW's history

Some jobs may be more intuitive than others, but everyone has to learn the ropes at some point. And this group of apprentices at BMW had what looks to have been a rather splendid training process.

The group of trainees has been working for years at BMW's Dingolfing plant to restore this classic Bimmer prototype to its original condition. And now that they're done, we can all be glad that they did – not only for the sake of their own training, but for the posterity of this one-of-a-kind convertible as well.

The car in question is a 1967 BMW 1600 GT, which represents a rather obscure chapter in the Bavarian automaker's history. The 1600, you see, wasn't originally supposed to be a BMW. It was designed by Frua for Hans Glas GmbH – a German manufacturer that started out building agricultural equipment and sowing machines in the late 19th century before shifting to automobiles, like the little Goggomobil microcar it built in the 1950s and 60s.

BMW entered a partnership with Glas and ended up taking it over entirely in 1966, absorbing the Dingolfing plant and rebadging the Glas GT as the BMW 1600 GT.

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After the 5,013 coupes and 363 convertibles that Glas made on its own, BMW would end up producing another 1,259 under its own name. It turned again to Pietro Frua to transform the 1600 GT into a convertible, but the plans were ultimately scrapped, with only two prototypes made – of which only this one survived. BMW Group Classic tracked it down and re-acquired it, charging these apprentices with its restoration at the same factory where it was first built, to enter the automaker's permanent collection. And judging from the photos at least, it seems they did a pretty good job of it.

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