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Parked Since ’75: 1966 Glas GT 1700


This 1966 Glas GT 1700 was supposedly parked in 1975. It is still wearing California black plates and only has 47k miles on the odometer. It is also listed here on eBay with no reserve. Sounds almost too good to be true. If it’s legit though, this could be one heck of a find for a Glas enthusiast. There are a few of you out there, right? Thanks for the tip Jim S!


Glas was a German company that started out in farm equipment and eventually moved into scooters and cars. They may be best known for the Goggomobil, but Glas also owned the rights to some special engineering. They were the first to use overhead camshafts and timing belts, both standard features in the automotive world today. This was an innovative company and BMW knew it, so in 1966 they bought it out and killed off the brand.


That is too bad though because this was a sweet little car. Twin carbs, overhead cam shaft, five main bearings, and an all synchromesh gearbox meant that this was a serious sports car. It will be a big job to wake this one up from its slumber, but the next owner will have a rare sporting GT. Lets just hope that odometer hasn’t already rolled over once.


Jim also sent a link to an AutoWeek article that discusses the difference between a preservation class car and a barn find. This car is obviously classified as the latter of the two. It is an interesting read and brings up some good points. Let us know what you think.


  1. Dolphin Member

    Now this is really interesting—an original California black plate Glas with minimal surface rust and what looks like an accurate description in the eBay listing. These look a lot like the ASA that Ferrari made—both mini-GT cars that had a lot of great engineering but unfortunately were never made in large numbers and disappeared far too soon.

    It’s true that BMW killed the Glas brand off after buying it, but I doubt that Glas would have survived anyway. The cars were stylish and very well engineered but outdated, but they never sold in any quantity, so the company probably wouldn’t have been able to put out new models. I think BMW still uses the old Dingolfing, Germany property that they got from Glas to build cars today.

    This would be great to bring to the next BMW annual meet just as it sits. It would get a lot of attention and probably a lot of offers. Hardest part would be to decide whether to take an offer or restore it yourself. Fortunately it’s in sunny LA and still has its sheet metal intact, so the resto would be fairly easy for such a rare car.

    I think it’s true that Glas invented the timing belt, which just about every car in the known universe uses today—except BMW. I owned one of the only BMWs that had a timing belt, a 1987 325is, but BMW went back to timing chains right after that series for better reliability at high RPMs and no timing maintenance needs for the life on the engine.

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    • Don Andreina

      The ASA coincidence is uncanny. This is a very nice baby sports. Great find.

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  2. Alan

    Great looking style, would make a cool Sunday tourer if cleaned up.
    Whether made to run and left with evident “patina”, or fully sorted and repainted, this is an uncommon car that would bring a lot of attention.
    I just don’t see evidence of any serious structural problems. The underside has a lot of cobwebs, but the rust appears to be superficial. This car is nearly 50 years old, but the styling is still good, and for its’ age, would appear to be an easier project than most of similar vintage.

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  3. paul

    Nice design ( body), nice dash cluster, & interesting about the overhead cam but as far as the belt most manufactures are going back to the chain, my wife’s new Jetta, chain, my friends new Hyundai, chain, another friend ‘s Honda , chain.

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    • Alan

      Chains, belts, gears… Each has it’s merits and shortcomings.
      Chains do fail, like everything else. They can break catastrophically, but that is rare, and mostly only after stretching/getting very noisy. They can skip gear teeth, and often the biggest issue is excessive wear on/failure of the guides system. Engines with bad chains are often recoverable.
      Belts are quieter, and accurate, but they can also wear, and they are prone to failing in a big way with age/miles. Whether loss of a bunch of belt teeth or belt breakage is the problem, pistons meeting valves in an unfriendly encounter on an interference engine is the result. Ouch.
      Gears often have a really cool sound, depending on the pitch and accuracy of the engagement. As oil-bathed parts, they can last longer than belts or chains. But they can be less accurate over time, and expen$ive to replace/service, much more than the others.

      Belts and chains respond very well to service (replacement) at specific intervals. Gears… Back to the $ issue.

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      • paul

        well all my Alfa’s had chains with 0 problems, but heard way too many stories of motors with belts & interference engines. I also live in a hot, humid climate, rubber doesn’t stand up well here. When I do own a car with a belt it gets changed at 6 years or 60,000 miles if I keep it that long.

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      • Dolphin Member

        Alan, Good discussion of the pros & cons. Here are another few:

        Chains can often run very reliably for the life of the engine if they are engineered properly. They need good lubrication and especially good guides and tensioners. There was a famous engine designed by a certain German manufacturer that often had catastrophic failure due to chain problems from an inadequate chain tensioner. Replacing with the later, oil-pressurized version, cured it. So where the chain runs and how it’s tensioned is crucial.

        Belts are cheaper but require routine replacement or will break. They also tend to be wider than chains, which can be an issue where the overall length of the engine is an issue for placement in the car, especially in sideways mounted front WD cars.

        Gears: the ones that I have heard much about were all on race cars and the time and expertise needed to set them up properly would prevent them from being used in the typical road car.

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  4. Brian

    Such a great styled car, its too bad you’d never find all the parts required to bring it back to life. Even if you did, you’d have more invested than it would cost to buy a turn key version or something else just as sweet and sporty, even if more common. If you chose to take it on, I applaud you enthusiasm, but I don’t envy your task!

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  5. Horse Radish

    ‘To each his own’ I’d say.
    Some like muscle cars, I happen to like these and have for 20+ years.
    The price is up there, and about what I paid for my half dozen, including the last one in January @ $1200.
    They are still out there, buried in people’s garages. Parked for minor issues decades ago, but neat enough to hang onto.
    Too bad: they were ahead of their time AND THAT is WHY they did not make it past the competition (Mercedes and BMW in the mid sixties)

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    • Horse Radish

      BMW bought the Glas company out of bankruptcy because of several patents they were holding

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  6. Jim-Bob

    It has really nice design, almost like a poor man’s Alfa Sprint Speciale. I wonder if they were styled by the same people because the resemblance is uncanny.

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    • Horse Radish

      Italians, yes, same people, no.
      The body was designed by Pietro Frua (who designed some Maseratis, QP1, Mistral), and actually built in Italy.
      The cars were assembled in Dingolfing with a Glas drivetrain and interior…..
      and they are getting up there in prices.
      Not a poor man’s Alfa anymore…..

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      • Jimmy

        I thought it looked Italian, I guessed Bertone as it looks rather like the Simca 1000 & 1200 coupes. Typical of BMW to buy Glas just to wipe it out. Same as VW bought out NSU. There used to be so many interesting companies making oddball vehicles, nowadays everything is so bland.

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      • Don Andreina

        Jimmy, look up the ASA 1000 that Dolphin mentioned. For years I thought these were both Bertone because of that car. Horse Radish has six of these? Stylin’

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  7. Jimmy

    Engine looks like a SOHC powered by a pair of Solex carbs. 80-90 bhp could be enough to make it pretty hairy!

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  8. DT

    Ive had 2 of these.This body style is said to have influenced the 912s and the 911s,in the end BMW bought them and just installed BMW motors and a BMW grill,now those are rare.These were also supposed to be the “NEW” Borgward Coupe for 1962 or 1963,but BMW bought out Borgward(underhandidly)and then bought up Glas/Gogomobile,to get the patents for the rubber timing belt design. Before they bought Borgward and Glas, BMW was a nonthreat,I think Opel sold more cars than BMW.After Borgward went”Bankrupt” many German people called BMW…Borgward Motor Werks

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  9. DT

    These cars were not outdated,these cars were inovative, the 2 that I had were chartreuse. These cars were “MOD”….mod like pea coats,bell bottoms,like captians hats and turtlenecks,you had to be there.when they were new they were hard to find parts for.I had mine over 25 years ago and at that time it was hard to find parts.That coming from a Borgward owner.If they were outdated BMW never would have bought them out. Germany is a Democratic Republic,in other words a Banker decides what an engineer desings and what an automaker makes

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    • Dolphin Member

      Good point—-I should have said outdated styling, and only on some models. The GT1700 has wonderful styling, and the engineering was innovative, especially the timing belt. But as much as I personally like the look of the 2600/3000GT, they sold only about 200 a year, so people seemed to vote by not buying those models in any numbers. Fura also did the Maserati Q-porte 1, which had very similar styling, and only about 50 sold each year. So again the reception was limited, and those have remained at the bottom of the Maserati market. I don’t know what potential buyers were thinking about all those models, but I’d guess a factor was the unusual front end, which might have seemed like it had a dated look, in contrast to the smoother and more rounded shapes that were more popular.

      Anyway, there was no way Glas was going to amortize their costs for developing the big cars with sales of 200 a year, so an outright sale of the company or bankruptcy was unavoidable.

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  10. Dolphin Member

    Sold May 15th on eBay for $11,300

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  11. Horse Radish

    I am not at all certain that this sold.
    I think the whole auction was rigged with shill bidders.
    First :
    private listing – bidders’ identities protected
    Second (response of the seller to my request to view the car on Thursday (May 08):
    “lets see where the number goes $ in the next few days give me a reminder email a couple of days before auction end as lookers louse interest when the price goes up / thanks”

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