BMW 2002 GT4 by Pietro Frua: BMW CS with Italian body

Gudrun Muschalla
BMW 2002 GT4 by Pietro Frua
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April 2007, Cernobbio on Lake Como: As part of the Concorso d'Eleganza, here in the street of the Villa d'Este , presents main sponsor B MW a very rare car. So far, only absolute specialists knew of its existence, as it is an unusually shaped coupé based on the Nullzwei. It has been part of the BMW Mobile Tradition collection since 2002, has been completely refurbished and is now back in its original state. We took the unique chance to drive this car.

Frua knocks on the knock in Munich - and presents a ready-to-drive coupé

Four decades ago, in March 1966, the first clear double made its debut, back then - for better differentiation because of its just two doors to the four-door new-class sedan - simply called 1600-2. The smaller series has long since achieved cult status as it produced compact, sporty and extremely fun-loving representatives that are now often used again by BMW advertising - for example with the introduction of the current single series. The two-liter models from 1968 were legendary, which culminated in the 2002 turbo with 170 hp using double carburetor technology and intake manifold injection.

In addition to the sedan, a convertible was also offered from 1967, followed by the station wagon with the crisp name Touring in 1971. That's it. That's it? No - because there were the then numerous Italian coachbuilders who were very actively fighting for orders from European manufacturers (including Great Britain!). Bertone and Michelotti had been working for BMW (3200 CS, 700) for a long time, and now Pietro Frua knocked on the gates of the Munich-based company, which was again up and coming.

Frua built a ready-to-drive coupé based on the BMW 2002 ti on its own.

Frua previously had some models from the family company Glas - including the 1300/1700 GT and the 2600 V8 'Glaserati' shaped - and had been caught off guard when BMW took over the Dingolfing manufacturer. After all, both types continued to run under BMW aegis, albeit with different engines and a different designation. Probably in the hope of getting a follow-up order from the Munich-based company, Frua built a ready-to-drive coupé on the basis of the 2002 ti - this car was owned by one in December 1968Stuttgart BMW dealer has been delivered. The wheelbase remained unchanged, the chassis was adapted to the ultimately somewhat heavier structure. The body, painted in silver metallic, used almost no components from BMW, apart from the windscreen wipers, door openers and the indicators of the 2800 CS (E9) - while the rear lights came from the Alfa 1750 Berlina Mk1.

Both cars received a huge, generously glazed tailgate

The interior, lined with light leather, largely came from the series zero-two. But the coupé body was eight centimeters longer, 15 centimeters wider and 14 centimeters lower than the original sedan - that's why it looks so wonderfully crouched. This car (code 361/1) was presented at the Paris Motor Show in October 1969, followed a year later by the second example, again exhibited at the same location in Paris. It differed from the debut only in the more pronounced wheel arches, a horizontal front edge of the bonnet and trapezoidal instead of pentagonal rear side windows. The original color was silver blue. Exactly this vehicle, which has only changed marginally over the years, is now ready for the first public exit. Both cars received a huge, generously glazed tailgate, under which a 450-liter, somewhat jagged luggage compartment opened up.

BMW 2002 GT4 was ahead of its time with the interior of the E3

There was space for up to four people in the car (hence the name 'GT4'), even in the compact rear it sits as Long people reasonably bearable. Any shortness of breath can be relieved thanks to the small rear vent window. There is a lot of space in front, both for the elbows and in terms of head height. Wide leather armchairs offer astonishingly much comfort and at least a minimum of lateral support; retrofitted lap belts should probably be in The front vent windows were a must at the time, customers wanted something like this (and probably still want it today, albeit without success).

The interior does not come from the zero double, but from the 2500 (E3) - with large round instruments (speedometer up to 220 km /h and tachometer with a red area from 6000 rpm), wooden applications on the instrument panel and a long gear stick on the d in the center tunnel. The two-liter twin carburettor engine under the front-hinged hood sounds robust and turns out to be as easy to turn as hardly any other. The maximum output of 120 hp is achieved at 5,500 tours, until then you experience a beguiling, unadulterated sound spectrum that culminates in a screaming crescendo. Regardless of the long shift travel, the gears can be changed in a flash, only the steering makes a doughy impression. Of course, it is still without power assistance, but the lack of accuracy may be due to the age of the vehicle.

The rear of the BMW 2002 GT4 likes to break out

The brakes (front discs, rear drums) are effective, and the 13-inch tires can sit on the beautiful Campagnolo rims in the event of heavy deceleration absolutely block. At higher speeds in tight alternating curves, the rear axle begins to have a lively life of its own, but we suspected that. Of course you have to be very careful to keep the stern under control. In the age of electronic driving stability aids, something like this is always an instructive experience - BMW cars were considered very fast at the time, but they were also at the top of the accident statistics. Which did not detract from their popularity; light, sporty cars with a top speed of 185 km /h were very popular: BMW and Alfa Romeo were the most important suppliers in that segment at the time. Maybe the BMW 2002 GT4 would have turned into a business success. But at BMW in 1969, the preparatory work for the Zero Two Touring, which was to appear in 1971, had long been underway. High expectations rested on the station wagon coupé variant, but it was years ahead of its time and flopped terribly.

A Frua coupé wanted Nobody in Munich has

A Frua Coupé therefore said that nobody in Munich could need it - this also applied to the second model (361/2) shown here. However, it only caused a cautious sensation because BMW had already had its own coupés on offer since 1965: From 1965 to 1970 there was the BMW 2000 C /CS based on the New Class, from 1968 the large CS (2800, later 3000) the offer. Fans and conspiracy theorists argue to this day whether Frua was inspired by the front of the six-cylinder coupé or whether his idea was copied by BMW ... However, it is unlikely that the Munich-based company copied the Maestro, because it was back in 1967 Knowledge of his unique specimen published two years later.

Statisticians count a total of 19 Frua designs based on BMW

Pietro Frua did not give up, sent drafts for the five-series (E12) to Munich and created further coupé derivatives, up to the two-door sevens from 1980; three years later he died in Turin at the age of 70. Statisticians count a total of 19 Frua designs based on BMW. Cars from Audi, Borgward, Maserati, Opel, Renault and VW also bear his signature - but his company has long since disappeared. However, certain design ideas have survived - just take a look at the striking rear section of the coupé.

Both BMW 2002 GT4s still exist - type one, initially privately owned by Pietro Frua, went to Japan in the 1980s , and the car shown here was in Switzerland for decades. It was advertised at least once in Motor Klassik - and has been owned by Munich since January 2002Preservers of tradition. The purchase price, which has never been officially confirmed, is said to have been the equivalent of 60,000 euros, according to information from the Frua Club.

A Frua Coupé wanted in Munich Nobody have

A Frua Coupé therefore meant that nobody in Munich could need it - this also applied to the second model shown here (361/2). However, it only caused a cautious sensation because BMW had already had its own coupés on offer since 1965: From 1965 to 1970 there was the BMW 2000 C /CS based on the New Class, from 1968 the large CS (2800, later 3000) the offer. Fans and conspiracy theorists argue to this day whether Frua was inspired by the front of the six-cylinder coupé or whether his idea was copied by BMW ... However, it is unlikely that the Munich-based company copied the Maestro, because it was back in 1967 Knowledge of his unique specimen published two years later.

Statisticians count a total of 19 Frua designs based on BMW

Pietro Frua did not give up, sent drafts for the five-series (E12) to Munich and created further coupé derivatives, up to the two-door sevens from 1980; three years later he died in Turin at the age of 70. Statisticians count a total of 19 Frua designs based on BMW. Cars from Audi, Borgward, Maserati, Opel, Renault and VW also bear his signature - but his company has long since disappeared. However, certain design ideas have survived - just take a look at the striking rear section of the coupé.

Both BMW 2002 GT4s still exist - type one, initially privately owned by Pietro Frua, went to Japan in the 1980s , and the car shown here was in Switzerland for decades. It was advertised at least once in Motor Klassik - and has belonged to the Munich keepers of tradition since January 2002. The purchase price, which has never been officially confirmed, is said to have been the equivalent of 60,000 euros, according to information from the Frua Club.

The effect of the brakes (front discs, rear drums) is appropriate; Block tires on the beautiful Campagnolo rims. At higher speeds in tight alternating curves, the rear axle begins to have a lively life of its own, but we suspected that. Of course, you have to be extremely careful to keep the rear under control.

Frua designs 19 BMW-based cars

Perhaps the 2002 GT4 would have turned into a business success. But at BMW in 1969, the preparatory work for the Zero Two Touring, which was to appear in 1971, had long been underway. High expectations rested on the station wagon version, but it was years ahead of its time and flopped terribly. A Frua Coupé therefore meant no one in Munich needed - thatalso applied to the second model (361/2) shown here.

Pietro Frua did not give up, sent drafts for the five-series (E12) to Munich and formed other coupé derivatives, up to the two-door sevens from 1980; three years later he died in Turin at the age of 70. Cars from Audi, Borgward, Maserati, Opel, Renault and VW also bear his signature - but his company has long since disappeared. However, certain design ideas have survived - just take a look at the striking rear section of the coupé ...

One in Japan, one in the mobile tradition

Both 2002 GT4 models still exist, initially privately owned by Pietro Frua, went to Japan in the 1980s, and the car shown here was in Switzerland for decades. It was advertised at least once in Motor Klassik - and has belonged to the Munich keepers of tradition since January 2002. According to information from the Frua Club, the purchase price, which has never been officially confirmed, is said to have been the equivalent of 60,000 euros.

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