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Frua study with V8 and BMW kidney sold for 209,000 euros

BMW-Glas 3000 V8 Fastback Coupé Prototype from 1967
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As part of the Rétromobile in Paris, the British auction house Bonhams is offering a unique item: the BMW glass 3 000 V8 Fastback Coupé Prototype only once in 1967 and showed the car at various trade fairs - without talking to BMW about the project beforehand. With a result of 209,300 euros (including buyer's premium), the estimated price was not quite reached: the study of a hatchback coupé should cost between 250,000 and 350,000 euros. The rarity is a contemporary witness of the decisive developments in the automotive industry in the 1960s.

Similarity to Audi, aggressive look

Deutsches Museum
Frua exhibited the study at several trade fairs.

From a distance you could see the ice-blue two-door for a Audi 100S Coupé . Or is that a Monteverdi High Speed ​​375 S? But up close, the small, graceful BMW kidney catches the eye, but above all the 'evil look' of the two double headlights. This striking look is created by a deep-drawn upper edge of the front section. Under the long bonnet is a three-liter eight-cylinder glass. The technology of the hatchback coupé comes from Glass 3000 V8, which was unofficially referred to as' Glaserati 'because of the striking body based on the Maserati Quattroporte I.

The bodies of the two small series coupés by Monteverdi and Glass was created by the Italian body designer Pietro Frua (1913 to 1983). The German car manufacturer from Dingolfing had been one of its most important customers since 1963. When BMW took over the Bavarian company, it was a heavy blow for Frua and his Turin company. But the designer did not give up hope of a continuation of the collaboration. At the Frankfurt IAA in September 1967, the Italian caused a big surprise.

A little Glaserati, a lot of Monteverdi

Deutsches Museum
Frua hadn't discussed the car with BMW.

At its stand, Frua presented a new hatchback coupé based on the BMW Glas V8, but without talking to BMW about it beforehand: 'Frua had built this car in secret - perhaps he wants to prove that he can also build cars of simple beauty 'wrote auto motor und sport at the end of September 1967 in issue 20. The form of the coupé study showed strong similarities with the Monteverdi High Speed ​​375 S, which was also presented at the IAA 1967. This similarity is no coincidence: Frua expert Stefan Dierkes keeps the first 1: 1 drawing of the BMW glass in his archive. The designer wrote on it: 'derivato da dis. 793' - derived from drawing 793, his design for the Monteverdi Coupé.

At the premiere in Frankfurt, auto motor und sport commented: 'Whether Frua too his hope of a small series at BMW is very popular is doubtful. ' Despite a subsequent tour of the Paris Motor Show in October 1967, the Geneva Motor Show in 1968 and the Barcelona Motor Show in 1969, the Glaserati evolution from Frua remained a one-off. BMW continued its own coupé history from December 1968 with the elegant CS (E9). Chief designer Wilhelm Hofmeister relied on the sympathy for the classic notchback shape. The engines were the famous six-cylinder in-line engines of the M30 series with outputs between 150 and 206 hp.

Not sold last

The coupé is now for sale at a Bonhams auction.

Frua sold its study with the chassis number V-1471 after the last exhibition in Barcelona, ​​where the coupé was presented in red paint, to a Spanish collector who kept the car in his collection for over twenty years. Then it went through several hands. In 2000, reports Frua connoisseur Dierkes, even BMW Classic was interested in the one-off, but refrained from buying it because of its poor condition.

In May 2015, the BMW-Glas 3000 V8 Fastback Frua appeared after a restoration of the technique in the RM auction in the Villa Erba. With an estimated value of 380,000 to 480,000 euros, the single piece was not accepted. Apparently it found a new owner afterwards. Almost five years later, the car is up for sale again. On February 6, it was in Bonhams' fleet of vehicles in the Grand Palais in Paris, this time with an estimate of 250,000 to 350,000 euros. The highest bidder paid 209,300 euros including buyer's premium.


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