This Glas 3000 V8 Is A Family Heirloom
Story and Photography by Alexander Koester
My Name is Alexander Koester, and I am 23 Years old. I’m studying law in my hometown of Bremen, Germany—and this is my 1967 Glas 3000 V8. My father handed it down to me, after he died in 2012.
I’ve been interested in cars my whole life, because of my father. He took me to his garage every weekend, and I helped him work on his cars and motorbikes. I’ve already restored a Glas 1700 GT by myself, and earned a lot of knowledge there.
My father knew this car since the mid-’70s, when it was a secondhand car. He was college student in a small town, and the Glas was parked in the back yard of a BMW dealership, where my father bought parts for his BMW 1600 GT coupe. At that time, my father was not able to afford the Glas, so all he could do was to eye up the car and dream about owning it someday. Twenty years later, a friend who still lived in the town called my father, because “his” car was finally for sale. It was offered by the inheritor of the recently-deceased BMW dealer and wanted to sell the car as quickly as possible. My father bought it on the phone sight unseen.
The base was okay, it needed only minor bodywork and a new paint job. The engine was was rebuilt and mildly modified, because the stock V8 often overheated easily. At the time it was parked, the car had only around 55,000 kilometres (~34,000 miles) on the clock. The interior is completely original, and was only cleaned up—yes, it’s dashboard is made of leather, and looks like the cockpit of a small airplane!
Glas was run by a family in Bavaria. Although the company was very small, compared to other German car producers at that time, Glas was pretty innovative. It introduced the Goggomobil, a car that mobilized a whole generation in post-Second World War Germany. Glas built the first mass-produced engine with a timing belt made of plastic in the Glas 1004. This engine was later used with a larger capacity in the Glas 1300 and 1700 GT. In the early ’60s, the bosses of the company Glas had the plan to build a sporty GT with four seats—to play in “the big leagues”. The body was styled by Pietro Frua, who already designed the smaller 1300 and 1700 GT coupes, and the 1700 sedan. When you look at the car, you can see some relation to the Frua-styled Maseratis of that time. The engineers at the company made the V7 fitted to my car out of two 4-cylinder 1,300-cc engines; this had a lot of benefits, chiefly because the V8 engines have the same cylinder heads, like the smaller models.
About 718 cars were built, before Glas owners BMW pulled the plug on the car early in 1968. That’s a good reason for why only few people know about the car. It’s nice to have a car nearly nobody recognizes, even though its BMW badges indicate it was one of the last built.
I love to take the car out for a ride on smaller roads in rural areas, but it also drives comfortably on the Autobahn at higher speeds for longer trips. Even at speeds faster than 100 mph, it’s fun to drive.
In 2015, I participated at the Glas Owners Club meeting. The trip was very memorable: I drove the car about 1,600 km (1,000 miles) that weekend without any problems, and even visited the old production site…which is now used to build new BMWs.