The Spicup is both a spider and a coupe, the prototype made by Bertone and Marcello Gandini was specially commissioned for BMW. The highlight of the design is the three-piece sliding top made of stainless steel. However, BMW deemed it was totally out of place with its current model line and was therefore dropped from production.
Using a BMW 2500 as a backbone, the designers at Bertone shortened the chassis to fit a new body and interior. Inside, only the gauges and pedals remained stock (from an E3 again). Bertone fitted a new dashboard, seats and carpet with two-tone, green on green upholstery.
Bertone described the car: “The considerable dimensions of the mechanical components were handled by creating almost excessively fluid vertical lines. At the same time, the relatively important tail and wings become the car’s focal point. The rollbars had to satisfy a combination safety needs and design criteria, and Bertone solved the problem with an automatic mechanism which also contained the elements for the transformation from spider to coupé and back again.
For the Spicup, Bertone used the larger inline-6 cylinder engine from the BMW 2800. This capable 2.8 litre, six-cylinder engine produced 170bhp and drove the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual transmission. These components made the prototype fully functional.
It was revealed at the 1969 Geneva Motor Show, the Spicup had a great resemblance to the Alfa Romeo Montreal prototype released at the 1967 Montreal Expo. This was especially true of the semi-hidden headlights with motorized flaps. However at the front Bertone kept BMW’s ‘double kidney’ motif, but with obscure padded inserts.
Having little to do with past or future BMWs, the company quickly sold the Spicup to an enthusiastic owner that racked up over 60,000 miles (100,000 kms) travelling constantly from the Netherlands to Germany. This was largely possible due to the BMW 2500 underpinnings. At some point the body was painted orange and the engine cover was attached in unit with the bonnet.
In recent times the Spicup was found by Paul Koot in the Netherlands along with an Intermeccanica Indra. It was complete and a subsequent restoration was completed for Roland D’Ieteren in Belgium. Painted its original hue of green with triple-tone interior, the Spicup made its debut at the 2009 Villa d’Este Concours with BMW as the acting sponsor.