By James Hobson
Just to let you know it is work in progress at this time in finding out how many right-hand drive Touring’s are around. I will keep you posted on this one in future articles.
I thought I would share with you my initial research on the origin of the Touring.
I appear to have opened up a hornet’s nest of information which I am trying to understand and need your help in offering me any information you might have.
To all our BMW Touring and Glas Automobile Club friends across the channel, can you help as well?
My understanding is, Hans Glas founded his business in 1883 making farm machinery. His business evolved into making sowing machines (a seed drill), steam driven pumps, motor scooters and cars in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Glas car production started in Dingolfing, Germany with the name Goggomobil. However, in 1964 the company introduced the Glas 1300 GT and the name Goggomobil was dropped forever.
My understanding is, and this is where I need help from you, BMW purchased Glas in 1966, mainly to get hold of Glas’s patents on the use of a timing belt with an overhead camshaft in an automotive application. BMW kept some Glas cars in production but fitted them with their own BMW engines.
Okay, you ask where is this all leading us to?
Whilst researching on the internet I came across the very interesting Glas Club web site.
There I found a photo of a Glas 1304 a limousine, 2 door CL. A hatch- back! CL standing for Combi Limousine. It has a 4 cylinder, 4 cycle in-line water-cooled engine, 1290 cc.
I was amazed to see this photo as surely this is the origin of the Touring.
Richard was also helping me on the road to discover the Touring’s origins when he came across an article in a German magazine called Auto Motor Sport, dated 20.12.1969. It was a Glas with a Touring body as we know, it badged 1304. We think the side vents on the body look thinner.
I would welcome a translation into English so I can put that in my next article, if you could email the transcript I would be very grateful.
This is where I get confused; my understanding was the Touring body was designed by the Italian designer Michelotti in 1968 for BMW.
BMW in the mid to late sixties were very busy with other in-house design projects and after looking at various design companies, commissioned Michelotti to design a Sporting Estate car.
So did Michelotti in 1968 look at the original Glas 1304 and evolve that design into the Touring body we all know today?
When did BMW change the name from Glas on the Touring to BMW?
Also when did the word ’Touring’ first appear?
I would welcome any information you may have on the Glas/BMW story and please email it through to me and I will get that published in our club magazine.
Do you think we have found the origin of the Touring?