A vocational training team at the Dingolfing BMW plant has restored the only surviving example of the BMW 1600 GT convertible in a multi-year project.
The silver four-seater marks BMW’s transition from a niche automaker to a mass-production car manufacturer, enjoying “steady growth in success and an international reputation”, BMW said in a press statement.
The sole survivor is one of two original prototypes which BMW commissioned from Italian bodywork designer Pietro Frua.
In 1967, one of the vehicles had an accident and the vehicle was then scrapped, leaving the second one.
The remaining 1600 GT was handed over to BMW major shareholder Herbert Quandt, where it remained for many years and was then passed on to other private owners.
“When the experts from BWM Group Classic became aware of the unique special from Dingolfing and they succeeded in agreeing an acquisition, a plan emerged to return the automobile to its original condition at the very place where it first saw the light of day,” the German automaker said.
The BMW 1600 GT’s restoration at the Dingolfing plant formed part of the training of apprentices who were aspiring to become bodywork and vehicle construction mechanics, BMW said.
During restoration, components which were no longer were “painstakingly remanufactured”, BMW Group Classic said.
The genesis of the 1600 GT convertible stemmed from a proposal made by importer Max Hoffmann, who suggested to develop a new version of the coupé with a 2.0 litre engine and an open-top version.
In October 1967, coachbuilder Frua delivered a convertible body mounted on a strengthened floor assembly.
This was then painted in Dingolfing where all further assembly work took place.
On November 16, the BMW 1600 GT convertible was entered in the plant’s production book as being completed.
However, plans for series production and US export never materialised.