The one and only BMW 1600 GT has been restored

p90333968 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

And by a crack team of apprentices, too. Doesn't it look sweet?

BMW’s definition of the word ‘apprentice’ appears different to Lord Sugar’s. Rather than run around London trying to sell weird smoothies at huge mark-ups, the German carmaker tasked its apprentices with saving a one-of-a-kind classic.

p90333967 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

p90333969 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

Those in training at the company’s plant in Dingolfing have, for the past few years, been working to restore a 1967 BMW 1600 GT convertible which has now been inducted into the factory collection.

p90333971 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

p90333973 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

The 1600 GT originally came about after BMW acquired another German sportscar manufacturer, called Glas (don’t say you aren’t familiar). After the takeover, the Bavarians set about combining the 104bhp mechanicals from their own 1600 Ti with a beautifully styled body built by Italian designer Pietro Frua.

p90333976 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

p90333977 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

The intention was to create a roadster that could be exported for sale in the US, but BMW built just two cars for testing. Unfortunately, one of the pair was crashed and subsequently scrapped during development, and so only this example remains after the plans for production were halted towards the end of 1967.

p90333982 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

p90333984 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

With original parts used where possible – and other components completely remanufactured – it’s no surprise that this apprenticeship project was measured in years rather than months. With the recent popularity for modernising classics though, it is comforting to see such a stunning car restored to its original splendour. And it certainly beats seeing some egos in suits waste an hour of your time annoying ads agencies…

p90333974 highres bmw 1600 gt converti

STORY Greg Potts

TopGear
Author: TopGear
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.