The original BMW Garmisch was developed by Bertone as an independent design proposal intended to demonstrate the studio’s creativity.
The BMW Group unveiled the recreation of the BMW Garmisch at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The Garmisch is a classic concept car that was designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone and vanished after its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 1970. With the newly created car, BMW pays respect to one of Italy’s most influential car designers and adds an exciting chapter to the company’s history.
BMW has always been inspired and influenced by the Italian design and coachbuilding culture. From the lightweight aluminium BMW 328 Mille Miglia created at Carrozzeria Touring in the late 1930s to the wedge-shaped BMW M1 designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, there has always been a vital exchange of concepts and ideas across the Alps. And just like many other Italian show cars of the 1960s and 1970s, the original BMW Garmisch was developed by Bertone as an independent design proposal intended to demonstrate the studio’s creativity.
While the side profile of the car was very sleek and clean, the most distinctive design feature of the BMW Garmisch was its bold, vertical and almost angular variation of BMW’s kidney-shaped radiator grill, which was flanked by square glass-covered headlights. Other unusual details included sports car-like louvres on the C-pillars and the honeycomb-patterned mesh cover for the rear window – a trademark element of Marcello Gandini’s style.
Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design said, “Marcello Gandini to me is one of the grandmasters of car design and his cars always have been an important source of inspiration for my work. Building the BMW Garmisch for a second time gave us the opportunity to pay tribute to Mr. Gandini, recall one of his lesser-known cars and highlight Bertone’s stylistic influence on the evolution of BMW design. For me, that alone was reason enough to do this project – filling in the gaps and completing BMW’s history.”
Although the car was created in just a couple of months, the design team did not let the opportunity pass to give the interior their special treatment as well. With its rather unusual vertical radio on the center console, a lavish fold-out mirror for the passenger and a flamboyant mix of colours and materials, the BMW Garmisch added an elegant Piemontese twist to the rather functional interior design habits of the time.
As original documents of the BMW Garmisch were sparse, the interdisciplinary team convoked from the BMW Group Design and BMW Classic departments had to retrace every detail of the car’s exterior and interior from a small selection of period images, most of them only available in black and white. Marcello Gandini himself contributed to the research process with memories from the creation of the car, allowing the design team to refabricate key details such as the exterior colour – a light champagne metallic in line with Italian fashion trends of the time – and the interior materials and trim. And while the BMW Design team used the latest 3D modeling technologies to revive and specify the original structures and shapes, the BMW Garmisch was coach-built by skilled craftsmen in Turin – just like the original car almost 50 years ago.
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