Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove

There are many cars that I love perhaps beyond any good sense or reason. Among them is the Glas 1700 GT.

Here is a Glas 1700 GT that I saw parked on a lovely side street in Berlin back in 2010. On the surface it is a fairly standard early 1960s European sports/GT car. It has a little 1.7 liter engine, a prim body, and a rear-wheel drive chassis.


What’s interesting is that the design for the car was done by the great Pietro Frua, an Italian. It looks very much like an Italian car. It was built, however, in Dingolfing, a few hours north of the Italian border in Bavaria, making it a German car.

Does it look like a German car? No. Is it a German car in any way shape or form other than just where it was made? I’m not sure, that’s a question up for interpretation. And that interpretation is forever clouded by the car’s history. You see, BMW bought Glas not long after it produced the GT and rebadged the car as a BMW. So then it was a BMW that wasn’t a BMW originally designed by an Italian for some Germans.

The identity of a car might seem straightforward at first, but things often get confusing, like when an Australian dude swapped a twin-turbo engine into a ‘71 Toyota Celica and outfitted the car with a six-speed sequential transmission and a full GT-R drivetrain, all-wheel-drive and all.

This prompted some questioning from reader 450X_FTW:


That’s a good question. What is that which is? What are the things that do exist?

Have a good evening, all y’all.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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