A recreation of this iconic concept car that foreshadowed the BMW 5 Series was presented at the concours.
The BMW 5 Series is a staple of the German marque’s lineup, and a model that has endured for over 47 years, however, BMW first tested the water with the Garmisch concept car. This Marcello Gandini designed masterpiece made its debut at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, and eventually lead to a production car in 1972.
At the famed Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, BMW revealed a recreation of the concept car with Gandini present. The distinctive design from the house of Bertone is still a striking thing to look at today. DNA that went on to serve future BMW’s can be clearly seen in this model with its notable kidney grilles. Its sharp-edged silhouette made for a contrast amongst some of the more curvaceous models on display at the prestigious event.
The interior is very 1970s with cream leathers contrasted by dark wood finishes. An intriguing feature of the concept car’s cabin is a large passenger vanity mirror that sits up write from a jewellery box-styled glove compartment. Vertical controls and a large thin-rimmed steering wheel completes this blast from the past.
The original car vanished after its motor show debut, and so BMW went to great lengths to ensure that its recreation was true to the first Garmisch. Period photographs were used to to ensure accuracy, along with the input of Marcello Gandini himself. These panels were then handmade in Italy, just like the original many years earlier.
Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design, said, "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."
Marcello Gandini, the man also responsible for the Lamborghini Miura’s design, added, "I am very pleased that I was able to be part of this project and happy that BMW chose to recall this enjoyable past. Having seen the final car, it is hard for me to even distinguish it from the original."
It was a very ambitious project, but BMW Classic and the design teams have done an exceptional job of rebirthing an iconic piece of marque history.