At the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, BMW usually reveals a concept that looks into the future. However, for this year the German carmaker decided to flip things around for a change.
For the 2019 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, BMW re-created a long lost concept car that originally debuted in 1970, called the BMW Garmisch. While I am too young to remember, but a search on the internet tells me that the BMW Garmisch was a concept that was penned by the legendary designer Marcello Gandini, who worked for Bertone at the time. The concept debuted at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show. However, I am old enough to know who Marcello Gandini is, and if you don’t maybe this list of cars he has designed will jog your memory. Gandini has a special signature style he likes to use for his car, and his list includes design icons like the Lamborghini Miura, Countach, Diablo (concept), the iconic WRC legend – Lancia Stratos, Alfa Romeo Montreal, the Bugatti EB110, the first BMW 5-Series, De Tomasso Pantera, Ferrari Dino 308GT4, the earlier versions of the Maserati Ghibli and what most Indian’s might immediately recognise – the Tata TaMo RaceMo. Gandini is the man who introduced the concept of scissor doors with the Alfa Romeo 33.
Coming back to the BMW Garmisch, although it may not entire look like something he would pen himself, but, it is really cool. If you look at the recreated concept, you can see a lot of resemblance from the original 5-series. However, recreating a car from the past comes with a lot of challenges as one might assume. There are nearly no records of the original car and only a few images from the 70s still exist, which are mostly black and white. With those 80-year-old pictures and using Gandini’s personal memory of designing the car, BMW put together the re-created coupe to which Gandini says “Now 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.”
Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Design Director says that Gandini’s designs have always been very clear and very clean, but also very dramatic. This is why I find his work so inspiring. He was always able to create something spectacular using very few design elements. This approach of trying to accomplish a lot with less is quite modern still today. Building the BMW Garmisch for a second time gave us the opportunity to pay tribute to Gandini, recall one of his lesser-known cars and highlight Bertone's stylistic influence on the evolution of BMW design”
The recreated modern concept features the same sleek and clean design of the original. The most notable feature of the original's design was the bold, vertical and almost angular variation of the BMW signature kidney grille which are flanked by squared glass-covered headlamps. Other unusual details on the concept feature sports car like slats on the C-pillars, and the honey-comb patter mesh cover for the rear windscreen, a trademark Gandini design. The modern concept inbuilt on top of an old BMW 2002 chassis and the inside has also been designed to look like the original. It features a vertically oriented radio, and a massive fold out mirror from the glovebox for the front passenger. BMW employed modern 3D printing technology to manufacture some of the parts for the car, but everything was hand assembled by skilled craftsmen in Turin, Italy. The same place where the original Garmisch was put together for the 1970 Geneva Motor Show.