BMW Garmisch concept recreated 50 years after vanishing

Published: 28 May 2019

► Revealed at this year’s Villa d’Este
► Influences the E12 and E30
► The original went missing

Is this the nicest ‘new’ BMW in a while? Meet the BMW Garmisch, a concept car made for this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. And no, it’s not one of those retro-modern studies either – it’s actually a remake of a Marcello Gandini designed-concept originally revealed at the 1970 Geneva motor show. After that, it promptly vanished.

BMW Garmisch concept

How do you lose a concept car?

We’re not sure, especially one designed by the legendary Marcello Gandini for Bertone. It doesn’t matter now though, as we have an all-new, and highly accurate replacement.

Made to celebrate BMW’s long association with the italian design outfit, the BMW Garmisch features clean, elegant lines – unlike the new 1-series – and also displayed features which place it firmly in the 70s period. Just look at those elongated, hexagonal kidney grilles and honeycomb-patterned mesh over the rear-window.

Is it as wacky inside, too?

Yes, this is a concept car from the 70s remember. Look past the vertical radio, and the Garmisch interior is unusual but still luxurious – and incredibly spacious.

BMW Garmisch concept

‘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’, said Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group’s current senior vice president of design.

‘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.’

BMW Garmisch concept

How did they do it? 

BMW says most of the car was recreated from black and white images, with most of the originals documents of the car proving scarce. The latest 3D modelling tech was used, and BMW helpfully had Gandini himself on hand to help fabricate details such as the interior materials from memory. The final model was built in Turin, just like the original car.

BMW Garmisch concept

And the name?

‘We picked the name Garmisch because skiing was very popular in Italy at that time,’ said Gandini. ‘It evoked dreams of winter sports and alpine elegance.’ There you go. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast