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The new BIG Goggomobile

GLAS Isar T700 - 62

The Glas Isar is a small two door four seater car produced

by Hans Glas GmbH at their Dingolfing plant. The car was

first presented as the Goggomobil T600 in September

1957 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with volume

production starting in August 1958.

Initially   Glas   described   it   simply   as   a   “big   Goggomobil”,   but   in Autumn   1959   it   was   rebranded   as the   Glas   Isar.   At   the   same   time   a   kombi   (estate   car)   version   joined   the   range.   A   minor   facelift occurred in August 1960 and the Isar continued in production till the end of Summer 1965.


The   car   that   appeared   at   the   1957   Frankfurt   Motor   Show   was   a   prototype   which   in   the   event differed   significantly   from   the   car   that   entered   production   the   next   year,   in   that   it   used   front wheel   drive.   In   most   other   respects,   notably   regarding   the   two   cylinder   boxer   engine   and   the overall   shape   of   the   car,   only   minor   stylistic   changes   differentiated   the   cars   that   went   into production in 1958 from the 1957 prototypes. The   front   wheel   drive   prototype   was   unstable,   however,   because   of   the   way   the   engine   was   set far   ahead   of   the   front   axle,   and   high   above   the   front-wheel   drive   power   train,   in   what   was   a relatively   light   weight   car.   Setting   the   engine   further   back   in   relation   to   the   front   wheels   would have   involved   a   level   of   re-engineering   for   which   neither   time   nor   money   were   available.   The decision   was   therefore   taken   to   switch   to   a   rear   wheel   drive   configuration. The   late   decision   led to   issues   with   the   gear   box,   however,   which   could   not   be   redesigned   at   this   stage   and   was   simply switched   round   to   allow   for   the   fact   that   the   drive   shaft   pointed   in   the   opposite   direction   to that   previously   envisaged.   For   the   driver,   this   gave   rise   to   a   back   to   front   gear   change,   with   first and   third   speed   gear   level   positions   nearer   the   driver   and   second   and   fourth   positions   facing   the front of the car. The   late   switch   to   rear   wheel   drive   threatened   to   reduce   luggage   space   while   freeing   up   space under   the   bonnet/hood   above   the   low   profile   boxer   engines,   and   the   manufacturer   took   the opportunity   to   reposition   the   spare   wheel   to   a   location   under   the   bonnet/hoot   in   a   cradle   above the engine.

Goggomobil T 700

By   the   time   volume   production   commenced   in   August   1958,   the   T600   had   been   joined   by   the more   powerful   T700.   In   this   car   the   688   cc   boxer   motor   developed   a   maximum   power   output   of 22   kW   (30   PS)   at   4,900   rpm,   which   provided   for   a   top   speed   of   110   km/h   (69   mph)   and   reduced by a third the acceleration time to 100 kmh (62 mph).

Name change and range expansion

In   order   to   distance   the   model   from   the   smaller   and   more   minimalist   Goggomobil,   and   possibly also    to    try    and    distract    from    reliability    and    structural    problems    that    afflicted    early    cars, November   1959   saw   a   name   change.   The   “Goggomobil   T600”   became   the   “Glas   Isar   T600”   and the   “Goggomobil   T700”   became   the   “Glas   Isar   T700”.   In   the   manufacturer’s   Lower   Bavarian homeland   the   River   Isar   is   the   principal   river   and   would   have   enjoyed   a   warm   resonance   with customers,   though   subsequently,   as   the   company   began   to   implement   an   export   strategy,   it   was found   that   customers   in   some   non-German   speaking   countries   thought   the   name   “Isar”   sounded “funny”   and   cars   exported   to   these   markets   were   branded   as   the   “Glas   Isard”   which   presumably sounded less “funny” . The   name   change   was   accompanied   by   the   appearance   of   a   3-door   station   wagon   variant   which was branded as the "Glas Isar K600" or "Glas Isar K700 according to engine size.

Teething troubles

Early   “big   Goggomobils”   suffered   from   serious   reliability   issues,   suggesting   an   excessively   rushed development   schedule.   The   aluminium   castings   that   formed   the   motor   housings   deformed   at high    operating    temperatures    leading    to    a    doubling    of    the    fuel    consumption.    Even    more alarmingly,   until   the   manufacturer   inserted   extra   strengthening   sections   under   the   floor,   the body   flexed   on   bumpy   roads   so   much   that   small   cracks   appeared   and,   in   extreme   cases,   the panoramic   windscreen   popped   out   of   its   frame.   Teething   troubles   on   the   early   T600   and   T700 models    burdened    the    manufacturer    with    high    warranty    costs    and    severely    damaged    the reputation of Glas cars in the market place.


The   only   significant   facelift   was   revealed   in August   1960.   The   cars   grew   an   extra   25   mm   (1   inch) in   length,   apparently   to   accommodate   the   slightly   more   prominent   rear   lights.   The   option   of chrome   plated   bumpers   was   added   in   order   to   comply   with   new   construction   regulations   in   the USA. The   rear   lights   were   still   vertically   mounted   on   the   corners   of   the   car   underneath   little   tail fins,   but   they   now   became   larger   and   took   on   a   rectangular   shape,   simpler   than   hitherto.   The rear   bumper   was   reshaped   to   accommodate   the   larger   lights   and   the   handle   for   the   boot/   trunk lid   was   repositioned,   along   with   the   light   that   illuminated   the   rear   license   plate.   The   rear   roof was   reshaped   to   allow   for   a   much   larger   rear   window   which   followed   contemporary   styling trends and expanded the view out. Buyers   of   the   smaller   engined   Isar   T600   saw   the   claimed   maximum   power   output   reduced   from to   15   kW   (20   PS)   to,   14   kW   (19   PS).   Curiously   the   claimed   maximum   speed   of   the   T600 nevertheless   increased   to   105   km/h   (65   mph).   In   September   1959   the   design   of   the   carburetor had   been   changed   and   the   supplier   switched   from   Bing   to   Solex.   In   1960,   possibly   reflecting   the increasing   minimum   octane   levels   of   available   fuels,   the   compression   ratio   was   raised   slightly, and   the   reduction   in   claimed   power   also   coincided   with   one   of   the   two   changes   to   the   lower gear ratios implemented during the car’s life. There   was   no   significant   facelift   between   1960   and   1965,   but   towards   the   end   of   the   production run   the   car   acquired   a   black   synthetic   leather   covering   on   the   dashboard.   In   the   final   cars   the Isar’s   original   seats   and   steering   wheel   were   replaced   by   those   from   the   newer   and   slightly larger Glas 1004.


Between   1958   and   1965   Glas   produced   73,311   Isar   saloons   and,   between   1959   and   1965   a   further 14,274   Isar   kombis.   57%   of   the   saloons   and   88%   of   the   kombis   were   delivered   with   the   larger   688 cc engine. Between   1960   and   1965   the   Isar   was   also   built   (badged   as   the   Isard)   at   the   company's   plant   in Argentina where it is remembered as one of the most popular cars of the 1960s.


Engine 688 cc 2 cylinders Power 30 HP Top speed 112 km/h Lenght/width 3,43 m/1,47 m Weight 600 kg
Photos mainly by Matti Kreivilä. Historical facts and technical details of the vehicles provided by Wikipedia. Movies YouTube.