There are actually a surprising amount of forgotten BMW concepts that are really quite incredible. A few that come to mind are the BMW Z18, which was essentially an off-road Z3, the BMW GINA Concept, which had movable and adjustable skin, and the BMW 328 Hommage Concept, which was a stunning love letter to the original 328. However, one of the better ones of all time, though one of the most forgotten, was the 1969 Bertone BMW Spicup 2800.
It was obviously the work of Bertone, the famous Italian design house, and it was a radical design that was wildly different than anything BMW had made at the time. Despite the name, the Spicup 2800 was actually based on the BMW E3 2500 sedan. Then Bertone cut the wheelbase down and gave it that wild body.
That crazy looking roof is actually a sliding targa top, which is actually a where the car gets its name. Sort of. The strange sounding name “Spicup” is actually a mashup of the word “Spider” and “Coupe”. While it’s certainly crazy looking, it wasn’t the prettiest of cars. And that color scheme? Green over green? The sixties were weird. But how do you not love a car with a sliding metal targa top?
Underneath that crazy body work, though, was just a standard E3 2500 BMW. So it had a 2.5 liter inline-six engine and a four-speed manual gearbox. It was a pretty pedestrian powertrain, which was odd considering its crazy looks. Still, it was awesome.
Unfortunately, there was only one Bertone BMW Spicup ever made, as BMW never put the one-off concept into production. Thankfully, that one prototype car was actually purchased by customer in The Netherlands and was driven past 100,000km. While in this customer’s ownership, the Bertone BMW Spicup was painted orange and had its interior made black.
In 1980, that owner put it in storage, where it sat for 20 years, until Carrozzeria Granturismo in Milan bought it for a full restoration. During this restoration, many body panels had to be built from scratch, as there aren’t exactly any extra parts for a 1969 Bertone BMW Spicup 2800 lying around. Also, the rear bumper was originally made from wood (why?) and was eaten by termites. So that was rebuilt from scratch as well.
Then, the Spicup was repainted and upholstered in its original green-over-green color scheme and shown at the 2009 Concorso d’Eléganza Villa d’Este. In 2011, it went to the Bonhams auction and someone paird 460,000 Euros for it. The BMW Museum in Munich currently has it and we’re happy that it still exists after all these years.
There’s literally only one of these weird and wonderful oddities in the world. A strange mashup of different philosophies, both BMW and Bertone, and some really funky ideas. What a cool concept.