(Welcome our newest Contributor/Photoshopper “Barko”, whom I recruited from the comments thanks to his photoshop of a denuded 1960 Valiant. Barko actually owned one of these charming Goggo coupes, but has also re-imagined it with a decidedly more dynamic front end, perhaps in hopes that the donor car might rub off some of its horsepower to the 13hp TS-300.)
Leafing through the collection of Road & Track’s given me by a golfing buddy of my Dad’s, I discovered the cool little Goggomobil TS coupe in a 1958 issue. I was in my cash-starved 20s then, but I vowed to own one of Glas’ little GTs some day. Finally, in 2003, at the age of 53 I was able to realize that dream thanks to Bill Boelcke of California Classix, who worked with me to redirect shipment of a tan ‘64 coupe, originally planned for their showroom, to Port of Newark from Germany.
It became one of my favorite cars, ever, but was ill suited to the hills of Rockland County, NY. Fortunately, a German owner had fitted it with 4-way flashers, and they became one of its most important safety features. Though the car would touch 60mph under ideal circumstances, the meager 13 hp put out by it’s 250cc two-stroke was overtaxed in many a sisyphean ascent of Route 9W, and even with a running start, it would struggle to the top at 5 mph in first gear. I kept it for about 3 years, and needing a bit of cash for other things, sent it on to a friend who still has it.
Compared to the sedan from which it was derived, the coupe is low and racy, a lilliputian “personal car”. Though the front end smacks of Alfa Romeo, I always thought the overall shape resembled a 1955 Chrysler C-300, dusted with shrunken-head powder like the safari hunter waiting to be served in “Beetlejuice”.
Here’s my re-imagining of the Goggo TS with the front end of “The Beautiful Brute”. Although the simplicity of the original is gone, I always thought the TS designers, given the sensuous rump they massaged onto the little GT, could have smoothed out that drastic fall-off of the hood (most likely a compromise for forward vision), giving it more of a dome, while sculpting the prow a bit so the grille looks less tacked-on. Adding a ridge at the center would allow for a scaled version of the Chrysler’s split opening to fit right in.
The transplant was pretty easy; even the rebadging was a breeze. Of the 3 models offered by Hans Glas, each named for the engine displacement, the middle one was 300cc, so I didn’t even have to change out the cloisonne on the Chrysler’s nose!
The only other changes I made were installation of the Mopar’s side spear and rounding off the top of the side window at the C-pillar, which I always thought too severe a corner anyway. Changing the roof to body color finished the job.
Related Reading: CC Goggomobile – Germany’s Beloved Goggo Found In The USA