BMW Design by Pietro Frua

Cars People

No matter how many hours you spend obsessing about the strange, the rare and the beautiful, the automotive world always manages to shore up surprises.

BMW’s Pietro Frua designed coupés are a perfect example of a lovely rarity we had somehow managed to miss.

Aficionados out there will scoff at our gaping blind spot. So excuse the naivety – but apparently, Pietro Frua was a classically educated Piedmontese coachbuilder who mentored the great Michelotti and according to some reports heavily influenced the iconic design of the Vespa motorscooter while working with Turin coachbuilder Farina (before Pininfarina was created).

Frua apparently designed a succession of pretty Fiats and Maseratis through the 1950s – including having major input in the creation of the lines of the beautiful A6G series of coupés and cabrios. Another feather in his cap was that he oversaw the drawing of Volvo’s P1800.

The BMWs he penned resulted from the small car maker GIAS, for whom he had been contracted to style a series of dashing fastbacks, selling out to BEEMER in 1963. And this lovely 2002 GT4 is possibly the most coherent and integrated of the designs that made the crossover to the Bayerische Motoren Werke.

We’ve included here some of Frua’s sketchwork for the Beemers and a couple of other choice teasers. Expect further delves into the Frua back catalogue from us.

He certainly had a very distinctive line.