"Luxury on four wheels" – 150 years of the Gläser Karosserie manufacturer in Dresden
1 October 2013 to 6 April 2014
The Heinrich Gläser company built luxurious and high-priced convertible body shells in single or batch production for chassis built, among others, by Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Horch, Audi, Wanderer, Opel, Steyr and General Motors. Among the well-off customers were industrialists, businessmen, politicians or actors, who would sometimes even order custom-built cars from Gläser.
With its well-shaped and extravagant convertible bodies, the Dresden-based company evolved into a world-renowned car body manufacturer in the 1930s. To mark the 150th anniversary of Gläser Karosserien Dresden, we at Dresden Transport Museum invite you on a “joyride“ de luxe through the company's successful history starting with the 'royal coachbuilder' Carl Heinrich Gläser (1831-1903), who began manufacturing coaches and carriages in 1864. Visitors will then learn about the heyday of Gläser convertibles in the 1930s and 1940s and the long-standing successor companies after World War II - VEB Karosseriewerke Dresden, the only convertible builder in East Germany, and today's KWD Automotive AG & Co. KG.
As one of the best-known car body designers in Germany, Gläserkarosserie GmbH in Dresden used the slogan of “Let us first present you a Gläser convertible before you make your decision.” to promote its products.
The company's birthplace was just off Frauenkirche, on Rampische Straße 6, where master saddler Carl Heinrich Gläser established a workshop for manufacturing coaches and carriages in 1864. Thanks to the high quality of his products, he very soon became the 'official coachbuilder' to the court. In 1903, Emil Heuer (1857-1934), his business partner, took over the flourishing company. When he started building car bodies, Heuer had now idea that his company would gain a world-wide reputation by developing limousines, phaetons and convertibles.
In the style of an automotive showroom of the 1930s, the exhibition shows unique beauties built by Gläser from six decades. The automotive show is framed by numerous photographs and original documents from the company's history as well as interesting information on the automotive luxury at Gläser and in former East Germany - made in Dresden.