Motoring Trailblazers - Goliath GP700

Sat 19th Oct 2019

The world of motoring is hurtling headlong into a bright new future of all-electric, automated, connected technology - and Marty McFly is not behind the wheel! But what were the cars that were ‘back to the future’ of years gone by?

There have been many different trailblazing motors which were seen by the critics to be ahead of their time, and in this series, we will investigate and showcase many of the best in class.

Goliath GP700
Whilst there are few positives to be taken from Germany’s destruction during and after the Second World War, the fact that many companies and industries had to start again from scratch led to some revolutions which would shape the world for decades to come.

Whilst the Goliath motor company had been born in 1928 by engineer Carl Bogward and Wilhelm Tecklenburg, specialising in three-wheeler vans and passenger vehicles, the Bremen based motor manufacturer was bombed to almost complete destruction during the war.

It was in 1949 that Goliath emerged from the ashes with a typically limited three-wheel delivery vehicle. But a literal scorched earth policy allowed the company to innovate and in 1950 the company broke with tradition and launched their first four wheel vehicle, the Goliath GP700.

The GP700 ripped-up the rule book with a range of innovations including a revolutionary three-box body design which was almost a decade ahead of its time, especially when you consider Goliath’s German rivals Mercedes and Opel were still creating bodywork from the 1930s.

The GP700 also came with a front-mounted engine, which saw it sit alongside the gearbox and allowed for much more space in the back, therefore being able to advertise the vehicle as a five-seater.

But the most significant introduction came in 1952 when a GP700 Sport appeared on the market. Though the Sport was only produced in small numbers, it featured a groundbreaking Bosch fuel injection system. Previous engines had been based on the traditional carburetors, but with fuel injection there was up to 30 per cent better fuel economy, more horsepower with an improved throttle response and fuel injection also made it easier to start the car in extremely hot or cold climates.

Fuel injection was a real game-changer for the motoring industry, one which many credit to Mercedes and the 300SL, but not so, the Goliath GP700 Sport may have only been produced in limited numbers, but it pre-dated its more famed compatriot by five years.