Auctions and Brokerage
The 2002 Turbo
The BMW 2002 can be credited with establishing BMW as a truly international mass-market brand. In fact, it was the BMW 2002 that originally gave rise to the term “sports sedan.” In 1973, near the end of its successful production run, the 2002 Turbo was designed and built, breaking new ground in the process, in that it marked the first use of a turbocharger in a passenger car by a European manufacturer. Just 1,672 examples of the 2002 Turbo were made, making it one of the rarest of the 861,000 BMW 2002 variants built between 1966 and 1976 – none of which were sold new in America.
2002 Turbo buyers were among the first to experience the extremely brisk acceleration curve common to early turbocharged cars. On full boost, the turbo gave the 2.0-litre engine an astounding 170 bhp, a 0–60 time of 7.5 seconds, and a 130 mph top speed – numbers well above the performance figures of the normally aspirated 2002 tii. Riveted fender flares and a graphics package set the turbo variants apart visually as well.
This Chamonix White 2002 Turbo was originally reported sold on January 10, 1974, and it is quite possible that the BMW dealership itself kept the car as a demonstrator. In 1978, the Turbo was purchased by Dutch resident M.J. van Baal, who lived near the Belgian border. Mr. van Baal retained ownership of the rare 2002 for nearly 30 years before finally selling it in 2006. During his ownership, scores of maintenance receipts were generated and carefully organized in a comprehensive file. An appraisal in 1996 found the car to be in good working order with numerous restored and renewed components; and photos depict the 2002 much as it appears today. It is clear that Mr. van Baal was a very fastidious and dedicated owner of this special BMW, and appears to have spared no expense in its upkeep during his tenure with the car, even installing a new engine block in 1979, and was sparingly used from 1996 until it was sold in 2006.
In 2009, the Turbo was sold through a Dutch classic BMW dealer, Laurens Manders’ Euro Classics, to an enthusiast in Arizona. The new owner had the engine resealed with new gaskets and fitted belts and hoses. A new clutch, rebuilt turbocharger, and freshly machined pistons were also installed at that time.
The interior appears to be completely original; the bolstered sport seats show very little wear and belie the true age of the car. The dash, which is particularly prone to sun damage, appears smooth and free of cracks. Outside, the car is stated to retain a majority of its original paint, and the distinctive turbo graphics appear as new.
Included with the car is an extensive file of technical bulletins dating to 1974, printed in German and Dutch. These documents no doubt proved useful as this rather experimental model has been used and maintained in the real world over the past four decades.
2002 Turbos were a rare sight even when new. Today, they are extremely scarce and are coveted by BMW enthusiasts everywhere for their performance and importance to the BMW line. Opportunities to purchase a well-preserved example such as this are few.