|Vehicle:||1974 BMW 2002 Turbo coupe|
|Original List Price:||$6,600|
|Tune Up Cost:||$100|
|Chassis Number Location:||Engine compartment, right side|
|Engine Number Location:||N/A|
|Club Info:||BMW Car Club of America|
This car, Lot 192, sold for $77,397, including buyer’s premium, at Bonhams’ Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobilia sale in Oxford, U.K., on June 7, 2014.
As if we needed any more proof that the collector market is on its way to the hottest summer since the start of the Great Recession, you can add this 2002 Turbo sale to the long list of new high-water marks this year.
With this sale commanding more than twice the price of the previous best sale, it would be tempting to say that a case of “gotta have it” took place here. Except that in the same week, a similar 1974 2002 Turbo with 130,000 miles on the clock pulled over $66,000 in bids on eBay. That auction failed to meet reserve, so we don’t know exactly what price would have tipped the scales.
There’s also another white 1974 example for sale this summer in London at £39,995 (about $68,000), so it’s fair to assume that the new going rate for a nice 2002 Turbo is at least that much.
One of 1,672
So, what do you get for that kind of money? The easy answer is: You can have one of just 1,672 turbocharged 2002s ever made. The cars came with special custom wheelarch flares, a little kick-up rear spoiler, and a chin-spoiler kit. You didn’t get a front bumper, however. That was dropped for weight and sex-appeal reasons.
Every 2002 Turbo seems to have been painted white or silver, with a sexy BMW red/blue stripe design. Inside, you got Recaro seats, a special steering wheel and red facing around the gauges. A 4-speed manual gearbox was standard in the 2002 Turbo, but you could also order the car with a 5-speed. The car also received larger brakes than a conventional 2002.
Blowing away Porsche and Alfa
Of course, the real reason to buy the 2002 Turbo was the engine. Adding a turbo to the mechanically fuel-injected engine from the 2002 tii boosted output from 125 horsepower up to 170 horsepower. For comparison, the base 2002 delivered 100 horsepower. That 70% increase over the base model was a big deal back then, especially when compared with the 129 horsepower of the 1974 Alfa GTV or the 143 horsepower of the base 1974 Porsche 911. To get a Porsche with an equivalent engine to the 2002 Turbo, you had to move up to the 911S at 167 hp.
Pricing in the day was equally instructive. The 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo retailed for around $6,600 and the Alfa GTV was priced at $6,450. Compare that with $9,950 for the base 911 or a whopping $11,875 for the 911S. Of course, the European marques also had to contend with the new Datsun 260Z at 162 horsepower and just $5,289.
A rising star
Coming back to the present day, this particular 2002 Turbo appears to be in very good condition, with some wear showing in the engine bay and interior that indicates a driven car rather than an extensive restoration. The paint appears in much better shape than the engine bay or interior, which may indicate a respray, but there are enough dings and scrapes on the body trim that this could just be a very nicely kept example.
BMW enthusiasts and sports car racers have long prized the 2002 line, but these cars are only now really coming into serious money in collector circles. With so few 2002 Turbo cars on the market, comparable sales are few and far between, but it seems obvious that a new price floor has been set this year. At $77,397, we can certainly call this car well sold. Time will tell if it was also well bought, but that seems the likeliest scenario. ♦
(Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.)