1974 BMW 2002 Turbo Sports Saloon

Courtesy of Bonhams
Courtesy of Bonhams

The 2002 Turbo upped the game again. Engine designer Alex von Falkenhausen eschewed the option of a larger engine shoehorned into the lightweight 2002 and instead developed the successful Group Five turbocharging idea for a fast road car. By using a KKK turbo coupled to the tii Kugelfischer fuel injection, he created a 170-hp engine that offered Porsche 911-beating performance: 0–60 mph in 7 seconds, with a top speed of 131 mph.” — Octane magazine

Produced for the 1973/74 season only, the legendary BMW 2002 Turbo was Europe’s first turbocharged production car. Demands for increased power for its medium-sized saloon had prompted BMW to introduce the original 2002 in 1968, and it was the fuel-injected 2002 tii that provided the basis for the model’s ultimate expression — the Turbo — which was readily distinguishable by its deep front air dam, wheelarch extensions and boot-mounted spoiler. This top-of-the-range model had been introduced following a successful racing program that saw a Works-entered, turbocharger-equipped 2002 win the 1969 European Touring Car Championship in the hands of Dieter Quester. Faced with having to compete against the Porsche 911 (subsequently banned from touring car racing), BMW had opted for bolt-on horsepower courtesy of a turbocharger, the result being a hike from 210 horsepower to around 270 horsepower in race trim. The road version made do with 170 hp, which in a compact package resulted in outstanding performance; the Turbo’s top speed was 130 mph, making it the fastest and most exciting medium-sized sports saloon of its day. Today, this rare model (only 1,672 were made, all left-hand drive) is rightly regarded as a modern classic and much sought after.

Currently Italian registered, chassis 4291057 was delivered new in Germany, residing initially for many years in Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, and has been meticulously maintained. The recent Italian owner has passed on paperwork showing the car left Germany for Italy in 1994. With just over 75,000 miles on the clock and a very original interior, its most recent Italian owner believes it has been in two or three big collections and barely used at all. Finished in Chamonix White and described by the current private vendor as in generally very good condition, this iconic BMW is offered with Italian registration papers, an original manual, and a Certificate of Authenticity from the BMW Archive in Munich.

Jeff Zurschmeide

Jeff Zurschmeide - SCM Contributor

Jeff is a lifelong automobile enthusiast with a penchant for sports and racing cars. He has raced SCCA, local circle track, and stage rally as a co-driver. He makes his living as a freelance automotive journalist and is the author of six books on automotive topics. As a rule, he practices catch-and-release fishing when it comes to collectible automobiles, trying to leave each one in better condition than he found it. Enduring passions include his MGA and Austin Mini, and his 1969 Corvette. He recently purchased a 1920 Ford Model T Touring because “you just have to have one of these once in your life.”

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