When BMW’s 2002 Turbo was launched at the 1973 Frankfurt Motor Show, it was the first production turbocharged car since General Motors’ attempts in the 1960s and the first ever from a European manufacturer. BMW clearly understood turbo technology, since a works-entered, turbocharged 2002 won the 1969 European Touring Car Championship. With 170 bhp, a 0–60 time of seven seconds, and a 130-mph top speed, the 2002 Turbo had performance comparable to a Porsche 911 and was the fastest small saloon of its era.
This Turbo, chassis 4290443, was one of 52 delivered to the UK, and its first registered owner, a ferry captain on the England-to-France route, traded in his 2002 tii to acquire it. The Turbo came to the US in 1985 and a restoration was begun but not completed. The consignor purchased the BMW in 2001, finishing the restoration the following year, including metal and paintwork. The consignor states that the original interior was well-preserved, and as such he opted to retain it.
This Turbo has since won the Max trophy and Best in Class at the Legends of the Autobahn Concours, among other awards. Significantly, BMW chose to showcase chassis 4290443 at the introduction of the M2 at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, as the heritage car for BMW’s 100th anniversary at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, and in promotional photography and videos. BMW enthusiasts are encouraged to examine closely this well-documented example with its unique and appealing provenance.