1974 BMW 2002Turbo
Year of manufacture1974
When the BMW 2002 Turbo was unveiled at the 1973 Frankfurt Motorshow, not everyone gave it a warm reception. Its bolt-on wings, bumper-less front spoiler, Mahle 13x6 Turbo wheels, and iconic Pantone BMW Motorsport colours were considered uncouth, some elements of the German press going as far as to accuse it of ‘provoking aggressiveness’. Indeed, for the show itself, the ‘2002’ and ‘Turbo’ reverse script, which had appeared on the front spoilers of press cars to warn unsuspecting cars just exactly what was approaching in the rear-view mirror, was removed to try to keep the peace. It didn’t work; the 2002 Turbo was and is still considered one of the naughtiest cars to have emerged from Munich.
Far more than form over function, the 2002 Turbo took the already ‘hot’ 1,600 cc powertrain from the 2002 Tii and added a single KKK turbocharger to raise peak power from 130 bhp to 170 bhp. An oil cooler was also introduced alongside bigger brakes and a limited-slip differential, and higher-performance tyres were wrapped around wider wheels for increased traction and road holding. Conspicuously, the man overseeing the development of the engine, Alex Von Falkenhausen, was quoted as stating that considerably more power could have been unleashed with higher turbo-boost pressure, but that ‘we thought 170 bhp was about the limit for the running gear of a car not driven by experts’. Little wonder, then, that the instrument binnacle was painted bright red, both as a nod to commercial sponsors Texaco, and also to remind any driver that this was a car worthy of respect.
This immaculate example has been subject to a comprehensive nut-and-bolt restoration by marque specialists Oldenzaal Classics. The car has been dismantled entirely, repainted, and rebuilt, and now presents in showroom condition having covered just 132 km. Pleasingly, it is also adorned with its full complement of BMW Motorsport warpaint, including the ‘2002 Turbo’ reverse script on the spoiler.
With only 1,672 examples produced, the opportunity to own a 2002 Turbo is not an everyday occurrence, and this beautifully prepared example would stand out amongst any peers, be that at the track, a local gathering, or concours event. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/lf19.