First off the production line 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo Saloon Registration no. SKN 49M Chassis no. 4290001 Engine no. 4290001
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 2002tii 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 programme 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 to around 270bhp in race trim. The road version made do with 'only' 170bhp, which in a compact package resulted in outstanding performance; the Turbo's top speed was 130mph, 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. Its identity confirmed to Bonhams by BMW Chassis Records, '4290001' represents a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase the first of these iconic cars ever made. The Turbo was imported and first registered in the UK on the 17th March 1989 (with an odometer reading of 80,000 kilometres) and used sparingly until 2004 when it was put into storage. It remained there untouched until July of this year when it was discovered by the current vendor. We are advised that '4290001' has had the minimum of re-commissioning sufficient to get it roadworthy and MoT'd, and that it seems to be running well, the turbo working as it should. The bodywork appears remarkably sound and the original interior is in good condition. The odometer reading has yet to reach 85,000 kilometres. This historic modern BMW is offered with its original German logbook, original handbook/service book, assorted expired MoTs and tax discs, original/current Swansea V5/V5C documents, and MoT to August 2011. It is not known exactly how many 2002 Turbos survive but one thing is for certain, this is the first.