For enthusiasts: The BMW 2002 turbo


In 2003, Joachim Reimer of Herne purchased a BMW 2002 turbo "for a four-figure amount", as the BMW fan recalls. However, his joy about the bargain only lasted for half a year. This was followed by ten years of costly repair works. But the hard work paid off: today, Joachim Reimer's turbo is probably one of the most beautiful specimen of this extremely rare sports sedan.


It was first introduced in the fall of 1973 -- and thereby triggered a "moderately severe earthquake": the BMW 2002 turbo. In the midst of the oil crisis, BMW had the courage to roll out a politically very incorrect car. The broad public zeroed in on its 170 HP and an outright "obscene" gas consumption. Its "2002 turbo" lettering, placed in mirror writing smash on the car's front apron, was even hailed by the press as nothing less than war paint. The harsh "zero two" lettering was discussed even in the Bundestag. As a consequence, BMW was forced to print the lettering on the front only upon request.


BMW was thus faced with a ton of criticism. All the while, the 2002 turbo inarguably had outstandingly driving dynamics. Also, the speedy Bavarian was the first European car with exhaust turbocharger, even before the Porsche 911 introduced in 1974.

From September 1973 to November 1974, only 1672 units of the much-maligned 2002 turbo were manufactured. Today, only an estimated 50 models are driving on German roads anymore.


Joachim Reimer of Herne is one of the happy owners of this "oddity". He was lucky to cheaply buy his 2002 in 2003. By today's terms, the purchase price for this 1974 sports sedan seems incredibly low. "I paid a four-figure amount back then", Joachim Reimer recalls. These days, this extremely rare BMW 2002 turbo can change hands for far more than 100,000 euros -- quite a handsome value increase!


Whoever lets their gaze stroll across this "treasure" by Joachim Reimer will hardly believe how much time he invested in this classic. "From the outside, the car was in top condition. But unfortunately, not so underneath the sheet metal." The disaster started half a year after I had purchased the car. The motor no longer worked and, if that wasn't yet enough, water leaked from the car", Reimer says. There was no avoiding it: the Polaris metallic-painted BMW was screaming for a complete restoration.


This BMW fan started repairs in 2004. "I dismantled the car down to the last screw, went to look for new parts, sandblasted all sheet metal and reassembled the turbo piece by piece", the 2002 owner describes in his charismatic vernacular.


And underneath the surface, the BMW also posed the one or other challenge. There was the mechanic Kugelfischer gasoline injection, for example. "Every mechanic seemed at a loss. That's how complicated the mechanic system is", smirks Reimer. For safety reasons, he installed a lambda sensor for monitoring the fuel mixture. And since the 2002 turbo has a tendency to overheat, he intends to install an electric ventilator soon.

"The right driving style and a certain technical understanding go a long way in being able to drive the car as long as possible", knows Joachim Reimer. However, he admits: 'I have often thought about dropping everything." Thanks to the support of two buddies, the man in his mid-fifties carried on. Together, the three restored one of the best-preserved 2002 turbo.

The quick Bavarian is not easy to drive, "a real man's car, after all". But that is exactly its attraction to Joachim Reimer. And with a whole lot of luck, it is in fact possible to experience the beautiful BMW 2002 turbo in the wild. "When the weather is nice, I drive the car regularly. And I also drive myself whenever there is a reunion", Reimer happily states.

The BMW 2002 turbo and its proud owner: here the expression "an old flame never dies" definitely applies.