Real Deal? 1975 BMW 2002 Turbo

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This 1975 BMW 2002 Turbo in Bellingham, Washington *could* be one rare bird, a 1-of-1,672 factory 2002 Turbo. With this body style, produced from 1966 to 1976, BMW defined a popular class of car, the two-door sports sedan. The BMW 3 Series that immediately followed in 1977 still leads and redefines that popular and profitable segment. With no engine or interior pics, no VIN, and no documentation, the listing deserves some scrutiny. Still, these are great cars so let’s take a look. The listing here on eBay has attracted at least 11 bidders willing to raise the market value above $15,000, which probably represents the value of a decent 2002 Turbo clone or about one-tenth of a real car’s value.

Missing US-spec license plate lights and a slight shadow suggest the fitting of a Euro-spec license plate, possibly just for show. The single rear fog light (or additional brake light) on the left may not be original but also hints at European ownership and possibly to a racing past. All 2002 Turbo cars were built in left-hand drive according to bmw2002. Europe’s first turbocharged production car has been called “naughty,” and the peaky boost akin to a “punch in the kidneys.” Dropping the 2.0L (125 cid) inline four-cylinders normal 10.x:1 compression ratio to 6.9:1 allowed BMW to bolt on the KKK turbo for 170 HP. The normal 2002 made 98 HP, and the fuel-injected but naturally aspirated 2002 tii made a then-healthy 130. Either non-turbo motor made the spritely 2400 lb BMW a nimble and competent performer, but the Turbo turned a slap in the face into a prize-fighters knock-out punch. Factory flared wheel arches and spoilers added to the Bad Boy attitude.

The reverse script reads properly in your rearview mirror. The tow hook on the left suggests this car spent some days on the race track, as some racing series require tow hooks front and rear.

This is the “engine picture” which shows piping that does *not* match the typical 2002 Turbo engine. The original certainly threw down the gauntlet for cars you could buy in a showroom that year. Porsche Turbo Carerra owners would have certainly taken notice of the boxy BMW in ’75. Is this listing for real? Probably not, but the rising tide of 2002 values may float the value of a Turbo “tribute” too. Do you think this is a real deal Turbo?

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  1. alphasudMember

    While I have never driven a turbo 02 and I’m sure many can say the same I have driven other 02’s and they are wonderful driving machines. Truly something special in the way the car feels and what separated BMW from other offerings of the day. Could be said for all the German made cars back then which is why I stuck with VW and Audi for so long. The gap has closed and now all new cars seem to feel the same to me. This drives me to want old cars. I think we are starting to see a analog movement with cars. I look at all the safety nannies on cars and I just want to walk away.

    Like 14
  2. Brian S

    No interior or engine bay pics? I’m out.

    Like 13
    • TMP

      The dirty tease pic sneaking in the engine bay does appear to show the correct factory turbo intake plumbing which isn’t very popular with the aftermarket conversions. In some spots the bodywork looks a little too new, some spots it doesn’t.

      Like 2
  3. Luki

    Without a doubt not a real 2002 Turbo.
    The seller is not forthcoming in that fact.
    Cool fakeydo though.

    Like 7
  4. Retrogreg

    The owner is NOT claiming it is a Turbo nut just that it has a “Turbo” body kit – no foul, but would be nice to have. Decent engine pics

    Like 2
  5. Rick

    pretty well done clone…

    Like 0
  6. Bill Dahn

    Simple to confirm— if first 3 digits of VIN are not 429, then car is not a Real Turbo.

    Like 2
  7. JerryA

    that intake manifold that is barely visible is from a later 320i, 318i engine. common modification to electronic fuel injection for 02’s. this is not a real deal factory turbo and although not specifically mentioned in the ebay listing, should be clear enough to a potential buyer versed in these cars.

    i prefer the look of the early 320i manifolds for the efi conversion; a little more effort involved but they resemble the original tii’s when done.

    Like 2
  8. Preyupy

    From the little bit you can see with the hood up it looks to have the correct air pipe with the blow off valve and the Altitude Compensator. An aftermarket turbo system would not normally use or even have access to these parts. I am intrigued but it is hard to get very excited without a lot more information. I’d even drive up there to have a look.

    Like 1

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