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Ultra-rare BMW for Concours Africa


There is only one real BMW 2002 Turbo in Africa and it will be on display at the first Concours South Africa event on the lawns of the Sun City Hotel on September 9-11, 2016. What’s more, this particular car was once owned by Nicky Oppenheimer, son of Harry Oppenheimer and grandson of Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, who controlled the fabulously wealthy De Beers and Anglo American diamond and mining operations in South Africa.

The car is now owned by Johannesburg businessman Jack Kaplan.

The BMW 2002 Turbo is famous for being Europe’s first production turbocharged car. The first turbocharged car to be introduced globally was, surprisingly, the rear-engined Chevrolet Corvair, produced in the early 1960s.

The 2002 Turbo was essentially a hand-built car assembled by a special team operating within the BMW production facility in Munich, Germany. It was only ever built in left-hand-drive form and just over 1 400 BMW 2002 Turbos were built. This figure includes the 12 pre-production models built in late 1973, soon after the Turbo made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The 2002 Turbo is instantly recognisable by its deep front spoiler and fender flares that were riveted onto the standard 2002 coupe body. It also had special wider wheels, and the distinctive BMW Motorsport stripes in blue and a pinkish-orange-red on the flanks and spoiler. Turbo legends were placed on the nose, initially in reverse form spelling, so that drivers of ordinary cars could see that it was a “turbo” approaching fast in their rear view mirrors! The German government politely asked BMW to change this, so as not to encourage unruly behaviour.

The engine was a two-litre straight four, as designed by the famous Paul Rosche, fitted with a KKK turbocharger and Kugelfischer fuel injection. Inside the interior was fairly ordinary, apart from special bucket seats, a sport steering wheel and a boost gauge.

Back then in 1974 it was good for a seven-second 0-100 km/h time and a top speed of 210 km/h, indecently quick for the time!

Jack Kaplan’s beautiful car runs later spec BBS alloy wheels, which many 2002 Turbo owners world-wide have retro-fitted. He has owned the car for 18 years. Some other modifications to the car have been made over the years, and is serviced by Gavin Wilkens Racing in Alberton.

Says Jack: “The turbo was changed to a Turbonetics at 0.62 bar boost and an intercooler fitted as well as an Electromotive ignition system, the cylinder head was gas flowed and a custom built exhaust system was fitted. Bilstein dampers and a custom made front brace were fitted, as well as 305mm Wilwood ventilated discs and 4 pot callipers up front with 255 drums on the rear. It has BBS mags fitted. About 1 415 of these cars were built between 1973 to 1974, this one is the only one in Africa. Of an additional four, which were originally shipped to Angola in 1974, two were written off and the other two were sold to buyers in Europe. The car was originally golf yellow and extensive work including a respray was carried out on the car by the previous owner, a chap called Paul, just prior to me purchasing the car. I then in turn restored the car to its current form and condition about 18 years ago.”

The organisers of Concours South Africa have already received a diverse range of entries for its event on September 9-11, 2016. In addition to the Concours, there will also be a less stringently-judged Show and Shine competition. Both competitions will be run alongside one another, in the region of the Gary Play Country Club at Sun City. It will be an extremely glamourous event, with entrants encouraged to dress the part according to their cars entered, on the final day of judging on the Sunday.

The following categories have been identified for the inaugural Concours South Africa and Show and Shine events.

  • Leisure & Utility up to 1980
  •  Leisure & Utility post 1980
  •  Sports Cars up to 1980
  •  Sports Cars post 1980
  •  Luxury Saloon up to 1980
  •  Luxury Saloon post 1980
  •  American Muscle
  •  Super Cars up to 1980
  •  Super Cars post 1980

Entries close on 31 July  2016.

For more information on Concours SA and how to enter your cars go to  

Or mail Paul Kennard on or Ross Crichton on

Paul Kennard can also be reached on 082 851 3300.

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