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Alaskan Fool's Gold - You heard it here first!

I had been corresponding for some time with Syed, the man behind the IEDEI blog, and we frequently discussed cars that we would like to own. We had lately been salivating over a Lancia Fulvia track car that was recently put up for sale in Michigan.  But when someone sort of got the jump on him regarding the Fulvia, he seemed unfazed.  “I’m working on something else right now,”  he mentioned cryptically.  “It is truly a victory if it does happen.”  But he wouldn’t divulge what it was until we met up in person.

  After a few drinks and a lot of car talk, conversation began to drift towards this mystery car of his, and when he told me it was a BMW 2002 Turbo that he had found on Craiglist in Alaska, I was sort of floored. When he said that the seller would trade it for a new ATV, my mouth dropped open wider than if I were attempting to inhale a party sub.  It seemed as if he had hit upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  For those of you who don’t know, the 2002 Turbo is a highly collectible car, and only 1,672 were made. Even fewer made it over here, as BMW never actually exported this progenitor of the M3 to the USA.  We guessed that most likely this car might have made it here from Canada, since it was way up in Alaska.

Now these Turbos are highly sought after. Like Unicorns, they exist only in white or silver, and I could now understand his reasons for secrecy. I leaned forward conspiratorially across the table. “You need to buy that sucker and flip it, even if you can’t register it here. Someone will want that car bad!”  “Yeah," he replied, "I was thinking if I can’t afford to restore it or if it is impossible to register, I could advertise it in Japan!” Our conversation continued for a while in this vein, and closed with him disclosing that he had an acquaintance in Alaska who was interested in going out to see the car for him, and that he’d keep me posted. 

Two days of speculation and suspense passed. Would the car be in good shape? Would it be original or molested by previous owners? Would Syed actually pull off the deal before someone closer or with a bigger pocketbook got the scent?

I didn’t have to wait too much longer before I received this message from his ipod touch:

“It’s a fake! I’m crushed!”

I must say I was a tad disappointed myself, as I was at this point living vicariously through my friend. But the photos he sent really disappointed me. Even if it were real, the condition was really dire. The bodyshell, adorned with the requisite fender flares and “turbo” stripe graphics, was so riddled with rust that it was doubtful whether it could be saved. The engine, while turbocharged, was not correct in the slightest, and neither was the interior, which was blue vinyl and bore aftermarket Recaro seats. The boost gauge and other supplemental instruments for the turbo were a home-made affair, but the highlight of the interior was a rather nice racing wheel. 

I refuse to speculate as to whether the person who made this car up like a turbo did so to just please himself or to deceive others, but to all those turbo prospectors out there, just remember that in Alaska, all that glitters is not gold!

Click the image below to see the whole wretched photo set.

more photos can be found HERE.

Reader Comments (4)

a few zip ties and that could be a fun rally car!....if he could get it for $500 er, maybe $50?

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGabe

you'd have to cover the whole body in duct tape to keep it from disintegrating.

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBradley Price

lol. I have a 2002 and saw this post on craigslist. I emailed instead of calling and got no response. Too bad it wasn't real... :)

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJW
You want sale the bmw 2002 turbo? how mutch for this?
You have another similar car?
Many thanks
February 7, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteremiliano

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