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Finding the Unicorn!


hollowridge

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Hello everyone!

Thought I would share my car, it's story and what I am doing with it. Here is a fun read about it if you have time.

 

Warning: Kinda long read - you might love it or hate it.

 

 

 

Finding the "Unicorn"

 

It was a December 2019 morning sipping on coffee "just browsing" car listings as we all tell our wives when I came across a unique overseas listing. It was a classified in Italy for a touring that was in what could be either primer or bristol. A few images into the listing showed a tattered color sticker that read bristol. As Eminem says "His palms are sweaty". Did I just find MY Unicorn!? Well for me, the touring is the model I have such a soft spot for and bristol, well, who doesn't love bristol. I didn't even know they existed! I thought use of bristol ended before the touring production? Quickly I sent an email to the seller asking if the car was still available and an email to BMW to verify the color with the vin. That's all I could do for now. Four days later I receive an e-mail from BMW confirming paint code 058 bristol to be factory on this Italian market touring. OK! Now my heart is racing and I am super excited. Later that same day I get an e-mail response from the seller. "Grazie ma è stata venduta!!. I google translate it. "Thanks but it was sold!!. Well damn.

 

January rolls around and I can't stop thinking about this car. I am stubborn and don't want to "give up". I send an email off to the seller asking if he wouldn't mind putting me in contact with who bought it. You never know right!?

 

Fast forward to March and we are all hit with Covid worldwide. My browsing of cars has ended and gone to focusing on my business and employees. That was a crazy time right?

 

A few months pass and in July feeling like we are in a "groove" I begin my morning coffee searches again. Let's be honest they were all day everyday with Covid keeping me on the computer at home. I recall that touring and send off another e-mail. On ebay there is this Inka tii that is for sale. Seems like a solid car and ticks all my boxes for what I would want in a tii. Make an offer and secure the car. Rad. Gotta tell the wife now. Have any of you done this move before?

 

So I get the guts to tell my wife I bought another 2002. She isn't too thrilled, obviously. Oh I forgot to mention I already had two! These cars are addicting right? No? Just me? haha. I tell her I promise to sell one ASAP and go back down to two. My wife is very supportive in my hobbies and says as long as it's never more than two. I agree. It's a deal!

 

Over at my best friends house I am having a conversation with him and his wife. I tell her the story of the tii I just bought. She asks me "Are you done?". Which I answer "Yes". I have two cars that I really like for different reasons. My sons can each "inherit one" I also joke about. Then I recall the touring to which I tell her, "well, if this one car ever resurfaces". But I say there is no way as it was a literal unicorn that is gone for good. I vividly remember her asking. "But what if it comes up again". My reply.... "I'd do everything I could to get it" 

 

With having three BMW 2002s needing to sell one you would think my searching would stop right? RIGHT!? The tii literally has been home for weeks. Its September now and I do the morning search. THERE IT IS! Again on an Italian classified listing is that same touring I had been thinking about for 9 months! NO WAY NO WAY! I quickly fire off an e-mail to the seller. What am I doing?! I have a problem. The seller responds that the car is available and willing to work with me to arrange transport. The Unicorn can be mine, I just need to grab it.

 

During dinner I utter the words to my Wife, "The Unicorn can be mine". You should have seen her face! "We will talk about it later". Ouch. So we sit and have a talk about the touring and all the cars I now have in my possession.  She reminds me of our deal, no more than two. Currently I am breaking the rule as the third has not been listed on BAT yet and here I am talking about a fourth. A little reluctant she agrees to look at the pictures and talk about it some more, you see her favorite model is also a touring. I show her about a dozen cell phone photos (none of the typical 2002 rust areas). It is a gamble. A BIG GAMBLE. After some back and forth we decide to go for it. It came down to me asking her a silly question. "If anything were to happen to me, which car would you keep?". Her answer was the touring, of which we didn't even officially own. We were ok to take the risk, rust and all. YOLO right!?

 

After some emails, wire transfers and sleepless nights the touring was on a boat headed our way from Italy in October! I of course I am beyond excited. I am possibly a crazy person who now officially owns four versions of the BMW 2002 but that's ok right? I mean I am in no way a car collector, nor do I have the means to keep all these, I am  just a guy who was originally looking for his High School dream car.

 

The day has finally come for the touring to be delivered! December 7 2020. I sold one of the cars and am back down to three, but still above the "rule of two". It has been two months since it left Italy and exactly 365 days from the first time I saw the car online. We as a family were super excited to see it in person for the first time. My wife was really supportive and said the car is "so you". You guys, I have my unicorn! 

 

After a quick wash to get the two month shipping dust off I take it out for a spin. I am actually really happy with the amount of "rust" and feel like the gamble was ok. The engine sounds decent but transmission is absolutely trash. Let's go for it. By myself and maybe 5 miles from the house it overheats. Dang it. I wait at my best friends house after just making it there to wait for it to cool. He wasn't home but his wife was. She was kinda laughing and remembered our conversation. "So now you have three again!?" she asked. "I am selling one", I reply and also laugh. After cooling down I drive it the 2 miles home and park it in the garage. Good night touring, I love you but you need some love.

 

Fast forward many months, selling the third to a local (now a friend), back to my rule of "only two" and conversations of what to do we are in the process of what I call "Stage One". I will start posting that process overtime as I think we can all agree this initial entry is long enough.

 

If you have read all the above. WOW! Thanks!

 

QUESTIONS?

If any of you have any questions for me regarding my experience importing a car from Italy to California. Send me a message. I'd love to talk.

Or any question or comment for that matter. This community is amazing!

 

Until next time,

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Keith

 

 

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Edited by hollowridge

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Keith, great story! A Touring and it's Bristol. Amazing, rare on two counts. 

 

Actually, three counts: our amazing, supportive, 2002 loving wives.

 

Steve

 

 

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Great story glad you got it, and yes I understand the addiction . Looks like a solid car also keep us posted.

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Hi Keith,

 

great story so far. 🙂 Much Freude am Fahren for the future!

 

I´d just quickly like to mention, that the first ever delivered 2000 touring automatic was delivered in bristol, too.

 

 

I didn´t visit the owner for quite a while now, but according to our regular phone calls automatic no. 1 is still awaiting restoration. He´s got a - for what I´ve seen in my 02 life - medium sized collection of cars and currently work is in progress with touring tii no. 1, which he owns, too (this one isn´t bristol though 😉).

 

Best regards, Lars.

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23 hours ago, LarsAlpina said:

Hi Keith,

 

great story so far. 🙂 Much Freude am Fahren for the future!

 

I´d just quickly like to mention, that the first ever delivered 2000 touring automatic was delivered in bristol, too.

 

 

I didn´t visit the owner for quite a while now, but according to our regular phone calls automatic no. 1 is still awaiting restoration. He´s got a - for what I´ve seen in my 02 life - medium sized collection of cars and currently work is in progress with touring tii no. 1, which he owns, too (this one isn´t bristol though 😉).

 

Best regards, Lars.

 

Thanks Lars!

 

Yes I did come across your post about that car after finding my Bristol touring. Very cool! The only two in this color that I have heard of. Wonder how many are left? Touring tii number!? Wow that is really cool and very special. Would love to see more photos and story of both of those cars especially when restorations complete. 

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3 minutes ago, AceAndrew said:

Yeeeee ... this is awesome.  Congratulations!  Where in Italy was it residing?

Thanks! It was in Verona. Not sure of it's life before. I have e-mailed the previous owner multiple times with no response. I do know through BMW that it was delivered to Italy in 1971.

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On 1/7/2022 at 12:15 PM, hollowridge said:

Thanks Lars!

 

Yes I did come across your post about that car after finding my Bristol touring. Very cool! The only two in this color that I have heard of. Wonder how many are left? Touring tii number!? Wow that is really cool and very special. Would love to see more photos and story of both of those cars especially when restorations complete. 

 

Hi Keith,

 

the owner of the tourings doesn´t like to be in public that much. I´m not allowed to post photos making it possible to identify himself or the location of his collection.

 

 

54902383_touringtii1.thumb.jpg.33240f5b059b3bf7b11e6f7c3d47e493.jpg

 

The first touring tii wasn´t in an as good survivor shape as the first touring automatic was/is. But slowly but surely at least the body shell becomes healthy again - as I said: work still in progress.

 

Best regards,

Lars.

 

Edited by LarsAlpina
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Great story...for all you touring experts--is the extension on the driver's side windshield washer nozzle a standard thing on a touring, or was it added by a PO?    Looks like it moves the nozzle's position about an inch or so to the right.

 

mike

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