“You picture, back in ’69, the guy that got in here, i mean, he had the coat and tie, thin cigarette in his mouth and driving this luxurious thing—to him, it was a Bentley of the time,” says Emin Kureghian. “Today, I get in, slam the door shut, turn it on, step on the gas; it’s not going anywhere and I have a laugh.”
“They were pretty generic cars, there wasn’t much to it,” he says. He’s right: the car here sports a carbureted 4-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, skinny 14-inch wheels and tall tires, all a far cry from what BMW offers its customers today. Acquired at a charity auction after being in long-term storage, the car is unrestored but has been cleaned up and turned into a fine driver.
Designed in-house by BMW, its spec sheet isn’t what matters: “It’s kind of a hybrid between the 02 and the newer coupes. It’s got lines from both—if you take a good look, you can see both sides of the story.”
“The fact that it pulled [BMW] out of a sales slump is really something, like a whole new generation…almost like the E30 of its generation.”
If Emin restores the car, it’ll be taken back to its original color, but for the time being, he’s just driving it tastefully, safe in the knowledge he’s been able to keep a part of history alive.
“I’m part of the cause, so to speak—to me, it’s home.”