1982 BMW 323i Baur

1982 BMW 323i Baur
Memorial Day 2010 First Drive 1982 323i BMW Baur Lapisblau M20 5 speed #4154 of 4595 made. The car was imported to California by Dietel Enterprises. I have since changed the wheels, installed the clear turn signal lenses, and I am in the process of installing a new cabriolet roof. I have to do something about those bumpers, too. :) I love this car! To see one of the reasons why, check my post "Score One For the Good Guys" on 6/26/2011.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Baur Owner HarryPR's Amazing Alpina 2002 Find

One of our fellow Baur owners, HarryPR, was involved in an amazing find down in Puerto Rico this week.  The story appeared in 2002faq yesterday, and it has caused considerable excitement and interest.  It bears repeating here.  Great sleuthing, Harry!

Here is the thread in 2002faq:  'Local pig-cheeked Alpina "barn find"!!"

What better way to tell this story than with an eye-witness account by The Man himself!  The following quotes are from Harry's posts in the faq thread, along with the pics he has posted.  Take it away, Harry!

Harry's initial post:
"Or more like an "underground garage" find. 

Rumors about this car have been running around locally for years. A friend and I decided to try to find it and, after some investigating, it was confirmed to be true! 

It was one of three ordered by local enthusiasts, and all were imported as regular '02's to bypass emission laws, according to Ivan Pelegrina, an old school local BMW tech now living in the Tampa area. The other two had 165 HP engines, but the one on this one had 205 HP. According to Ivan, it was too much power for the owner's driving abilities. 

After over 20 years of storage, the original owner has decide to bring it back to life. 

Here are a couple of pics taken when I first saw the car a couple weeks ago."

"Actually, the wheels are original multi-piece Alpina. The color is, in fact, Bristol."

'The original engine is not in the car. We are in the process of finding its whereabouts. If it can not be found, a new engine will be built to the original Alpina specs, most probably by one of the mechanics who worked on the car when it was new."

This was my question for harry:

Nice sleuth-work, Harry! 

So.... the original owner went to the trouble of importing this special car, then.... removed the engine from it. 


Curious minds want to know why! We are fortunate to have one of our best guys (that's YOU, Harry!) down there working on this case! 

We are counting on you to get to the bottom of this, Harry! 


"The reason for the "missing" engine (which was/is, in fact a Grp. 5 one) is that the owner at one time sold it to an employee, only to buy it back. This employee removed the engine and replaced it with the one currently on the car in order to be able to use it (probably because the one in the car was not really streetable, as it was mentioned above). There are rumors that the engine may have been sold to a 2002 racer in the Dominican Republic, but this has not been confirmed. 

I will post further news on this interesting car as I find out more about its history. In the meantime, here are a couple more pics, taken today:"

I can's say for sure, but that looks like Harry in his white hat doing the heavy lifting at the extreme right of this pic.  Easy, big fella!  ;)

"Yes, it has a US VIN. However, this one, along with the two 165 HP ones came directly from Europe. Back then DOT and EPA inspections were lax here in the island and people got away with a lot of things. Ivan Pelegrina, who lives in Tampa now but had a shop and raced 2002's locally at the time, has provided lots of interesting details about the car. 

Our 2002's did not come from the Max Hoffman pipeline, and there were even a couple of 2002ti's here which I saw back when I began in the hobby 30+ years ago."

Congrats on this find, Harry!  We look forward to following this story as it unfolds!  

New pics from Harry!






Saturday, September 29, 2012

Welcome Aboard To A New 1984 318i TC2 Baur!

I am pleased to welcome a new Baur owner to our midst:  Ross D. of Texas.

He has just bought this TC2 Baur.  Ross introduced himself a few days ago in the E30 bimmerforum:

"Howdy y'all - just bought a 1984 318i Baur. I cannot find the plate on the driver's side. I have the owner's manual that came with with Baur top. I'm confused as to why the plate is not there. Any help would be appreciated."


Looks pretty clean from here!

There is a bit of a mystery with this Baur:  The Baur plate is missing, and there is this curious burnt/rusty spot where the plate should be.  It vaguely reminds me of the pics of those burnt spots on the ground where UFOs supposedly have landed.  Hmmm.  Now.... don't get me wrong,  I am NOT necessarily saying that this Baur plate was abducted by aliens. But, in the absence of any other viable explanation, I AM saying that .... we can't rule it out!
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." 
 ----Sherlock Holmes.

Baurspotting has a couple of our BEST GUYS working on the case right now, scouring for clues, tracking down leads, etc.  
Even noted Baur Guru, Jeroen J. in The Netherlands, has run into a dead end on this one:  "Hmm, for some reason this topic doesn't pop up when I search for Baur.  About the 8717253, I can't find it in the production lists."

So stay tuned!

Here is what Ross himself  has told us about his new acquisition:  "I'll try to get some pics early this evening. I bought it from a retired Air Force NCO who bought it from an Air Force colonel. Supposedly the colonel had it built to US specs so he could bring it back to the US. It has the big bumpers. The top has the TC/BAUR markings so I'm confused about the missing plate."

Nice!  The First Aid Kit!

Looks like a Baur manual.  Not sure how helpful that Chilton's will be, though... pretty generic stuff.  The Bentley's Manual is the one you want.   Haynes has one too, of course. 

Here is the build sheet on the car, courtesy of THE POOLEMAN in E30 bimmerforums!  Thanks, Ed!
Here it is:

"Vehicle information

VIN long WBAAK7408E8717253

Type code AK74

Type 318I (USA)

Dev. series E30 ()

Line 3

Body type LIM

Steering LL

Door count 2

Engine M10

Cubical capacity 1.80

Power 0

Transmision HECK

Gearbox MECH


Upholstery PACIFIC KUNSTLEDER (0167)

Prod. date 1984-01-02

Order options
No. Description





According to the VIN your car was produced for the US market and in the option list it is is missing option code #829 which is preparation for convertible conversion."

That appears to be consistent with what Ross reported above:  "Supposedly the colonel had it built to US specs so he could bring it back to the US. It has the big bumpers."  

We know that some Baurs were converted during production, i.e., they sent to Baur for conversion to the Top Cabriolet by the factory.  When the conversion was completed, they were returned to the factory for shipment to dealers.   

We also know that customers could buy a car from the dealer, and then have the dealer send it over to Baur for conversion to the Top Cabriolet.  Those cars would likely NOT have the code #829 in the build sheet, since the conversion was arranged AFTER they left the factory.  
Regardless which way the conversion was done, ALL Baurs came with a full factory warranty which included the conversion work. 

So, welcome to the Baur world, Ross!  Nice find!  We look forward to solving the Baur plate mystery.... and you are gonna love that Baur!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Neu Klasse at Saratoga Vintage July 2012

Scott Sislane has taken some gorgeous pics of this Neu Klasse at the Vintage at Saratoga 2012 in July.  What a great job he did!

That is Frank Greppo in the foreground, btw. 



It is missing one of the most distinctive design elements of BMW.  

What is missing?

Aw, come on.  You didn't really think I was gonna make it THIS easy, did you?


OK, ok.  The answer will be posted later on today.  I am not THAT cruel.


Hint:  the answer is a little.... ummm ... kinky, you might say.




It is missing one of the most distinctive design elements of BMW.


The what?  ;)

See the difference?

The 1961 1500 was the first BMW car to feature the Hofmeister kink in the C-pillar. One of the first known vehicles featuring this style element was the Kaiser-Frazer of 1951.

The Hofmeister kink (sometimes also translated Hofmeister kick, German: Hofmeister-Knick) is an automobile design feature seen on modern BMWs. It is a low forward bend in the C-pillar of the car, which is the piece of metal that separates the rear side windows from the rear glass. The kink formally debuted on the 1961 BMW 1500 at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show[1] and was later named after then-BMW director of design, Wilhelm Hofmeister.[2] In early models, the widened base of the C-pillar was sometimes adorned with the BMW roundel.
Apart from its pleasing effect, the Hofmeister kink is said by BMW to subtly highlight the fact that all BMW models have rear-wheel drive (or all-wheel drive biased to the rear).[1]
Note that this design feature is not unique to BMW models. Similar C-pillar kinks have appeared on cars of other brands both before 1961 and since. For example, the 1951 Kaiser Deluxe Golden Dragon shows a considerable "Hofmeister kink" in its greenhouse design.[3] Another instance is seen with the 1994 Chevrolet Impala SS, based on the 1991+ Chevrolet Caprice, which had a plastic C-pillar kink insert and unique quarter window added to its design for its debut year. For 1994, the Caprice retained the standard triangular shaped window glass. In 1995, GM did away with the plastic insert, and incorporated this kink into the stamped sheetmetal quarter panels themselves for both the Impala SS as well as the Caprice Classic. In addition, the kink is present on some Honda Accord models. However, the term "Hofmeister kink" is only used in reference to BMW automobiles, as it has become a distinctive styling cue used across all BMW model series.
The kink is found in the D-pillar of BMW Touring and SUV vehicles.


Hofmeister kink is a small design feature of BMWs.  It is the name for the small cutout of the rear side windows on the C-pillar of the car. Rather than having the rear side window extend all the way down as might be expected, it angles back toward the front of the car. It is named after the legendary Director of Design at BMW, Wilhelm Hofmeister. It first appeared on the 1961 BMW 1500. You can see this on the 1500 in the image below.  (Circled in blue)

What is the Hofmeister Kink?

Hofmeister Kink on the BMW 1500
The Hofmeister kink has become a signature design element of all BMWs.  BMW claims that it "subtly highlights" that the cars are rear-wheel drive.  Since it first appeared, the kink has appeared on every BMW manufactured. Below is the C-Pillar of all of the BMW "Compact Exec" type cars since the 1500. (The modern model is the 3-Series)
During that time BMW has become synonomous with quality; the 3-Series is a legend and has been named to the Car and Driver Ten Best list every year since 1992.  As expected, the Hofmeister kink is now appearing on all kinds of cars. 

The kink describes the bend at the C-Pillar, representing a turn in the window lines that separates the rear side windows from the rear glass. The Hofmeister Kink design cue was carried through the BMW lineup and it soon became associated with the brand.
The latest 2009 BMW 7 Series models are still “carrying” the Kink, but re-interpreted in a moremodern style.
There has always been a debate on the Hofmeister Kin whether was born out of necessity in the first auto designs or it simply represents a sign of luxury.
According to the fellows at NewMediaCampaigns,  different auto brands use the Hofmeister Kink to distinguish between similar models of different marques, setting different levels of luxury.
The Hofmeister kink is said by BMW to subtly highlight the fact that all BMW models haverear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with a rear-wheel bias.
If the next generation BMW 1 Series renderings are accurate, then we might be seeing the first modern BMW without the Hofmeister Kink.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another 1972 2002 Targa restoration by The Werk Shop

Here is another outstanding restoration by these guys out at The Werk Shop in Libertyville, IL.

Owner:  Salim
1972 BMW 2002 Targa 
VIN 2795011

"About this restoration : Salim is a Doctor in the Dayton, Ohio area. He has had a passion for 2002's ever since his youth when he saw the cars racing the roads of his native town in Guatemala. Today he has an extensive collection of 02's and this Targa will be the centerpiece. She came to our shop with rust in all the wrong places. We cut out all that bad metal and remade the body so she has her structural integrity again. Then we painted her Mini's Dark Silver and rebuilt her to better than new."

This is from The Werk Shop website:

The Werk Shop is located in Libertyville, Illinois (north of Chicago, just West of I-94).

Our BMW restorations have been featured in the Roundel magazine (August 1998, August 2001 and July 2002) and Bimmermagazine (December 2002) as well as many other publications. We build show class cars as well as street or track versions. Our philosophy is to understand your expectations and then deliver exactly what you want.

The Werk Shop also performs preservation work to keep older models on the road, as well as service, repairs, and after-market modifications for our local BMW owners.