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.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baur in the Bush: UPDATE!

Many readers may recall the "Baur in the Bush" adventure from March of 2011.  For the benefit of those who were not with us then, or for those who may have forgotten about it.... a brief refresher:


The Baur in the Bush.   "This photo was taken on June 20, 2007. "

This pic was posted by Matthew in E21 bimmeforums, stating he found it on Flickr, but had no other information on it.  Baurspotting loves a good mystery, and a challenge, and this pic presented both!  Where on earth was this forlorn Baur?  What is its Baur plate number???  ;)

The first challenge was to find out where the pic was taken.  We had some clues:  the pic was taken by someone named Rick C; the Baur appears to have expired California plates;  it appears to be parked in a shoreline environment.

Baurspotting was ON THE CASE!    ;)

I did some google searching  for photographers, and sent out an email to my 'chief suspect".  Bingo!  Sure enough, I found the Rick C who had taken that pic!  He said he had visited the area where the pic was taken a few years ago, and had taken the pic, but no longer had access to that property.  He had no information on the Baur except for one thing:  he had the coordinates from his camera on the location where the pic was taken!  He also stated that he had been a guest in the house next door to the BMW, and that is how he got the pic. His friends are no longer living there, however, so he doesn't know anything about the car now. The BMW owner was never around, he said.

39 degrees 33'57.19"N 123 degrees 46' 03.33"W

I posted that info in bimmerforums, and was amazed to get this message from bimmerforums member TomD 13 hours later:
" morning tom, 
so i went to a satellite mapping site and have located the car. in fact i can tell you the car is facing southeast. i can see it in the bushes. it's right on highway 1 just north of fort bragg and it's right on the ocean!! i drove within 150 feet of it last summer.

this is a great motorcycle riding area, but i'll need a 3 day weekend. i'll try to get there in the next couple of months."


Using the coordinates from Rick C., TomD went to some satellite pics and...... sure enough you can see the car faintly in the satellite pics!!

Unbelievable.  TomD accomplished this within a matter of hours from the time when I first posted the coordinates!  I was stunned!
Here are the pics TomD posted that day:

You can just see the white car in the center right of this pic, and ..... it is indeed in a shoreline environment, as you can see.  Pic taken 5/29/09.  Can we find it/save it before it gets washed out to sea?

Here again, you see the faint white dot near the center of the pic.  That is the Baur.  This next picture was taken on 9/27/09 at 4:01 pm.... . the car is located behind the trees at the edge of the beach. As you can see, these pics were taken several months apart in 2009.

TomD, as you can see above, added, amazingly, that he had taken a motorcycle trip in that area the previous summer, and thought that he may have driven within a 150 feet of that spot!  He also stated that, if he had another opportunity in the next few months, that he may take another trip up that way and would take a look around for it.  That was in March of 2011.

Fast forward to October 2012!

If any readers are regulars in the E21 or E30 bimmerforums you may be aware that our friend, TomD, set out on the adventure of a lifetime earlier this year (May 2012 or so):  a BMW motorcycle ride from his home in Monterey, CA across the United States to Florida, then up the East Coast all the way into Quebec, Canada...... across Canada to the West Coast again, and then south again, back home to Monterey.  Epic is the only word for a journey like that!   Tom kept in touch with bimmerforums with periodic posts along the way, and he had the opportunity to meet with several members in the course of his travels.
Getting ready for the trip of a lifetime.

(Full disclosure: TomD originally hails from Connecticut, the state in which I reside. In the summer of 2011, TomD came to CT to visit his family. My friend, Bill K. a fellow car guy and Z3 owner, and I met up with TomD at F40 Motorsports in Portland CT---- home of Wayne Carini of "Chasing Classic Cars" cable TV show----  and we had a great Italian dinner together across the river in Middletown, CT.  I am proud to call TomD a friend.)

OK, back to our narrative!

I awoke on the morning of October 20 to find this message from TomD:  "tom, I'm in Medford Oregon and headed south. you want to steer me in the direction of the coastal baur?"  He had crossed Canada on the final leg of his journey, and was heading home!

Here is my response:  Holy Baur-in-the-Bush, Batman, YES! Wow, Tom! That is one hell of a road adventure that you are on!

The Baur in the Bush is in Fort Bragg CA along that coastal road. I will have to do a little more checking to pin down the name of the road... but as I recall .... you mentioned travelling right by it on your motorcycle once before. I should have the longitude/latitude coordinates somewhere.... those were given to me by the photographer who took the pic... he read them off his camera. Would that work?

This would be unbelievable if you can find it! I greatly appreciate the fact that you are even thinking of this and making the offer. Wow. I am in your debt, Tom.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited to hear from him, and to hear that he was so close to our quarry! I sent  another email a short while later:
"Update: GPS coordinates:
This is the post that enabled you to find it on the satellite photo, a feat that STILL blows my mind!

Does this help YOU? Do you need more, Oh Intrepid Baurhunter?


My post from bimmerforums in March 2011:
"I just got an email from the photographer of that forlorn Baur located somewhere near Fort Bragg, CA. Remember the sad-looking one... covered with debris of some sort?

Who is good with maps?

39 degrees 33'57.19"N 123 degrees 46' 03.33"W

That is the location where the pic was taken. It is unknown if the car is still there.

Can you plug that into a GPS and find it? I am GPS-challenged, so forgive me for asking.

We need an intrepid Baurhunter to go take a look, and a pic, if possible!! And make a few inquiries.

Any volunteers?"

I followed this up with another email about an hour later:
HI Tom,

here is the link to the "wanted Crushed or Alive page in my blog. Scroll way down to see those pics.... the original photographer's pic, as well as the aerial and satellite pics. 


Hope this helps.

I will be in and out all day today, and we have company coming for dinner. I will check back for any messages, etc. as often as I can.

Do you have a time frame for this? Is it something that may happen ... like today? Or just in the next few days. I am not sure that I have time to try to find the name of the road, but perhaps the coordinates and the photos will be of help.

Let me know what you need, or if I can be of any assistance whatsoever.


Is this getting a little confusing with both of us named 'Tom"?      :)  My comments are in blue;  TomD's comments are in red.

"hey tom, I made my way down to humbolt county, calif. today, ........ I stopped in garberville last night and it looked like something right out of a 1970 hippie commune. anyway, I'm about 120 miles north of the baur in the bush. I'll be there in the morning.  tom"

Ok.  I am pretty excited by this point, anxious to hear 1) if TomD can actually find the correct location (silly me, of course he can!);  and 2) will the Baur in the Bush still be there??!!!  One more day to go!

10/21/2012 10:51am:
"I do have a GPS and have zeroed in on the baur. right now I'm back in garberville have a tall cup of coffee and waiting for the sun to appear. it's 38 degrees this morning."

Hi Tom, 
A bit nippy out there, I see. It was about 43 here in Connecticut this morning, but it is up to 63 now.  

I have my fingers crossed here, and wish you all the luck in the world.  This is like the Holy Grail of US Baurs, Tom.   



If you do find the spot and the Baur is still there... and if you can get to it...  a pic of the Baur plate would be most appreciated.  It is under the hood on the driver's side, on top of the quarter panel between the fuse box and the windshield, near where the hood rolls back and fastens.  "Karosserie Baur" and a number beginning with the letter A.

Godspeed, and stay safe. 

10/21/2012 1:33pm:
well tom, I'm sorry to say the the "baur in the bush" is no longer here. although someone is staying here, I knocked on the door and got no response.

enclosed is a picture taken from nearly the same location as the original.

Hi Tom,

That does look like the same location!  Wow!  Baurhunter Par Excellence!

Still a pretty amazing story, Tom.  Thanks for trying.   I think that last pic we had was dated from about 2009... so that is a long time for someone to leave a derelict car on the beach.  Even if it IS a Baur!  ;)

Hell, it was so close to the water that it could have gotten washed out to sea in the aftermath of that awful tsunami from Japan a year or two ago!  

Congratulations of finding the location!  Was that near the spot I thought it might be, or no?  Just curious.  What an amazing tool that GPS is though!   

Well, thanks to you, one mystery is solved: we have the former location of the Baur in the Bush.   Did you happen to note the address?  I will be doing a write up on this, so any details/pics/anything/how you found it/etc.....  that you would like to share would be greatly appreciated.  A pic of you and the motorcycle would be great too!! 

We still have the mystery of where the Baur in the Bush went.  

Tom, I appreciate you taking the time and making the effort.  But I guess it was just not meant to be.  C'est la vie!

I owe you another one!  :)

TomD took this pic of the street address on Pacific Coast Highway where he took the pic above.

The pic on the left is the original satellite pic from March 2011 with the white spec of the Baur in the Bush showing in the center.  The pic on the right is a screen shot from my iPhone taken of the address TomD sent me.  As you can see, it is in fact the exact location of the pic on the left.  And the white spec of the Baur in the Bush is not visible.
I made contact with the tenant and left my contact info. Lise, who will be back tommorrow might be related to the owner of the house. apparently the man that rented before was there for a very long time and a hoarder. the stump of the tree in the photo is still there, but appears to have cut many years ago.

Wow, great job, Tom!

That bluish rope you see in the pic you took today looks like the same rope that was on the back of the Baur in the original picture!

hey tom,

I took shot this at the top of the driveway just after talking to the fellow about the baur in the bush.

 30551 Pacific Coast Highway, former home of the Baur in the Bush.

Another pic TomD took a little later that day.... immediately recognizable to most of us as San Francisco, CA and the famous Golden Gate Bridge.

Huge thank you to TomD, Intrepid Baurhunter Extraordinaire!   TomD, this is an amazing accomplishment!  You have single-handedly solved the first part of the mystery of the Baur in the Bush, both by your efforts back in March 2011, and your outstanding effort last month ON SITE!   Thanks to you, we now know exactly where the Baur in the Bush was formerly located.

Now we just have to figure out where it went!    :)

The Adventure continues........   ;)

ADDENDUM:  Just after posting this blogpost, I went to E21 bimmerforums to post a link to it, and I found this post from my friend, TomD, Baurhunter Extraordinaire!  It adds a poignant, personal touch to this story.  Please check it out. I want to personally extend my best wishes to TomD for his continued good health and happiness!  Next time you are in CT, dinner is on me, Tom!

1 comment:

  1. thanks Tom,

    the pleasure was mine.

    your friend,
    Tom D.