Brazilian Collector Shares the Story of His Beautiful Alpina 2002Ti
Henrique, a Brazilian enthusiast and Petrolicious reader, curates a wonderful collection of machines with his father and a good friend. Of the many fantastic old cars in their stable, a gorgeous Alpina 2002Ti is among our favorites. Below, he shares his thoughts on the old racer, his collection, and the burgeoning enthusiast scene in Brazil.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your 2002?
A: This is a very special car because it is an original Alpina built for the tracks. Its first owner was the Brazilian driver Andreas Mattheis. Its whole history documented since new and has had only four owners. In 1969 Alpina built less than 20 cars like it and most of them were raced. It’s the only Alpina in Brazil, that I’m aware of. The car’s twice been to Germany to be restored and tested on the Nürburgring—we still have the track credentials! In 2002 it participated in the Bavaria Tour in Germany, a special event to celebrate the ’02 Series.
Q: What’s the world of classic sports car enthusiasm like in Brazil?
A: It is growing a lot even if it is not very sophisticated yet. We have many meetings, fairs and clubs. More recently we have been developing many rallies that I appreciate because they allow a good opportunity to drive. For me it´s much better to drive cars rather than just show them off.
Q: What’s the Alpina like to drive?
A: It’s very fun to drive because it’s a real vintage track car. It’s very tough, very strong. The seats, the noise, the smell, the Getrag gearbox… You always feel you are in a vintage racing car.
Q: How do people react to it?
A: Without an eye for details, it appears to be just a regular vintage BMW. But for car enthusiasts, especially those that know Alpina heritage, it’s definitely something special and unique.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about the car?
A: The engineering underneath it; forged internals, dual Weber 45’s, and a general aggressive race tune that give 170 HP in a very light car. Its history, as previously mentioned, is also a big part of its appeal.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to change about your car if you could?
A: Some people think I should repaint it, but I enjoy the patina. It is not a show car, but a racing car—to me, originality is more important than show readiness. I won’t ever change it.
Q: There must be some stunning scenery and amazing driving roads in Brazil, can you tell us a bit about them and what your favorite road in particular is?
A: There are amazing driving roads in Brazil, but the country is too large to reach them all and road conditions are frequently poor. Trucks are the main mode of transport, and they share the highways with cars. A good opportunity to drive with enthusiasm is in rallies like the Brazilian Historic 1000 Miglia.
Q: Is your 2002 original or restored?
A: It’s been partially restored in some details but is generally fully original. We’ve owned it since 2009.
Q: Is there a trackday scene in Brazil, and if so, do you track it?
A: There’s a healthy trackday scene in Brazil, but I’ve never been part of that circle, instead preferring to race in local rallies and tours.
Q: Do you own any other interesting cars, or are there any you’d love to own someday?
A: Yes, we maintain a collection focused on BMWs and other light sports cars of the sixties and seventies. As far as BMW goes we have a ’78 635CS tuned by Hartge with triple carbs and almost 300 HP, as well as a ’73 3.0CSi, a standard ’70 2002Tii, and a ’96 Z3. The most interesting car in the collection, however, is not a BMW, but a Malzon—a rare Brazilian sports car based on DKW mechanicals, which is currently in the final stages of restoration. These cars can be viewed at oacervo.com, but the site is in Portuguese.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
A: I manage the collection with the help of two friends, my father, James, and my buddy Rodrigo. We research models, get them to a period-correct state, and sometimes sell cars on the side to fund the rest of the collection. It’s very special to share a hobby with my father.