Reader Submissions: This Is The Turkis Green BMW An Enthusiast Spent Years Looking For

This Is The Turkis Green BMW An Enthusiast Spent Years Looking For

By Petrolicious Productions
January 13, 2016

Story and Photography by Adam Wickstead

It all began when I was working while a university student in Calgary. I was a “Swamper,” basically, I would run around in the downtown core, collecting parcels for export. I was taking a coffee break between timed collections when I heard this awesome roar. I  looked up to see a streak of gold, with a shark-like ‎ appearance…stunning…dropped the coffee and ran…must…get… closer…

I caught a glimpse of the rear pillar, and saw the iconic blue and white propeller: BMW. It was “old school”, with buckets of class, charm, and chrome—but what was it?

That was the first sighting. I was 18 at the time.

Move along‎ to 1998, I was aggressively making my way up the airline “food chain”, managing a significant territory and hauling air cargo all over the world. I sought after the hard complex stuff that no one wanted, and it was there in the office of a client as we discussed another challenging project.

Stuck behind him, with a tack in the top, there she was. It was the car I saw rip past me in Calgary—only this one was turquoise green. A million questions ensued: I had to see the car, dusty, hiding in the corner of his warehouse under a cover.

“Nope, not for sale.”

Along came a BMW 2002, and I found a blue 1973 on tan hides, it was magnificent. I had that car for two years only. (It was the rest that terrified me, sellers remorse.) I went a few years. A motor bike, a Saab SPG, turbocharged Volvo wagons…but the E9 still burned in the back of my mind.

So I reached out to call my old client to see if he was interested in selling his Turkis green 1973 E9…

The car was mine after a short discussion and test drive‎. I picked her up from Abbotsford, as the third owner on record, also the only Turkis green—paint code 063—officially imported to North America.

The car had been painted over same color some 15 years ago. Not great, but ok: she was screaming for a clay bar and, in some cases, a cut polish. The brakes were seized, tires dry and cracked, its carbs gummed up, and there was a hole in the exhaust…but she was mine.

First things first: a complete once over from a ‎trusted mechanic. Then many, many hours by myself on the paint to coax the magnificent lustre hidden within.

A fresh set of Alpina wheels were located online, as were—amazingly—NOS seat belts, an Alpina Nardi wheel, sport Bilstein shocks, uprated springs, a modern ignition system, new water pump, clutch, and master cylinder.

It has been ten years now in my care, I just finished a 550-mile round trip to Washington State, where she ran like a champ. She’s happiest at 85 mph, at 3800 rpm.

‎The family calls her “Turkis”, or just “Beam”. Everyone loves her, gives their thumbs up, and I’ve attracted a fair number of business cards on the windscreen asking if ever she would be considered for sale.

Here at home in Vancouver, we have the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler, which is an amazing drive, and in the other direction is the entire Washington State to explore—man, it is a blast to downshift, mash your toe to the floor, and hear the snarl of that 3-litre engine.

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Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt(@jrl1194)
4 years ago

I had one at my home ” entourage “. Translation, the girl who lived in my guest house bought one. She moved up from a 2002 and had the 3.0CS until she got married and moved out a year later. I drove it several times, a REAL nice car to drive. (This was in the mid 1970s in LA).

2 years ago
Reply to  Jim Levitt

Why do I get the feeling she now regrets having made such poor choices???

Gordon Sivley
Gordon Sivley(@gordonsivley)
5 years ago

It was a BMW 3.0CSi that wrecked me.

I was a student at the University of Oregon in the late 1970’s. My car then was a Datsun 510 2dr sedan. Because of it’s amazing racing heritage, I thought of it as a “poor man’s BMW 2002.” A very fun car but I couldn’t afford a real BMW.

After seeing a dark green metallic 3.0CSi parked in the hospital parking lot I went by every day on my way to the University, I thought, ” that’s the most beautiful car I’ve ever seen.” The incredibly airy greenhouse, the perfect long hood, short boot profile. And it was exotic – I’d never seen another one. Oh how I ached to have one of them.

Fast forward 5 years. I was in Europe on an extended trip between jobs. I saw a car parked on the street in a city in Switzerland. A beautiful BMW two seat roadster. I later learned it was a 507, one of only a couple hundred ever built. My God, it was beautiful! Just parked on the street, like an everyday car!

Now it was clear. I must have a BMW. Some how, some time, I’m going to get one. I fantasize. I’ve seen another CSi, this one in light blue metallic with tan leather inside – Oh My God – perfect!!!

Years pass. Marriage. Family. Still, the burning desire – “Someday, I’ve got to have one.”

The career progresses, I’m able to put aside a bit of coin.

1999, the E46 is released. Oh my, look at this one. OH MY GOD, it is available in a light blue metallic paint with tan leather interior with wood trim! I can’t stand it any longer. I consult my extremely understanding wife (she’s, “You’ve been mooning about getting a BMW for years, if this is what you want so much, just get it, already!”). A bit more conversation – “Well if you’re going to get one, you might as well do it right.”

That meant green light for Euro delivery.

In the spring of 2000, I went to my local BMW dealer and placed my order for a model year 2000 BMW 328i. Since this was my dream car, I went ahead and got just about every option there was. Sport Package (duh), Premium package, Xenon lights, Harmon Kardon stereo, etc, etc..

Now the hard part. Waiting.

Finally, “Your car will be ready for you at the Munich BMW Centre on June 28th.”

Airline flights – Seattle to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Munchen.
Taxi to the BMW Centre. I feel a bit odd wheeling my luggage into a car dealership. BUT – after a wait – my name is called, my car is ready to be delivered to me. I had to endure a very thorough explanation of all the wonderful features and capabilities of the car but at last, I was able to drive away in my own, brand new BMW.

The next three weeks were bliss. I spent the first week in a “break-in” period, driving the backroads of Bavaria and Austria, trying to get enough mileage on the car so I could really open it up on the legendary German Autobahns. My wife joined me for the second and third weeks of the trip as we toured Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France and finally, Holland.

Sixteen years later, that 328i still sits in my garage. It is still the car I choose to do my “grand touring” in. Not sure if I could ever let it go.

After all, I’m wrecked.

3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Sivley

I would love to do an European delivery one day – I have several friend that have and they say the support and service from Factory is second to none – well done – I hope you got to keep the Euro plates!!

Avinda D. Perera
Avinda D. Perera(@dimitries115)
5 years ago

I want more….the article was very good….so good…that when it ended….i was sad. Very nice car man! Everyone has their ‘grail’ glad you found yours!

Rachel Kinkade
Rachel Kinkade(@leadfoot2002)
5 years ago

Come down to Seattle, I’ll show you some great roads to drive!

Greg Seraphim
Greg Seraphim(@gregseraphim)
6 years ago

I was driving past this exact car in the summer and had to stop to admire it and snap a few pictures.

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves(@cacem)
6 years ago

Just saw one two weeks ago in downtown Lisbon – BEAUTIFUL!!!

Maurice Léonard Slingerland
Maurice Léonard Slingerland(@trintignant)
6 years ago

What a beauty!

Bob A
Bob A(@bacteson)
6 years ago

That is a beauty and I’m on the hunt now….

Nicolas Moss
Nicolas Moss(@itsnicolas)
6 years ago

Ohh… soon nice!