1970 BMW 2002 #2628020
BMW of North America (since 1999)
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey
This 2002 is an original Alpina race car, but Larry Koch didn’t know that when he bought it for BMW of North America’s classic collection in February 1998. Then BMW NA’s exhibits manager, Koch was told it had been converted from road car to race by Southern California BMW dealer Vasek Polak. As it turned out, Polak had purchased it ready to race—from Alpina, no less.
Part of 1970’s second batch of European 2002s, #2628020 went
straight from Munich to Buchloe, already painted in Alpina’s signature Colorado orange. In Buchloe, Alpina installed a roll cage, Plexiglas side and rear windows, racing seats and harnesses, Weber 45 side-draft carburetors, custom headers, exhaust, steering wheel, shift knob, flared fenders, magnesium racing wheels, and suspension components.
#2628020’s racing history under Polak is essentially unknown. By 1976, the car was stored on a shelf at Polak’s shop in Hermosa Beach, where it remained for 20 years until BMW NA borrowed it for the Monterey Historic Races of 1996, when BMW was the featured marque.
A year later, Polak had a serious crash while driving a new Porsche on the autobahn in Germany, and died en route back to California. His dealership and cars were put up for sale, and in 1998, Koch secured this historic Alpina for BMW NA’s classic collection.