1969 BMW 2000 - Reader Ride

By: Mark Higgins, Photography by: Guy Allen

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John Trappett's rare German saloon has been in the family since new. Now it's getting a new lease on life

The BMW was purchased new by my family in 1969. My uncle had a Jaguar on order and there was a delay in its arrival so he and my grandfather went to buy a stopgap car, which is the BMW.

They bought it together but really it was my grandfather’s car. It was his pride and joy and he must have loved it because he never bought a new car for the rest of his life and it has been in the family ever since.

My grandfather had it until he handed in his license in the 1980s and it sat in the shed. Then my father and my uncle drove it on and off ending when my grandfather passed away in 2004. It became Dad’s and then he gave it to me about 10 years ago.

I used it at my wedding in 2008 and then it went into hibernation with a few mechanical issues and just last year I got it back on the road, after a bit of an engine rebuild and a few little repairs done and along with re-registration. Now I am enjoying it again.


A good friend of mine, Alex Kalinoski from the Precise Auto Group in Toowoomba gave it the once over. He took the cylinder head off and had it refurbished completely; it just looked immaculate and too good to put back on. He cleaned up the valves and cylinder number four had a blown ring, so he cleaned it up and put it all back together. Other than that it got all new pipes and hoses the carburettors got rebuilt as there are two of them on it, so it was just the basic rebuild nothing too expensive. I’ve got all the brakes working again and it passed it roadworthy and here she is today.

It has done 98,000 miles in total and when it’s in good tune it is just beautiful to drive. It still gets up and moves with just under 130 hp which for a car that age that is pretty good. It does however brake like a 50-year-old car, so you have to be a bit pre-emptive but it is beautiful to drive. When the Jaguar finally arrived my brother and my uncle drag raced them and the BMW took the Jag initially and then the Jag caught it up after a while.


It’s quite a unique car because it was built in Stuttgart, not Munich. I emailed BMW with my chassis number and a very efficient German lady came back to me with the exact day it came off the production line: April 22, 1969.

Valuation: Start at $25k-plus for good BMWs of this era.


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