A Touring Legend In Monterey

They say “some’s good, more is better.” Golden Gate Chapter member Pedram Mehdiour realized that this year by adding the BMW CCA Festorics to his activity list during Monterey Car Week. I have attended Legends Of The Autobahn for four years in a row,” Pedram explained. “This year was my first time at Festorics and I fell in love with it. What an awesome event!”

Pedram knows a little about “awesome,” as many who saw his Legends and Festorics transportation would agree. Pedram’s 1972 Atlantik Blue 2000 Touring first graced the lawn at the Nicklaus Golf Course Friday and then the turf in the Turn Five hospitality tent at the BMW CCA Festorics corral on Saturday.

Actually, his Touring, which he’s owned for a little more than three years, first graced the lawn at Legends three years ago. “My first year at Legends, I hardly knew anyone there, but it was definitely a welcoming environment,” Pedram recalls. “Rather than put the car out in visitor parking, I opted for the display corral. I really enjoy being able to just park the car and roam around without having to worry about getting the car spotless for the judges.”

Pedram’s BMW passion runs deep—the kind of depth that makes you smile and recall your own stories. “I’ve been a BMW fan for as long as I can remember,” he notes. “The love for these cars—especially the 2002—was instilled in me from a young age. It’s in my blood. As Iranians, we are programmed to love BMWs and Mercedes. My father used to tell me stories of his 2002 back in Iran when he was a young man; there was no speed limit there, and he used push that thing to its limits, racing anyone he could. The 02’s engine and handling were legendary in Iran; everyone wanted one when they came out. He would tell me that in ’74 when the square-taillight cars came out, people in his town would convert their roundies to square-tails to make them look newer.”

That passion didn’t stop when it came time for Pedram to get his own car. “I bought my first 2002 for $300 when I was seventeen. I completely restored it and daily-drove it for about four years,” he recalls. “I’ve owned several 1600 and 2002s and a few E30s, E24s, E28s, and E21s, and then acquired the Touring from Jan Echeverry.”

If the 2000 (or 2002) Touring isn’t something you’ve often seen, you’re not alone. “I love the Touring because it’s a quirky and unusual-looking car,” Pedram acknowledges. “Most people are familiar with 2002s, but many are puzzled to see one with a hatchback. I get a lot of comments like, ‘What is that?’ and ‘Did you have it converted?’ or ‘I never knew this car existed.’”

Plenty of people saw this beauty at Legends and Festorics this year, but the energy from Saturday at Festorics really resonated with Pedram. “The paddock access at the track was amazing,” he notes. “I’ve never seen so many historic race cars in one place! It was like a car show that went on and on. It was so cool to be able to walk through the paddock and then come back to the BMW CCA hospitality tent and watch those same cars race by at more than 100 mph. The sounds of the cars screaming by was a memorable experience; you can really feel the horsepower. That hospitality area was great. It was like having front-row tickets—much better than sitting on bleachers.”

If you’re looking for more opportunities to see Pedram’s 2000 Touring, you probably don’t need to wait until next year’s Legends and Festorics. “I attend most of the Bay Area Golden Gate Chapter CCA and 2002FAQ meets and have made some great friends,” he says. “The cars are great, but the people really make these events fun. I love the community we have here in Northern California; it’s almost like a family. Everyone is very willing to offer some friendly advise or a helping hand. And my passion for this brand is only increasing. The only thing holding me back from owning more cars right now is the lack of parking space!”—Kyle van Hoften

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