While out in San Diego on business, I was headed to a dinner one evening and almost locked up all four tires of the rental as I spotted several vintage BMWs in an aging garage on the other side of the street. I zipped up to the next block and did a u-turn. Once I pulled up to the place I realized that it was the well-known La Jolla Independent from whom I had ordered parts for my former 3.0CS several times in the past. The place is part BMW vintage wrecking yard, part restoration showcase, part multi-bay mechanic shop, and part parts place. It is not pretty, but it oozes ambiance. They were close to closing, and I would not have a chance to return, to I wandered around like a kid in a candy shop.

If you want to see what BMW was up to with 2 and 4 door sedans in the sixties and seventies, this is a good place to do it. Nothing museum quality, and I may just have had fortunate timing, but there was an example of most of the BMW sedans of that era on the premises. A 3200CS, a 2000CS, and a rare 2000ti. A variety of 2800 and 3.0CS models in various states of decay were around, as well as a number of Bavarias. On the smaller scale there was a 700 and a few 1600s and of course 2002s. Among the 2002s were a couple of nice Bauer cabriolets ! An Isetta 600 was on display inside to round out the small cars. But it was not just limited to cars. A nice array of rare parts were scattered about as well. In particular was a nice set of 2002tii alloys that I would have loved to bring home. They were well beyond the budget for impulse purchases.

All too soon I had to vacate the premises. There is a lot that I didn’t get to see including the more modern fare in the shop area, and I’m sure some more vintage stuff. I zoomed off, and got to my dinner late, but I was already well fed. For a chance encounter on a beautiful California evening, this was the best of surprises.

4 Replies to “La Jolla Surprise”

  1. I think they do a lot of the newer car stuff now az well. It is a cool place to hang out. A friend had his bavaria worked on there and said they really know theirstuff.

  2. Dear Jack,

    I think you would have enjoyed it as well. It was like a coffee table book come to life. It was too bad they were closing and I was out of time anyway. Thanks for commenting. Cheers.

  3. Dear bmwed,

    They had quite a few Bavaria variants on hand. They are the original 5 series, but as usual, I like them because of the styling from that time. Something about those tail lights…They look cool restored, and even as race cars !! Cheers

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