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Meet Super Mario!

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Get to know my yellow 1972 BMW 2002ti

I'm not quite sure why Super Mario got the name he did. We barely played Nintendo and he's not red. But it's been his name since I was a kid and I can't imagine calling him anything else!

“At 15 I had a dream of coming to Canada and buying a BMW 2002 and coming back home (to Greece). I achieved that goal but never went back home” My Dad- Bill Chalkias

Background story

My dad, Bill, was born and raised in Northern Greece, Kastoria. He lived in a small village outside the city where he pumped gas at the local gas station as a young kid to make some money with big dreams in mind. He always loved cars and dreamt of owning one of his own one day. Not being one for school, my dad worked and hustled to put money aside. By the time he reached 15 he decided he was going to fly to Canada, work and buy a BMW 2002ti and come back home. He saved enough money for his flights and off he went. He had a pitstop in Germany for almost a year where he worked as a furrier and then made his way to Canada (this rollercoaster of a ride is for a different blog). When he came to Canada he started off with a Buick Wildcat. He continued in the fur business and soon saved up to buy, who we now call, Super Mario!

When my dad bought him

“The first thing I wanted to do to the car was make it faster”

My dad bought Super Mario off a man in Toronto in 1982 for $3,500. When he saw the yellow 2002ti, bright yellow and beautiful he said, "when I saw it I fell in love with it. I said I want this car. The first thing I wanted to do to the car was make it faster". Shortly after buying the 02 my dad swapped a m20 engine and slapped on a turbo. He changed the suspension and lowered it, put bigger brakes and added those beautiful Alpina flares to give it a wider stance. He said, "I liked the 02 it was my dream car, it was the 'hot rod in Greece'. One guy in my village had a 02 and I always loved it. I said, one day I'm going to buy one of these".

Devastating moment

Every story has to have a tragic moment, this one is no less. One night my dad had his 02 parked outside his lot at the dealership. That night someone decided to break into his car and steal everything from inside of it. They stripped the car completely naked inside. My dad came into work that morning only to see he his car molested and bare. It broke my dads heart seeing the car like that. He was so devastated he didn't even want to see the car anymore so he made a deal with his friend Richard Davies (the 2002 guru) to sell it under one condition- if my dad ever wanted it back he had to sell it back to him. Richard agreed and off went Super Mario. At that point Super Mario was a family car to us, a buddy and part of the family. When we found out my dad sold him we were all so sad, we lost Super Mario! For years we never stopped complaining about losing our buddy and begged my dad to take him back. Finally, he agreed.

How I ended up with Super Mario

Super Mario was always an interesting car to me. His bright yellow coat never siezed to make me happy and I have great memories of being inside the house and hearing my dad start him up in the garage and running down knowing Super Mario was coming out! I remember one night my dad and I were out for a cruise in the 02 and we were coming up Stouffville rd and he turned to me and said, "Do you want to drive?" I was shocked! I had just gotten my G1 and I had never driven Super Mario before. Quickly saying yes, a little nervous, I hopped into the drivers seat. Bob Marley 'Is this love' was playing on the radio and I took off. The sound of the turbo spooling, blow off valve, 4"exhaust, the rigidity of everything, the wind blowing through my hair... it was certainly love that I was feeling! From that day forward I knew I had to have him. I begged my dad to pass him down to me and finally he said, 'if you graduate high school with good grades, I will give him to you on your 19th birthday.' Sure enough, I graduated with 3 academic scholarships and on honour roll! So on my 19th birthday, as my dad promised, Super Mario was officially passed down to me. It was the happiest day of my life!

The Restoration

When I got Super Mario he had been sitting in storage for a few years and hadn't been restored since the time my dad bought him in the 80's. The first thing I did was strip him all part! I wanted to restore him properly. With my dad by my side, I stripped the entire car down and got him prepped for paint. I then sent him out to Joe and Liane Murillo from Tip Top Auto Collision on the Danforth! Tip Top Auto Collision is the only shop ill bring my cars down to for restoring. They offer the best quality work, care and professionalism! At Tip Top Auto Collision all the final body work was done. The car was primed and painted using RM paint from BASF and was then bought back to us to put him all back together! He looked like a million bucks when it was all done! Here are a few pictures from when he was getting restored and after he was done:

"Super Mario isn't just a car to us, he's a family member and friend"

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