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BMW ‘Ghost’ dealership waits frozen in time

Ok. What we’re going to show you here is seriously weird. This BMW dealership closed suddenly. The rumour was that it lost its manufacturer’s franchise – BMW didn’t want the company to sell its cars any more.

This happens in the car sales business. If the dealer upsets the manufacturer he or she works for badly enough – by, say, selling a rival make from the same showroom without permission – then the manufacturer can shut down its supply of new vehicles.

So the story goes, Citation Motors must have fallen out badly with BMW. But, oddly, the dealership was just locked and left. And so, a full 25 years later, it remains. The cars are still in the showroom and the promotional posters display their messages from long-ago marketing campaigns.

In-trays containing vehicle paperwork sit there awaiting attention while coffee cups are together and ready to make the employees’ morning brew.

Bizarrely, the plants and lawns around the building are still tended; the showroom windows are washed, too. It’s as if the place sold its last car yesterday…and not some time in 1988. The showroom display vehicles look as if they have had some attention, too – the 6-series coupe and 5-series saloon look fresh and new.

The tale going around in the dealership’s home town of Ontario, Canada, is that the company moved a dozen miles to Toronto, changed its name to Downtown BMW and traded there for some years before closing in 2002.

On the video you’ll notice the building has a side entrance that leads beneath the showroom. Local rumour has it that there may be a cache of new and used Beemers locked away there.

The 1980s M535i saloon parked to one side of the building has clearly seen better days but, more bizarrely still, the 5-series estate parked beside it is from the late 1990s, a decade after the closure.

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