Motorsports Monday: 1968 BMW 2002 IMSA RS

Motorsports Monday: 1968 BMW 2002 IMSA RS

The end of Summer has many traditions; the days wane as children head back to school. Temperatures fall as families head towards apple orchards and plan for haunted hay rides. Pumpkin spice is everywhere. But there’s one tradition I’ve particularly enjoyed for the last few years; the live stream from West Sussex, England of the Goodwood Revival.

For me, a lover of vintage cars and especially vintage race cars, it’s a special treat. Both of the events put on by Lord March are impressive in their own right, and if you want to see a little bit of everything the season opener Festival of Speed is probably the venue you should consider. But if you want to see cars and motorcycles from periods you weren’t even alive for race flat-out, the Revival is the one to tune in to. Heavily modified Jaguars, Ferraris, Aston-Martins, and just about everything in between head to the track as combinations of professional and amateur drivers (at least, those with quite deep pockets) take their prized possessions to the limit and sometimes beyond. You might be lucky enough once in your life to witness an original GT40 in person; head to the Revival, and you’ll run across a dozen or so of the model, many of which are driven nearly as quickly as they were originally. This is coupled with period livery and dress on one of the fastest circuits in England, filmed with some of the best cameras out there. The result, as a car lover, is one of the most evocative spectacles conceivable.

Each time I witness a Goodwood event, my love of these race-prepared vintage cars is re-inspired. And though this particular BMW 2002 is just a few years too new to be eligible for competition at the Goodwood circuit, it caught my attention because of the claimed IMSA link.…

1968 BMW 1600

1968 BMW 1600

BMW’s long road to recovery in the postwar era was interesting to say the least. Before the war, BMW had a moderately successful series of luxury and sports cars with its 326, 327 and 328 lineup. However, the market for those cars in Germany didn’t exist in the early 1950s and the technology was quite dated, so BMW found itself reliant upon an Italian-designed and licensed bubble car — the Isetta — to sustain early sales. Of course, with their motorcycle expertise, the air-cooled twins that found their way into Isettas were reliable (though not sprightly) units.

Though economical, a family sedan the Isetta did not make, so starting in 1957 BMW stretched the two seats into four and created the 600. With just shy of 600cc from an enlarged rear-mounted engine borrowed from a R67 motorcycle and a four-speed manual gearbox driving a new semi-independent trailing arm rear end, the 600 was a serious step forward for the company. The improvements were masked behind a familiar face (which still served as the primary door, as with the Isetta) and the 600 was not a sales success, with just shy of 35,000 produced. Intended to compete with the Beetle, it offered little respite from Volkswagen’s steamrolling sales success.

1959 BMW 600

To remedy this, BMW continued to develop the 600 chassis into the larger and more conventional 700 model. Launched in 1959 as BMW skirted attempts by Daimler-Benz to purchase the Munich-based firm, the 700 heralded BMW’s first true postwar sedan. Yet in spite of the conventional sedan proportions, the 700 retained the motorcycle-based air-cooled flat-twin in the back, driving the rear wheels. Back when BMW’s naming conventions matched their engine sizes, the eponymous sedan’s power was upgraded to nearly 700cc and 30 horsepower — 50 percent more than the 600.…

Roll the Dice? “1973” BMW 2002 Turbo

Roll the Dice? “1973” BMW 2002 Turbo

Most of our ‘Roll the Dice’ series involve cheap asking prices, needy restoration candidates, or oddball cars that are great values. This is not one of those.

The BMW 2002 is a legendary giant killer, and the predecessor of the market darling M3. Introduced before the M1 and 3.0CSL, BMW’s Motorsport division designed and modified the E10-based model to such an extent that it received its own model code – E20. A KKK turbocharger was fit to the M10 2.0 inline-4, generating 8 lbs. of boost at 3,500 rpm and a screaming 170 horsepower. Only available in two colors, the expensive ($6,600 list price in 1974) 2002 Turbo sold in scant numbers – a total of 1,672 were produced. And since all things special BMW are highly prized in today’s market, you can bet that when 2002 Turbos come to market, those in the know take notice.

So, how is this one a ‘Roll of the Dice’?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo on eBay

1974 BMW 2002 Turbo

1974 BMW 2002 Turbo

Porsche pioneered turbocharging for the mass market, right?

Well, wrong, as it turns out.

Certainly, when you think Germany, turbocharging, and 1970s, Porsche’s name is intrinsically linked with any associations therein. But it was BMW, not the Stuttgarters, who first brought turbocharging to the German public. Back in 1973, BMW’s fledgling Motorsport division breathed new life into the 2002 by force with the addition of a KKK turbocharger to the Kugelfish-injection M10. Little on the 2002tii motor went untouched, and the result was 170 horsepower and 181 lb.ft of torque. That’s a pittance in today’s numbers, but in 1973? It was pretty outrageous. Consider, for a moment, that the base Corvette at the same time had the L48 5.7 liter V8 cranking out 190 horsepower in a car that weighed the best part of two 2002s.

The Turbo came to market with a penchant for fuel and a high sticker price at a time when the world was on the verge of a oil crisis. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t much of a market success, and only 1,672 were made for the 1974 and 1975 model years. There were only two colors (Chamonix White, and Polaris Silver Metallic like we see here) and they came fitted standard with 13″ steel wheels. This recipe would be the basis for some later, greater sleepers from BMW, including the M5:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo on eBay

1975 Sbarro 328

1975 Sbarro 328

One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing up cars for GCFSB has been the head-scratchers I come across; cars I knew little (or, in the case of today’s, nothing) about. This Sbarro 328 Roadster replica is a great case in point. Of course, replicas are neither a new phenomena nor are they particularly unique. Often, they fail to capture the essence of the original car and if an enthusiast is unwitting enough to actually mistake the fabrication for the original it can be borderline offensive to real examples. Volkswagen based Bugattis, Fieros turned into F40s, Bentley badges slapped on a Chrysler 300 – you name it, it’s just downright ugly.

But this one is interesting, at the very least to me. Italian-born Franco Sbarro started his company in 1971 in French-speaking Switzerland and immediately started copying German automobiles. They’re still open today, continuing to build limited-run prototypes, but in the 1970s a majority of their work seems to have been based upon historic cars; Bugattis, GT40s, Lola T70s. What was interesting was what they built these replicas on; Sbarro installed fiberglass copies of the originals over BMW or Mercedes-Benz chassis with original components. In the case of the 328 replica you see here, the engine, chassis, rear suspension and transmission was based upon the E10 2002. Some of them even wore 2002 Turbo alloys. In front, Sbarro utilized NSU components for the front suspension and steering. Headlights came from a Mercedes-Benz. The result of this hodge-podge was surprisingly good, managing to capture a fair amount of the aesthetic of the original without looking too out-of-shape, though they were admittedly slightly shorter and more squat that the original. Having standard BMW running gear simplified the importation process, and consequently Sbarro offered these replicas in the US market through a Florida dealer.…

Motorsports Monday: 1972 BMW 2002tii

Motorsports Monday: 1972 BMW 2002tii

As vintage circuit competition cars have steadily ascended into the automotive Valhalla of pricing thanks to success of popular races like the Le Mans Classic, Monterey Historics, and of course the many events at Goodwood, the fallout has been to pull up related motorsports. For some time, vintage rally cars were generally considered used up, tired old hulks. But the fringe of enthusiasts that loved seeing the flatout and fearless driving attitude adopted by many a rally driver has grown to a much greater audience with new races like the Targa Newfoundland and Tasmania to name a few. While those races attract much newer and faster metal, there’s still a huge audience that loves seeing the pre-Quattro 1970s vintage rally cars. With high revving naturally aspirated motors and rear drive, this was the original ‘Formula Drift’, with constantly sideways Ford Escorts, Fiat 131 Abarths and the superhero of the 1970s WRC scene, the Lancia Stratos. But mixed in there too were some Porsche 911s, and of course, the effervescent BMW 2002:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 BMW 2002tii on eBay

1973 BMW 1600 Touring

1973 BMW 1600 Touring

A few weeks ago I looked at a quite rare 2002tii Touring that was available for import from Europe. Uniquely styled and a very late production tii Touring, the seller was looking for around $35,000 plus importation fees – which, truth told, can get pricey. So, what about a resto-mod 1600 Touring that has been thoroughly upgraded with a 2 liter motor, 5-speed transmission, air conditioning and a helping of Alpina details for a few thousand dollars less?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 BMW 1600 Touring on eBay

1974 BMW 2002tii Touring

1974 BMW 2002tii Touring

Long before “Clownshoe” mania, BMW had another slightly off-beat hatchback in its lineup. The company recently spent a fairly sizable sum advertising the lineage between the new 2 series and the original 2002, but as generally impressive as the new 2 is, the one thing lacking is a model similar to the E10 Touring model. Okay, the F45 and F46 tall hatchback models channel a bit of that, but let’s be honest – they’re not exactly what enthusiasts love. And similarly polarizing is the Touring model in the E10 lineup. The Michelotti design channeled some of the GT feel from the Glas acquisition, but while the fluid lines of the 1600GT worked well in a low slung sports car, moving to the taller and more upright E10 platform gave the Touring slightly odd dimensions. Shortened by about 6 inches and with additional glass, the Touring had modern conveniences like split-folding rear seats and was available in five different engine configurations over its short three year model life. From 1600 to 2002, the model designations referred to the engine capacity – imagine that! But the top of the heap was the 130 horsepower 2002tii Touring – for enthusiasts, one of the rarest variations of the E10 made:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 2002tii Touring on eBay

1969 BMW 2002Ti Alpina

1969 BMW 2002Ti Alpina

It’s always a bit strange when highly sought cars come to market with few details. Today’s 2002Ti is a great example; the 2002Ti is already sought after model thanks to the dual-carb, high compression motor, and of course being a “Roundie” an early model 2002 like this is automatically more desirable. But start to throw in some of the other details, such as “Alpina”, “Race Car” and “Original” and the dollar figures start climbing. If, that is, it’s all to be believed:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 BMW 2002Ti Alpina on eBay

1976 BMW 2002

1976 BMW 2002

Atlantis Blue. It’s probably a color that at least one person – probably many – at BMW hate. Why? Well, it was the color that was involved with perhaps one of the biggest PR mistakes in the automotive world in 2013. It was in that year that a BMW enthusiast had saved up to finally special order a new M3 from BMW’s Individual program in the shade. However, somewhere along the way the order was translated incorrectly and the M3 was produced in the Individual shade of Atlantic Blue. Predictably, the enthusiast (who, incidentally, had flown to Germany for European delivery of his prized M3) was immediately not pleased that the presented M3 was in the wrong shade. Complicating the matter was that BMW had ended the E92 production line, so no new M3s could be built to replace the incorrectly-colored car. The fora lit up with punters on both sides flinging insults at this enthusiast and each other; perhaps it was a perfect example of a first-world problem as some claimed, but personally I don’t think I would have accepted the car, either.

Regardless of your opinion on the outcome of the situation, the story instantly popped into my head when I saw this 1976 2002 that was repainted in the shade the above described buyer wanted – the beautiful shade of Atlantis Blue, which replaced the car’s original Fjord Blue:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 BMW 2002 on eBay

1974 BMW 2002 S14

1974 BMW 2002 S14

The surge in popularity of the E30 M3 has drawn into stark contrast what an incredible deal you can get on classic BMWs, and the 2002 is not only a fan favorite but also a great example. In many ways, the E10 spawned the idea of the small German performance sedan and since inception they’ve not only been popular choices as transportation, but indeed great tuning and racing platforms. However, a recent surge in prices have brought many to the market as owners try to capitalize on the increased value, so we’ve seen some great labors of love turn up for sale. This is one such case; a restored and resto-modded 2002 with a great match for a powerplant – the venerable S14:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 2002 S14 on eBay