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.…

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:

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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?

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1974 BMW 2002 Turbo

What was the first M car? Many would instantly say the M1 – first to carry the magical badge of engineering prowess. But of course BMW Motorsport existed before the M1 came to be, and indeed had already tipped their hat to the market with two now legendary cars in their own right. The first was the 3.0CSL a stripped out and lightened racer for the road. The next capitalized on BMW’s early turbocharged technology. Though the inline-6 would be the staple of the road-going lineup until fairly recently, the performance side of BMW took their inline-4 racing virtually everywhere, from Le Mans to Formula 1. And they won virtually everywhere, too – thanks to adjustable boost, in qualifying configuration the development M12 was reportedly capable of 1,400 horsepower – from 1.6 liters. In the 2002, the more pedestrian M10 was turbocharged, resulting in 170 horsepower. That may not sound like a lot, but consider for a moment that small performance sedans up to that point had considerably less. Take the Lotus Cortina, for example, which only a few years earlier was the hot shoe with 105 horsepower. The 2002 Turbo was really a revelation in performance, then, and BMW never looked back. Produced only in Polaris Silver Metallic or Chamonix White like this one, a scant 1,672 were made and are very collectable today:

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1976 BMW 2002

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While I’m an 80s fan myself, it doesn’t take much imagination to see why the classy Bimmers of the 70s have so many fans. From the E9 to the Bavaria, this was the era that really saw BMW gain worldwide acclaim as the people’s sports car. The 2002 is one of the main reasons BMW is still cashing checks on their reputation for sports sedans, bringing great handling and smart styling to the world, along with some delightfully funky colors. Today’s Golf Yellow example features one of the hues that might be maligned on most cars, yet seems playful and fitting on these machines that seem to perform so many duties well. Quite clean at first glance, this example is not without its share of needs, but none severe enough to keep it from being a fun driver immediately. A 5-speed from an E21 helps perk it up from the original slushbox, along with headers and exhaust. There are many tasks to be completed if you want this to be among the super clean Neue Klassen, but the tinted windows will help hide the inside while the attractive exterior distracts.

Click for details: 1976 BMW 2002 on eBay

1967 BMW 2000

Do you want to stand out in the vintage German crowd? There are plenty of expensive ways; drop a couple of million on a barn find 300SL Gullwing and everyone will be talking about you. But, say you don’t have a few million? Well, even for the modest budgeted enthusiast, many of the classics are heading out of reach. In the world of BMWs, vintage 3.0s are heading towards six figures for the best examples and even the 2002 – the car that started the craze of BMW’s sport sedan heritage – can be an expensive proposition for an average enthusiast. If you want a really nice example, you’ll be spending between $25,000 and $30,000 for a good carburetor example. Tiis are even more highly sought, pushing $50,000 for the best examples. Even a top condition lowly Isetta can run over $40,000. That doesn’t mean you’re pushed out of the classic BMW market if you’re not made of money; witness the BMW 2000, the semi-forgotten sports sedan that shared much of its architecture with the 2002 but offers 4-door sports sedan practicality:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1967 BMW 2000 on eBay

1970 BMW 2000

If the 2002 has developed a following far outside of the cult-status of many of the other BMW models, it’s sister is still relatively forgotten. Add two doors to the 2002 and you got the BMW 2000; with slight styling changes to the front and rear in addition to the 4 doors, these often-overlooked sedans are nonetheless equally stylish and neat to see. However, because they’re not in the limelight, a clean 2000 sedan will set you back significantly less than the nearly identical 2002; mid-range values on good examples of a 1970, like this one, are around $12,000 while the 2002 pushes closer to $18,000 or more. For my money, I actually prefer the look of the 4-door like this Granada Red survivor example:

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1973 BMW 2002tii

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We’ve seen some cool 2002s around GCFSB, but most have at least some level of modification or updating. Today’s 2002tii comes in the amazing Riviera Blue, a subtle hue that suits the vintage lines perfectly and is a new personal favorite. Having been with just two owners and covering less than 70k miles in its four decades years, it has been very well cared for and shows a few spots of patina but overall is in incredible shape. The all-original look, especially with this color and wheel combo, makes it hard to imagine a modified ’02 looking any better.

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Two Tourings: 1972 and 1973 BMW 2000s

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Wagon, avant, touring, shooting brake, longroof – however you wan to call it, I’ve always had a thing for cars with a little more junk in the trunk. This is amplified when it is a unique variant that was never sold in the US. Case in point, today’s two beautiful Neue Klasses eschews the classic 3-box shape of what many consider the original sports sedan, and instead has a great little hatch mated to that unmistakable, round-eyed front clip. Both have less than 120k miles and are asking significant mark-ups over standard 2000 BMWs.

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Click for details: 1972 BMW 2000 Touring on eBay

Low-mileage 1971 BMW 2002

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The seller of today’s lovely 2002 nails the gist of the Neue Klasse in his second paragraph: “These BMW 2002s have become more and more desirable in the last couple of years. Seems to be on most car enthusiasts ‘bucket lists.'” I would love to have one some day, but clean ones are commanding a greater premium with each passing year. Having covered just 98k miles in 41 years, this base 2002 has been blessed with a decade-old restoration followed by this owner who spruced it up with some modest upgrades like rally lights, a Turbo rear spoiler, and, to quote esteemed editor Henriques, “Panasports mmm!” Overall, it’s a great example of how nice even non-tii 2002s can be.

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Year: 1971
Model: 2002
Engine: 2.0 liter inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 98,000 mi
Price: $18,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 BMW 2002 on eBay

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I have listed my highly desirable Chamonix White 1971 BMW 2002 with its original Black Interior. I purchased this car from a gentlemen in South Carolina about a year ago. Before I acquired this “roundie”, the car was restored in Colorado in 2001. I bought this car site unseen and relied solely on internet photos. I took the past year to add the necessary alterations to the vehicle. I kept this car completely original but added some unique add-ons for additional improvement to the driving experience. This car has been an incredible project and I will be sad to see it go. I hope it only goes to a good home and with that said, please ONLY serious bidders and inquiries!!

These BMW 2002s have become more and more desirable in the last couple of years. Seems to be on most car enthusiasts “bucket lists”. If you are one of these buyers, you don’t want to miss out on this one.