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I’ve made several references comparing the BMW 8 series to a few Ferraris, suggesting that it was perhaps a budget alternative to running a 456GT, for example. However, the E31 isn’t the only Ferrari-esque design to come from Munich; in many aspects, the E9 coupe shared some visual DNA with the Ferrari 330 2+2 from the 1960s. Now, for some that may sound like heresy and I can appreciate that; but take off the Rosso-colored glasses for a moment and look at the side profile of a 330 GT versus the E9 coupe; it’s nearly identical. The rear end treatment was quite similar as well, and while the grill on the BMW was obviously quite different the two even shared a quad-headlight setup. Obviously, underneath the Ferrari had that wonderful Colombo V12 versus the rather pedestrian inline-6 in the BMW; but pound for pound the BMW punched hard, especially in CSi trim. With 200 horsepower on tap it was certainly no slouch, especially in the midst of the oil crisis which neutered most V8s in America. It would take another two generations for the Big Three to break back into the 200 horsepower realm with nearly double the displacement of the E9. But the E9 wasn’t about straight line performance; it was a whole package – a speedy grand touring coupe with luxurious appointments and gorgeous looks:
The stunning 1974 Fjord Blue 2002 Touring, reportedly built for a BMW executive with some rare options like the unique sliding roof, has reappeared on eBay. The reserve is on and the auction has garnered no bids at a $25,000 opening price. While that’s pretty steep for a 2002, this is certainly one of the most special models that is out there. What do you think it’s worth?
The below post originally appeared on our site May 8 2014:
The 2002 has appeal that was captured by later models in some regards, but has been lost along the way as well. It makes me chuckle a bit when I read comments regarding the 1 series (now 2 series) being a light car – well, I suppose in comparison to the 7 series, that’s likely true. However, cars like the 135i weighed in at a simply staggering 3,400 or so pounds. It makes me chuckle; BMW enthusiasts love to talk about how heavy Audis are, yet the 135i is only a few cheeseburgers and Battlestar Gallactica marathons short of a V8/S4/S6 quattro but it’s considered “light”. Now, you could argue that a hefty increase in passenger safety accounts for that weight gain, and you’d be right. And the new cars are much more luxurious, isolating, and reliable – for the average consumer, all of these things are very good improvements. But one of the hallmarks of the pre-M3 small cars was that you could drive them flat-out nearly all the time – something that you just can’t do with more modern machines. For as the spiritual successor to the 2002 – that same 135i – has gained weight and luxury, it’s also significantly faster than the 2002 ever was thanks to a twin-turbocharged inline-6. 0-60 times of even the non-M version of the 135 are faster than most pre-2005 M products (I’m slightly amazed by this, but I think it’s actually faster than everything but the V10 M5/M6). Out of the box, it will do a standing quarter mile in 13 seconds and is limited to 155 mph. Impressive? Yes. But is it really the spiritual successor of the 2002Tii, a car that you could drive with your foot to the floor, exploring the limits all the while? Not in my mind:
If you’ve missed the most recent bandwagon, it’s been firmly hitched to the back of the E30 Touring. Recently these cars passed the magical “25 Year” importation ban and have begun flooding the market. The reason is simple; they haven’t previously been available here, the E30 market is red hot, and they’re relatively dirt cheap in Europe. But if you really want to show up those bandwagon-jumping E30 hispters at the local show, why not look towards the original Touring – the 2000/2002. Available only for a short run between 1971 and 1974, it ran the full production line in engines minus the turbo; the most valuable examples are clean tii versions or the ultra-rare Alpina variants, but a nice clean example of any shows just what a neat design it was: