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:

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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:

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Motorsports Monday: 1974 BMW 2002

The BMW 2002 might just be the quintessential German race car. A squat 2-door sedan, it’s chunky looks match well with wide tires in a lowered race stance. The upright nature gives the driver great visibility, while short overhangs mean there’s not much to bash you and you judge where the front of the car is well. The engine is simple but effective; a torquey inline-4 that can be turned up for more juice if you’re willing to spend a little – or a lot. Of course, the manual gearbox and rear drive are enthusiast favorites. Plus, the 2002 wears the appropriate German national racing color – white – so well, it’s sometimes almost cliche but still looks great. The M-colors, though not age appropriate, always suit the design well, and of course you can just slap a set of Minilights on there. Our friends at Fast In Fast Out have a reoccurring Monday theme on Minilites, and my submission for the most frequent but never overused application of them is the 2002:

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Tuner Tuesday: 1973 BMW 2002 Tii-spec Zender

As with E30s, E36s, Volkswagen GTis and Jettas and Audi A4s, there seem to be a tremendous amount of modified 2002s. A popular tuning platform, they take many different forms in their personalization – not all of them good. Indeed, some of the modded 2002s that pop up for sale really leave me scratching my head as to the intentions of the owner. But when you see one that got it right, they always make me smile. Some of those “right” cars are period-look Alpina or Schnitzer cars, some are more subtle – just low, clean and with a nice set of Hella or Marchal fogs and some BBS Mahles. Then there are the updated cars, such as this more wildly Zender flared example. To me it looks pretty slick!

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Classic or Iconic? 1973 BMW 2002Tii v. 1975 BMW 2002 Turbo

To me it’s always a bit interesting to talk about people’s motivations in getting a particular car, especially so when that car is a classic. For example, consider my Audi GT versus a Quattro. These days, if you can find one a mint condition Audi GT will set you back around $6,000 – $8,000 for the very best examples we’ve seen. However, that amount may get you a wreck of a Quattro, but likely not a particularly drivable example. In terms of driving experience, the GT is out of the box 90% of the Ur-Quattro experience for 90% plus of the time. Brought to a show, many non-Audi folks could probably not tell them apart. Yet, in terms of value gap, the iconic Quattro far outstrips the classic GT. We see it in other areas, too – for example a 73 911S versus a 77 911S, a E28 535is versus a M5, or even a 325is versus an M3. If you’re smart with your money, choosing the lesser example may not get you the headlines, but stretching your budget to get into a less serviceable iconic car is not likely to bring you more happiness, only more headaches. Take the two 2002s we have here; a freshly rebuilt, ready to roll 2002Tii and a somewhat tired, restoration ready 2002 Turbo:

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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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1973 BMW 2002 Tii Euro-spec

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:

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1970 BMW 2000 “Tii”

It seems like it’s a good week for less common but tastefully modified BMWs; following yesterday’s restomod 2800CS comes a similarly setup Neue Klass model – a 1970 BMW 2000. Not generally the best remember model from this period, the Neue Klass produced some of the most legendary BMWs ever made – notably, the 2000CS and the 2002. Though the E9 is the better remembered big coupe from BMW, it was in turn heavily based upon the 2000 model. But there was also a small sedan that offered some sport with your practicality. The ultimate expression of the 2000 gained the motor more famously used in the 2-door 2002 model – the Tii. With 130 horsepower on tap, it was more than adequate to motivate the lightweight four door. In that vein and sporting some great wheels comes today’s 2000:

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Motorsport Mondays: 1972 BMW 2002 Alpina Tribute

Yesterday on our Facebook fanpage I posted a 1972 BMW 2002 track car with Zender flares and an S14 swap; while not original, it sure looked neat. Today’s car isn’t original either, but is built in the style of the Alpina racers and if anything looks even better to me as a result. Looking splendid in red over those classic turbine wheels, take a look at this 1972 2002:

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1976 BMW 2002 Turbo Replica

This past weekend I wrote up a great looking 2002 Ti Touring Turbo-look, that unfortunately for most U.S. fans was a bit too far for most to contemplate. I loved the squat stance with fat tires over the Turbo flares, but where that car had taken the replica idea to towards the race track today’s replica follows the route of the original Turbo and is a bit more tame as a road car. Without a doubt the original featured one of the best graphics packages ever available from the factory, with reversed “obrut” to let the driver ahead know what was about to pass them. Take a look at this neat tribute:

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