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40 Years Owned: 1969 BMW 1600

This 1969 BMW 1600 is the precursor to the well-loved BMW 2002, and sought after by some enthusiasts for being an earlier model that we see in far fewer quantities than the aforementioned crowd-pleaser. This example is said to have been parked in 1995 and not run since, and was in the hands of one owner for 40 years. The body is tired and there’s rust in places, but it’s giving off some awesome vibes as only a ratty classic like this can. Find it here on eBay with bidding up to $2,175 and no reserve.

The 1600 wears the iconic round taillights and smaller chrome bumpers that do the car’s original design justice, as opposed to the park bench-like big bumpers that came later. This example wears some bumps and bruises to those pieces, with the front bumper hanging askew and the rear bumper sporting a dent in the middle. The car also has an aftermarket exhaust of some variety, a fairly typical upgrade when the car was a bit younger. The seller does disclose that it has rust, and I believe you can see some of it in the lower passenger-rear rocker.

The interior will need restoration, but you could live with the seats with some covers thrown over them for the time being. The 1600 comes with the stock steering wheel which I always note for being bus-like in appearance, especially compared to the smaller steering wheels that many enthusiasts prefer to swap in. The dash appears to sport the trademark cracks that a BMW of this vintage is bound to have if it hasn’t been treated to monthly cleanings. The seller notes, surprisingly, that the floors are still largely solid.

The under-hood shot tells us the hood is likely from another car, as I believe the hoods were painted body-color on the underside. The red paint is original, according to the tag on the inner fender that confirms it as being granada, a very pretty shade that’s popular among ’02 enthusiasts. The seller claims he is working on getting the engine to turn over but that he hasn’t gotten it to fire, only noting that the gas gauge springs to life when power is clicked on. Though the later 2002s are faster, an early 1600 is a rarity by comparison and definitely wins out if you dig cars with a high obscurity factor.


  1. seth karpen

    had one on of these in from about late 1972 to 1976. Was a blast to drive. Put other cars to shame. When the pollution pump fell off got over 30 mpg.

  2. Capt RD

    Same seller as the Volvo 1800S posted last week. [Which is selling later today]
    Not the 40 year owner

  3. Dave Mazz

    Only 45,000 miles in 50 years??? This must have been one of BMW’s Ultimate Sitting In The Garage Machines :-) :-)

  4. seth karpen

    Maybe 145,000 miles

  5. franz boensch

    Tow truck damage – what a pity

    The front lower right arm is bend forward – being used as a mounting point.
    Not sure about the tie rod behind, could be bend too.
    Also the other side cannot be seen , it is most likely also bend.

    That also warrants an inspection of the rear mounting point which were pull against.

    Very sad as a result of “professionals” transporting a vehicle.

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