$5,900 Tii: 1973 BMW 2002

For those of us following BMW values, it’s become apparent that round taillight 2002s are on the rise. Several recent sales have posted better-than-expected results, particularly for the hotted-up Tii models. So long as the original motor is still present, or at least correct for a Tii, not much has been standing in the way of sales in excess of $10K. This 1973 example here on craigslist seems like a potential steal at $5,900; thanks to Barn Finds reader Bill Walters for sending it in. 

The seller is in a bind, citing lost storage as the reason behind the sale. The rear strut towers are only OK, with rust blistering through on the driver’s side. The seller notes that it has the usual ’02 rust, so this isn’t a surprise; the spare tire well looks decent but there appears to be rust bubbling up just above it. Still, I’ve seen worst and this shouldn’t phase too many 2002 enthusiasts who have been around these cars for a while.

It’s hard to get a read on whether the exterior is faring better. The paint is dull but appears to be the desirable shade known as malaga red; no word on whether it’s original, but it does extend to the engine bay and trunk space, so I’m guessing it is. There is a rather ominous shot of rust underneath a flaky panel of paint, so the extent of body corrosion is worth confirming, as it could be the big driver behind the low asking price. Another photo revels some soft metal around the pedal box as well.

These early round taillight examples sported slimmer chrome bumpers before the later cars switched over to the DOT-mandated park benches found on square taillight models. They look good here, but will likely need re-chroming. The interior isn’t bad, but sports a number of modifications from stock, including non-2002 seats and an aftermarket steering wheel. If you’re handy with rust repair, this could be a bargain – but handing it over to your shop would likely put you underwater fairly quick.

Fast Finds


  1. angliagt

    Is there any chance BF could show where listings
    are located,in the original post?

    • Steve R

      The Craigslist ad says Neptune City. Google will tell where it’s located.

      Steve R

    • JamestownMike

      Good question! I’m not sure why BF won’t tell us what state the vehicle located in?? Seems like a simple, IMPORTANT bit of information!

  2. angliagt

    Is there any chance BF could show where listings
    are located,in the original post?
    Also,as I was reading this,a newer 2002 drove by
    the house.What are the odds?

  3. Bill

    For that price, I’d rather have the Toronado listed earlier. Never understood the attraction of these cars. I’d watch car haulers unloading these things at a dealership near my home when I walked to school. I preferred walking over one of these.

    • Tirefriar

      Bill, I get it. These cars are not for everyone. I bought my 1602 for a simple reason it was cheap. 20k, a paint job and a 2 liter block later I can truly say this is one of the great cars I owned. I loved to pull along side of a E30 1.8 and just blow their doors off as the light turned green. Wiped their smugness and pride right off their owners’ faces. The Tii are the ones to get although I wouldn’t kick the Ti out of my garage for dropping a rust chip or two….

    • Puhnto

      If you had driven a brand new Tii in 1973, you’d get it!

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Puhnto, in ’74, a friend traded his Vega GT( which he had good luck with, btw) on a new, leftover ’73 just like this, only orange. Fantastic car. At the time, I had my ’71 MGB, and while they were kind of in the same class ( around 2 litre) the BMW ate my poor MG for lunch. Handling was about the same, as the BMW was a lot heavier than the MG. The BMW cruised with 4 adults with ease. However,,,,after about 18 months, 2nd gear syncro went out, and the car began using oil, like a lot of oil, while the old MGB, with outdated SU fed pushrod motor, chugged on and on. I suspect this car has some sort of problem, very pricey to fix, probably why it’s sitting. I’d bet a brake job alone would be 4 digits. Still, I think these were some of the most popular BMW’s, before they got big and costlier.
        And as to location, in the upper left hand corner, usually tells what CL it’s posted under. It’s the ebay cars, that you don’t know where they are.

  4. Brent

    Off the BMW subject but just saw that BarnFinds made the Fox News website with the May 4th 4X4 1970 Mustang find. I say good show old boy!

  5. Swami

    Gets a bit scarier upon closer examination. Peeling bondo makes my skin crawl.

  6. JamestownMike

    This car is WAAAY to rusty and crusty for me! Wonder how much rust is lurking under the other BONDO’d and repainted areas not pictured?? This car has already been worked over in the past……..no thank you! I’ve got my eyes on this purple (originally Minila/beige) Southern California 73 BMW 2002 (NON Tii). I’d rather have a super solid body than this rusty Tii!

  7. Big Len

    Neptune City, N.J. is about a mile from the Atlantic Ocean, so a lot a salty air around.

    • Jimmy g

      Many parts of Neptune were under water during Hurricane Sandy. I’m sure this explains alot of the rust damage from the salt water.

  8. KEN TILLY Member

    I have owned over 200 cars from a 1934 Austin 10, to 67-71 Mustangs to Rolls Royce Shadow 1’s and if I had to choose one of them as the most exciting of all it would have to be 1969 BMW 2002. A truly incredible car and also the BMW factory life saver.

  9. pat gill

    I am in the UK so my comments may not apply but what badge went into the two holes on the rear panel, automatic? the Tii has boxed rear wishbones, larger, thicker discs and brake calipers, so there a few things that can be checked, also I cannot see the correct airfilter mount bracket at least for UK cars, also not sure the clock looks correct,

    • brad.

      I think the holes you are referring to are for the missing piece of trim that should be running between the two tail lights. The VIN listed is correct for a 1973 2002tii. The bumpers are incorrect for a ’73 as it should have the longer, wrap around chrome units with spacers in the rear offsetting it for the ‘re-74 US impact regs along with the black knee line trim pieces running along fenders, door and rear quarters. The clock looks like it could be a correct tii clock though that white surround isn’t correct from the factory.

  10. XMA0891

    Thirty-some years ago a Tii in bright orange, with the trunk still in it, sat in a used car lot. The dealer would take my Chevy II in-trade. I had the balance in cash, all I needed was dad’s Okay – Which was a flat-out “no way”! Probably one of the more-sound parenting decisions he made…

  11. Car Nut Tacoma

    I’ve always loved the BMW 2002. Whatever the taillamp shape, I love the shape of the whole car. :)

  12. KevinR

    Is anyone else slightly terrified by the battery connections?

  13. Woodie Man

    I had a near perfect original sunroof dealer installed a/c ’72 02 in the mid eighties. I converted it from a factory auto to a Gettrag 5 speed. Sold it for 6k! You don’t want one of these with rust in the shock towers and especially in the rear trunk bracing, sorry to say. Any Tii has inherent value today but rust is impossible to repair at a certain point. I’m afraid this might be at that point. Looks like a Sandy victim.

  14. Wayne

    You had one drive by. I saw one on a trailer going north on US95A in Northern Nevada yesterday! (Same color also) Nice comfortable small car to drive. But always a little bit of a handful when at the limit. (Sorry, just my driving style. )

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