Budget Bimmer: 1976 BMW 2002

1976 BMW 2002

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I’ve always been interested in owning a BMW 2002, but they aren’t very common in our part of the country. Whey you do find them, they tend to be over priced, very rusty or both! If this example were a bit closer, I would be sorely tempted to bid on it! Yes, it has rust problem like most uncared for 2002s, but it is being offered here on eBay in Thurman, Ohio without a reserve and current bidding at just $240! Given that it runs, or at least it will with minor work, makes it a tempting option!

1976 BMW 2002 Interior

The 2002 is known for it’s good looks, rock solid build quality and most of all – it’s stellar handling! This example is a long ways from being a road carving sports car, at least from a rust standpoint. The engine is said to run, but you’ll need a new fuel pump to get it going again. At this price, if the rust isn’t too bad, you could make it into a LeMons Racer and dominate the competition!

BMW 2002

If it were a Ti or a Tii, I have no doubt bidding would be substantially higher, but personally I would be happy to have a base model like this. I see these only going up in value and this one could be a great restoration candidate or a parts donor for a more solid body. You might even be able to make it into a daily driver with minimal investment. So would you make this into a daily driver or a track carver?

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  1. Frankie Paige

    These cars do better when driven regularly

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  2. rdc

    Bought one new just like it with a sunroof and aftermarket AC. Drove it 15 years then got a 5 series BMW.

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  3. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    I love my 75 Malaga 2002, and highly recommend the model to anyone. They’re easy to work on, parts are reasonably priced and available, and the driving experience is a blast. I went stock on mine, but in retrospect I probably would have enjoyed some performance upgrades, C’est la vie.

    This car has needs to be sure, but seems worthy. From the photos, the rust issues don’t seem insurmountable. Yes, it would be in your garage/shop for several months while you sort the mechanicals, then it could be a rolling restoration.

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  4. DolphinMember

    As much as I like these I would look further to find a much better 2002 not from the rust belt for less than the price to R&R this one, and I’d be driving way sooner. When you need to replace the battery tray as well as the rockers that’s not a good sign. Then look at the floors from underneath and it tells you—-parts car, unfortunately.

    These late model 2002s with square tail lights are not nearly as sought after as the early round light cars, so you might be able to get one from California or the Southwest for a decent price. That’s the route I would go….patiently, until the right car came along.

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  5. Matt C

    I agree with Dolphin. I had one of these, fun, enjoyable, but the rust is a killer. In this case the best option would be to drive it until you fall through the floor and then use it for parts.

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    • rdc

      Rust on mine start in the front turn signal area in about three years.. Not much thought on design to prevent rust out during that time period.

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    My take on it is if I was interested in owning one I would consider it. I guess I am cheap. Seriously It isn’t always an option to spend your way out of potential problems.

    For someone on a buy it while you drive it budget (wife and kids, fixed income) Having to pay a premimum of $5000. or more for a rust free BMW in the same mechanical condition then having it shipped is hardly feasable and defeats the purpose. Shipping from West coast to the East alone is $1100-$1500. + Making mechanical updates you would do on any vintage car would be the same.

    The bonus here is I doubt you would be hardly paying anything for it. A replacement battery tray can be bolted on. For a young guy with some determination and a mig welder could do alot on the cheap. To weld new metal in is easy and if it would save me $5K or more to do it I would have plenty to spend elsewhere.

    Besides what would you be out? Great learning experience while the potential to make a profit. Either way Josh is right these are over priced and will only get worse. In a few years or maybe next week this will seem like a smoking deal.

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    • JMB#7

      I worked for Ray Korman back in 1985. Give them a call at Korman Autoworks in Greensboro NC. They always know of a few good ones available. They can give advice since they do some restoration. I am from Ohio so I sympathize with the rust woes. Just find out which patch panels are available and make sure that is the limit of the rust.

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