Cheap Tii Project: 1974 BMW 2002 Tii

This listing is for a cheap BMW 2002 Tii project that has plenty of needs. The car was previously disassembled for rust repair, work that never actually took place and left in pieces with the chrome trim missing. However, it still runs and drives, and Tii’s have been on the rise price-wise for some time. Whether they’ve gotten to the level that you’d restore a rusty square taillight like this one is another topic altogether, but the seller isn’t asking much for it. What remains a mystery is just how bad the rust truly is, as that will factor big time into the final price paid. Find the 2002 Tii here on craigslist in Denver for $3,800.

The 2002 has all the classic signs of being an unfinished project, like with the missing side marker lights and chrome trim. The seller doesn’t disclose where the rust resides that a previous owner was trying to fix, but on top of the body is not a typical trouble spot. However, that’s where we see most of the visible rust in the listing photos, seemingly following a line that follows the chrome beltline trim to a T. The removed trim is no longer with the 2002, but I would be cautiously optimistic that the rust you see in the photos is far easier to repair than if it resided underneath the car, where 2002s of every vintage will have rust issues if it’s from the snow and/or rust belt.

Interior pictures aren’t great and make it challenging to determine exactly how incomplete it is inside, but at least the driver’s seat appears sound. The must-have Tii clock isn’t visible in pictures, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The interior is full of spare parts, and it’s clear that this 2002 has been in pieces for some time. But there are some signs of encouragement, as it rides on a nice set of BBS/Mahle-look wheels, likely pillaged from a later E21, so perhaps it was in enthusiast care at one point in time. I’d like to know more about the “mechanical work” that the seller mentions, as it runs and drives so hopefully any mechanical needs are on the manageable side.

The engine bay does look reasonably complete, but it has the dreaded snorkel nose. What do I mean by this? See that little tube, just behind the right-side headlight? Those were not originally found on Tiis, as they were reserved for carbureted cars that had a fresh air tube to feed into the air cleaner. Tiis didn’t have this setup, so many of them have a snorkel due to a front-end accident necessitating a replacement front panel – and genuine Tii noses are near impossible to find. Since this Tii is already pretty rough, I wouldn’t let it deter you – but a non-snorkel Tii in this sort of shape would likely catch more eyes of enthusiasts willing to restore it. Would you take on this dilapidated Tii?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Without knowing what the underside looks like this is close to a parts car, which at the asking price isn’t a bad option either. For some reason the Germans got into a “rust race” with the Brits to see who could build a car that dissolved faster so checking the chassis carefully is a must.

    Like 2
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    As they say, the Germans perfected rust then licensed it to the Italians. Because this car is a fuel-injected Tii model, it will likely get restored, rust notwithstanding.

    Like 1
  3. 914Shifter Member

    Wow! I have the perfect donor car for this project in my barn right now!! A 74 2002 in its original silver color with the dark blue interior… very little rust, all original, only waiting for a spot in my slow-moving project que! However, I am currently in fix-and-release mode rather than buy-park-and-wait mode…. I am sure this Tii shown in Colorado will get fixed by someone.

    Like 1
  4. Leslie Martin Member

    As the owner of a roundie (’73) 2002 tii that is nearing the end of a complete restoration, I see this as a great potential project. But whoever buys is should make sure you have a grinder, welder and a good supply of POR-15 becasue they will surely be doing a fair amount of rust remediation. On these cars “rust behind the back wheels” often means rusty rear strut tower mounts in the trunk which is not a trivial fix. But a lot of the body, interior and trim parts are available new stock from BMW and 3rd parties. And the cult hobby network is chock full of cheap recycled parts, good documentation, and lots of friendly 2002 nerds to help you along. This car should and most likely will be restored. And for the freaks like me that love them, one more tii on the road is a good thing!

    Like 3
    • Drake

      You can still get parts from BMW for this vehicle!? If so, that gives me hope, because I have a 1995 318i convertible, and I was wondering….

      Like 1
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    Added comment… We spent a year with a round taillight car while we were in Europe in the late ’70s. Blast to drive in the mountains of Norway where we were living. As good a driving car as was ever built.

    Like 1
  6. Rex Kahrs Member

    No argument here bob, these cars are well built and handle great, and the M10 engine is like the slant-6 of Germany. I sold mine about 6 months ago, it was a great car. I basically started to explore my love of big Detroit boats after many years of small Euro cars, including a Volvo 1800S.

    Like 1

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