Engine Swap Candidate: 1969 BMW 2002

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Despite being a massive project, this 1969 BMW 2002 is a desirable round taillight car equipped with factory air conditioning. And really, once you get past the part about it needing an engine dropped in, there’s not much here to fret about. The 2002 is a claimed long-time Texas car that’s been off the road for 19 years. Find it here on eBay with a reasonable Buy-It-Now of $6,950.

The seller notes most rust is limited to surface-level corrosion only. The body looks quite straight, and I like the color-matched BBS wheels. I have a feeling someone yanked a bunch of parts off of a later E21 with the sport package, as the wheels and seats are both directly from that model. The glass and chrome bumpers look find to use as-is, though some trim is missing.

The Recaros are the same ones that came in the later E21 cars, and now command a high premium due to fewer and fewer cars coming up for parting out. This 2002 also has a popular upgrade with the aftermarket wood steering wheel, so someone certainly threw the usual modifications at it when it was still road-worthy. I wonder if it has the E21’s limited-slip, too.

The engine bay is surprisingly clean and looks ready for any number of engines to be dropped in. You could go with a hotted-up M10 or perhaps find a Tii engine if an OEM restoration is your preference. While others have made the E30 M3 S14 swap a reality, you should first look through the multiple engine blocks, heads, transmissions and more that are included with the sale.

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  1. Greg

    Back in the 80s a friend of mine’s uncle bought a 2002 to restore.The motor was locked up ,so he went to the BMW dealer to buy a new motor.They informed him that their motors don’t lock up.He brought it to the dealership and they replaced the motor and sent the old motor back to Germany.

    Like 2
    • Gilsbail

      Is the olds wagon in the back for sale ?

      Like 0
  2. CapNemo

    I wouldn’t worry about swapping the engine. I’d swap the car. But that’s just me. All the best to whoever brings this back to life.

    Like 2
  3. Rufus

    The eBay link does not seem to work!

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  4. TimM

    Seems like a solid little car with little surface rust but very restorable!! Does anyone know what a BMW short block from the factory sells for???? The wagon in the background does look pretty cool!!!

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  5. Bob S

    To bad I live on the West Coast, I have 2 running 2002 engines. I love these little cars, all the convenience of being able to seat 4 or 5, and yet handles like a sports car. There are still lots of upgrades available, and I hope it gets rebuilt.
    These are the cars that put BMW back on top.

    Like 2
    • kakerlak

      Would be on the shortlist if I ever won the lottery. I’m such a huge sucker for this sort of design language — sleek, clean bodies with minimal trim and simple lines and a nice tall greenhouse with thin pillars.

      Like 1
  6. kakerlak

    Grandpa had a 1600 and my mom had a 2002 when I was growing up in the ’80s-90s. Mom’s burst into flames, Pinto-style, in a rear end collision. I remember her reading (and this was pre-internet, so think library and BMW newsletters, etc) that the roundies had fairly unsafe gas tank design/location that was remedied with the square-light generation. I’ve never found any talk of this online and have always been curious. She looked for a clean square-light 2002 for a while before settling on a low-miles Maserati Biturbo, which, of course was a monumental mistake, haha!

    Like 0
    • Brian Ach

      The gas tank in roundies and square tail cars is almost identical. She was probably talking about the fact that square tails had the huge hydraulic bumpers which were super ugly but made the car safer. These are great cars and I wouldn’t sell my 73 2002Tii for pretty much anything.

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  7. Skippy

    This car probably had an S14 engine in it that somebody put back into an E30. That is the only reason I can think of for all of the upgrades, but no engine.

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  8. scottymac

    Strut tower braces (front and rear), driving/fog lights – somebody had fun!

    Like 0
  9. Russell Casey

    I do not believe any BMW 2002 had “factory” air. I thought all were dealer installed. I bought a new 1976 2002 and air was installed by the dealer.

    Like 1
    • Achman

      You are correct, my 73 2002tii has “factory” Behr A/c that was installed at the dealer. They were all dealer installed.

      Like 1
  10. Corey

    I pulled a motor out of a wrecked 2002tii that I found in a junkyard in W Germany back in the mid-80’s, and stuck it in my 316. Not really that tough of a project. Wish I was in the market.

    Like 0
  11. Doug M.

    After studying the parts pictures, I think the motor that was in it (from the donor 320 probably) is all still there! Notice the aluminum cast intake, etc, …
    A little bit high on the entry price, but it would be a really fun project, and most of the upgrade parts are already there!

    Like 0
  12. Doug

    Put a Hemi in it – make the Roadkill guys envy you !

    Like 0
  13. Ed

    I have a 1969 2002 Ti engine with webers for sale
    It is fairly fresh $2500

    Like 0

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