Four-Door 2002! 1973 BMW 2500

If you love the iconic BMW 2002 sport sedan, but enjoy the convenience of four doors, this may be your lucky day! This 1973 BMW 2500 in Fleming Island, Florida features many of the attractive styling cues of the popular 2002 model, and offers rear-seat passengers their own doors, along with larger luggage capacity and a straight six-cylinder engine in place of the 2002’s inline-four. According to the listing here on eBay, this right-hand-drive sedan came to American from Germany, where they have driven on the right since before the advent of the automobile, thus lending some intrigue to this car’s history. Described as running “great,” the 2500 makes an interesting classic rarely seen today. The Buy It Now price of $13,000 may well be lower than a comparable 2002 model. Though never restored, the wheels, tires, upholstery, and presumably paint have been redone at some point, making this 43-year-old sedan highly serviceable.

The BBS-style wheels suggest an overhaul during the late 1980s or early 1990s. While the Tundra green paint also recalls teal cars of that time-frame, it certainly adorned ’70s BMWs as well.

The red fan and general arrangement here also recall the BMW 2002. At 148 HP, the 2500 cc (213 cid) inline-six sat as the base powerplant, with the 168 HP 2800 as the sportier choice. After 1971, American models only received the 2800 or the even more powerful 3000. Thanks to Wikipedia for some details. With a four-speed manual, you can expect lively performance and the balance of firm yet compliant ride and handling typical of modern BMWs, which is to say, vastly different from most American cars of the ’70s.

The updated seat covers look mildly out of place, with the remainder of the stock-appearing interior looking highly European in a functional and inviting way. The tan interior makes a perfect complement to the hue of the Tundra paint.

Called a “limousine” by the seller, the rear seat certainly looks comfortable, though legroom may not rival BMW’s more recent long-wheelbase sedans. A few years ago I replaced my beloved 2002 Buick Regal GS with a 2006 BMW 750Li. My daughters, two long-legged athletes, rejoiced in a way they might not folding into this 2500. Still, to parents daily-driving a 2002, the 2500’s rear doors and seat must look like nirvana. As prices for a good 2002 reach higher and higher, would you consider this practical and roomy 2500?

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I think we got these here in the states as the Bavaria

    Like 9
    • SubGothius

      The Baravia was a “hot rod special” edition cooked up by the US importer, Max Hoffmann, who convinced BMW to build the lighter, low-spec 2500 with the more powerful 2800 engine (and later the 3.0 engine from ’72 on), to meet Americans’ demand for better performance at a lower price point than the full lux-spec 2800/3.0S version.

      Like 3
  2. Tony

    May well have been “shipped from Germany to the US”, but was a UK car going by the “GB” in rear window…………

    Like 12
    • Ivk61

      Also, contrary to what the writer states, Germany was driving on the right for at least 50 years before that car was made
      I prefer the Bavaria for the fuel injection but they are quite rare now

      Like 5
      • Jamie

        I had a ‘72 Bavaria. They were twin carbs. Solexes, IIRC. The Bavaria was a package dreamed up by the US importer, whose name escapes me at the moment. Max…?
        Fuel injection arrived with the 3.0 Si. Same body, with electric window lifts, leather seating, wood interior trim. The luxury Bavaria.
        The Bavaria was a great driver!

        Like 6
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        Max Hoffman and the Bavaria are mentioned here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_New_Six

        Like 4
    • Leslie Martin Member

      More confirming evidence is the MOT certificate issued in the UK in 2013.

      Like 1
    • local_sheriff

      OK, I can envision an Anglophile putting a GB national insignia on his car, but I doubt none of them to be so hardcore that he insist on driving a RHD vehicle in a RHT country – and this person wouldn’t insist on a Bimmer either!

      This BMW obviously resided on the British Isles from new and didn’t come to Germany until it reached classic status.The TÜV docs verifiy that it meets the requirements for an Oldtimer by Feb ’13 so probably imported in that time frame. So unless there’s some British owner MIA and our seller bought it from the original owner I can think of only two options:

      1: Original owner was a German working and living in GB and
      returned to der Vaterland after he retired
      2: Original owner was a Brit and found he was fed up with fog
      and rain and decided to move to Germany to enjoy
      Oktoberfest, Bier und Damen in Dirndlkleider instead

      It’s a great find not only because of its condition but it also carries so many design elements that became typical BMW for decades. Actually I like it better than the much smaller ’02 and the BMW wonderful six is icing on the cake

      Like 2
  3. BarnfindyCollins

    I had a ’70 2500, interestingly this car doesn’t have the little 2 airflow grills on the c pillar sail panels. Not sure how anyone could call this a limousine, the owner might not have seen the long wheelbase 3.3 model sold in Europe. As for the steering on the right I’ve seen that on Italian cars sold in mountain areas and Sweden also at one time. The car itself looks great but check those shock towers Bimmerphiles.

    Like 3
    • SubGothius

      “Limousine” is just the German term for a sedan, so its use here is equivalent to calling an Italian sedan a “berlina”.

      Like 3
      • JudoJohn

        Exactly. Opel Kadett has a “limousine” model, and it much smaller than this.

  4. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking BMW. I used to know someone who had one. His was an American market version called the Bavaria. His didn’t look like a 4 door 2002.

    Like 3
  5. Billy

    The four door 2002 description is way off. It may share a few BMW styling traits, but as the predecessor to the first 7 series, this car was two size classes larger.

    A blast to drive I will say. Nothing sings like a BMW six!

    Like 8
    • SubGothius

      Indeed, a “four-door 2002” would properly be the smaller ’62-77 Neue Klasse sedans, which platform was shortened to make the 02-series coupes.

      Like 2
    • JudoJohn

      The “4-door 2002” was actually called the 2000.

  6. tompdx Member

    True, this is a 4 door 3.0cs, or 2800 in 1970.

    Like 7
  7. Genemak1

    Driving on the right in Germany means being in the slow lane. This car is RHD, so then it was probably originally from Great Britain. Vehicles in Germany are like the most of the world LHD. This would be useful in the USA as a postal delivery vehicle.

    Like 5
  8. Pat Gill

    look up how many RHD countries there are, it will surprise you! Sweden was RHD until I think 1967, they changed overnight!

    for a start,

    Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, Malta,

    Like 1
  9. Larry

    The seller increased the BIN price to $15K

    • Mike W H

      Thanks, Barn Finds.

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