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Fuel-Injected Project: 1974 BMW 2002tii

BMW’s splendid 2002 two-door sport sedans enjoy broad appeal. Nimble and snappy performers even in stock form, their sturdy engineering accommodates myriad modifications from mild to insane. With never-restored specimens like this readily available, the 2002 offers a visceral driving experience and appreciating value. Many become cherished family members that enjoy long tenure in one garage. This 1974 tii model adds mechanical fuel-injection and other upgrades to the bulletproof M10 four cylinder. The non-running Los Angeles, California classic seeks a new owner here on Craigslist where $9950 seals the deal. Sadly the motor does not turn, according to the seller, leaving some experimentation and and unanswered questions for the prospective buyer. Thanks to reader T.J. for spotting this long-parked sportster.

The first time I saw a 2002 tii with the factory Kugelfischer-injected M10 in the late ’80s, I remember my amazement at how the plenum intake design resembled that of my 1989 Mustang LX 5.0, yet this car is 15 years older. The complexity of having to adjust for temperature, throttle position, altitude, and load without a computer comes from an elaborate arrangement of levers, rods, and mechanical sensors, with electronics participating only at startup, a control box spritzing fuel for the cold start. I own the 1972 version of this car, and anyone mechanically inclined will find endless joy in exploring the design and engineering of this injected 2.0L (121 cid) I4. Other than the missing battery and air filter housing, this engine looks complete. Overspray on the wiper motor suggests an amateur respray of the interesting Granatrot-Metallic paint.

While European Granatrot-Metallic 2002s came with gray interiors by default, according to BMW2002FAQ, American cars rarely showed up with interior colors other than black or this beige / tan color.  That puffy look to the upholstery and door panels could be the result of steam treatment thanks to water intrusion (see next picture) or simply a byproduct of years in the California sun. In counterpoint, the usually-cracked dashboard looks good.

Giant bumpers mark the ’74 and ’75 2002s, along with an elevated ride height compared to European versions, all part of mandatory bumper regulations. This esthetic turns off some, while others don’t give it a second thought. Watch for rust at the horizontal trim, and avoid the factory jack points unless you’ve personally explored or replaced the metal or you’ll see your jack vanish into the rocker panel.

Along with the diving platform bumpers of later (’74 and ’75) 2002s, the square tail lights also render them less collectible. That’s great if you don’t care; you’ll spend less, all things equal. That along with the stuck motor, rust, and possible water intrusion makes one fill-up less than $10k a tough ask, but hopefully someone makes a deal and gets this gem back on the road. Once sorted, these cars deliver years of reliable and energetic performance. Would you take a chance on this fuel-injected classic?


  1. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    That BMW2002FAQ website/forum is best old-car site I’ve used. Those guys
    really know their stuff, and are very helpful and respectful. They were really instrumental in helping me get my true barnfind ’75 2002 back on the road.

    Everyone complains about the “big” bumpers. I did a bumper tuck on the front but left the rear because idiots keep rear-ending me!

    Like 7
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    They are great cars but this one is too much for too little.

    Like 6
  3. bw

    The corrosion alone makes this a non-starter for me. If the surface corrosion is any indication, the underside would be a nightmare.

    Like 1
  4. Kraig

    Love those, but 10k? Parts are not going to be cheap or easy to come bye! Buy some Muscle!

    Like 1
  5. matthew grant

    an expensive project. pass.

    Like 3
  6. Dan

    For a CA car there’s too much rust. And the engine will need a rebuild. Even at half the asking price I’ll pass on this one.

    Like 5
  7. justpaul

    This car may have been found in CA, but it’s clearly lived elsewhere, or some idiot liked driving it on the beach.

    I’ve been told that at this point the tiis are actually better avoided, as some of the maintenance parts for the suspension (hard metal components, not bushings and seals) are becoming difficult to obtain, but the Brits usually step up and start remanufacturing that stuff once enough of a market develops.

    The seller would have done himself a world of favors if he’d popped the trunk and shown a shot of the rear shock towers. I suspect he’s had to answer that particular question a couple dozen times already.

    All in all, a $5K car, maybe. Even then you’ll have $20K into it before you see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that will only be the next delivery truck pulling up with more parts and another invoice to pay.

    Like 0

    I’m with everyone else about the rust. It’s a California car, but it has tons of visible rust and the interior looks like it’s been in a flood? And all the seller wants is a measly ten grand and the friggin engine’s locked up? If I was so wealthy I was looking for ways to burn money, then maybe I’d buy this one, but it’s probably closer to a parts car than one worthy of restoration. Although I do dig the paint color and the tan interior, and I bet this would be a blast with a straight six from a 90’s era 328i. But once again- only if I were stupid rich.

    Like 0

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