German Survivor: 1972 BMW 2002tii

BMW 2002s are perhaps my favorite European car, and I’ve been fond of them since I was very young. My dad purchased one brand new in 1969 (no, they weren’t easily accessible in the US yet) and long story short, imported from Germany it cost him less than a six-cylinder Mustang. He sold the car in the 1970s, but I grew up hearing stories about his old 2002. This 1972 is the next to last year for the ‘Roundies’ with the round taillights and is in excellent condition, showing just 53,000 documented actual miles. It is presented with copious amounts of paperwork and can be found here on eBay in California, where nearly every 2002 stateside seems to be or come from. 

This car was sold new in the United Kingdom to a gentleman in the United States Air Force and thus was ordered in North American specs. This 2002 likely owes its remarkable condition to its time spent in a barn between 1983 and 2018. The seller purchased this car from the original owner and did everything necessary to make it roadworthy and safe again. This photo shows that the interior is in great condition, though apparently missing the driver’s door panel, and begs the question of why sellers often present nice vehicles with the interior in disarray. Regardless, it is clear that the interior of this car wouldn’t take much to look showroom fresh.

Though nearly all iterations of the 2002 are said to be enjoyable little cars, the Tii is more sought after due to the high-performance fuel injected engine not found in the base model. Though these cars were affordable for many years, collectibility and value are on the rise making the seller’s $42,000 asking price seem not so unreasonable, especially for a two-owner survivor car like this. This example also lacks rust and seems to have had nothing beyond maintenance items replaced.

As previously mentioned, the seller is including lots of paperwork. To quote the ad, “The original sales invoice is present, in fact, every piece of paper you can imagine is included, sales brochure with pre-purchase notes, warranty claim, export papers, all maintenance records etc.” This 2002 is a BMW enthusiast’s dream! Where are the wheel covers, you may ask? “The original hubcaps are still wrapped in the brown paper new from BMW.” The seller has provided fairly sufficient information in the ad, but this car seems to speak for itself. Though it isn’t cheap, this car is sure to check lots of boxes on any 2002 lover’s shopping list.

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  1. Michael

    Nice car. The sales invoice brings back memories. The original owner was stationed at RAF Bentwaters in the UK. I was stationed at RAF Woodbridge, just a few miles away. They were referred to as the “Twin Bases”. He was in the 81st FMS while I was in the 67th ARRS (Air Rescue Recovery Squadron). Both bases closed in the 90’s. Good times.

  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    I know little of BMW’s and honestly have not lusted after one. I will say for the age, this looks to be car in good condition. Wish it was a little more affordable though.

  3. Bob S

    I have owned two, and one of the 2002s I bought, was to use as an airport car. I fell madly in love with it. It handled better than any of the 60s sports cars I owned and drove, and yet it was big enough to be a great family car and grocery getter.
    I particularly like the tail lights in the earlier cars. Mine last car was a 76, with the North American bumpers and the rectangular lights. The only feature that I would love to have had, was a 5 speed transmission.
    This looks like a very nice car with a good history. It will be a good buy for someone, and I hope they choose to drive it.

  4. Tom Justice

    Nice car; big plus it doesn’t have the awful US bumpers. This was probably the first BMW car most Americans can remember seeing and it paved the way for the 320. I always liked them; I keep hoping a Euro spec T top will show up somewhere in decent shape and cheap enough for me to buy it.

  5. Beatnik Bedouin

    This is probably the ultimate 2002 for enthusiasts. Hope it goes to someone who will appreciate and – most importantly – drive it!

  6. Pat Gill

    I think the center panels of the seats have been recovered as they were all pleated in the UK and Europe, The only 5 speed box offered on 2002’s was the dog leg close ratio box, with 1:1 top gear, the overdrive ratio 5 speed box from a late 316 / 318 E21 was a common upgrade, they are great cars……… unlike the latest offerings, bet this has it’s original timing chain, they break after 40.000 miles now days!

  7. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    A few thoughts about this remarkable tii….

    It genuinely looks like a 53K mile car—one that has been taken care of. I assume the service documents show mileage up to about 53K, but other than the recent work, the dates on the papers will be decades old. You will have to assume the car really was stored from ’83 to ’18. That’s an assumption that I would be OK with.

    I saw the driver’s door panel off, but it could be that the door needed work, like the window mechanism lubed. I’m guessing it’s back on the driver’s door now.

    The new CN36 tires are a nice touch, but a very old design. There is much better rubber available nowadays—-unless they are new manufactures made with modern rubber.

    As Tom pointed out, those Euro bumpers are lovely.

    The 2002 invented the sport sedan genre, just as David E Davis said, which will forever make the 2002 line very special. I can believe that the tii will outrun and outhandle most 4-cylinder sports cars from that era.

    If you want the best photos for selling a California car don’t put the car in shade and allow bright sunlight to fill up the background. The result with most cameras is a very blue cast over whatever is in the shade, like you see on this tii. I still think it will sell, tho…..

    Speaking of selling, excellent 2002 tii s have sold at major auctions lately for a median price of $35K. I have a feeling that this one will beat that number, maybe even on Ebay. If not, I think it will sell at a real auction for the $42K asking, maybe more. There’s nothing like a landmark original car with very low miles for making people step up…..

    • RedRacer

      AS for the Pirelli CN36s, they are making them again, only in a “V” rating as opposed to the “H” original speed rating. I bought a set of 4 as did another one of my friends(these were excellent tires during the ’70s)

  8. Dick Johnson

    Somehow the new 2018 BMW 2 series doesn’t even come close to translation of what this car is. I can hardly wait until BMW makes the .5 series, or, the ‘half bmw.’

    I think that I’ll stick to aging R series BMWs.

  9. Mountainwoodie

    The holy grail for an O2 fanatic. Low mileage, provenance, Tii and sunroof. Just needed dealer installed air….As I think I ve said in the past I sold my ’72 02 carbureted with sunroof and dealer air in Baikal blue for 6 K in the mid eighties .and I thought it was a lot..might be 18,000 K in 2018 dollars. I guess these are now officially out of reach for me lol.

    Oh well its great to see one in such fine fettle

  10. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    I like this a lot. Interesting history too.

  11. Rex Kahrs Member

    I think the ebay listing is woefully inadequate given the lofty ask of 42K. There are no engine photos, no trunk photo, no underside pictures.

    If I’m gonna press a button and spend $42,000 bucks on ebay, I want to see every inch of the car. Personally I think it’s way over-priced. I’ve got about 7K into my ’75 sunroof “squarie”, which is an actual barnfind.

  12. Achman

    Seats are not original. Exhaust is not original and is incorrect. Needs more pictures underneath and engine.

  13. Garth

    I think the seller has got to put down the crack pipe! For $42,000 the paint should be darn near showroom perfect! Instead, it looks like rust on the passenger fender just ahead of the door, rust on the rear edge of the trunk lid, and possibly rust on the leading edge of the front hood, but unfortunately there are no close-up (or even decent) pics of these areas.

  14. John

    I’ve had plenty of old BMWs, a 2002 and two tii’s as well as some 2000ti and tilux and great s they were I would never drop that much and mentioned even the few pics show some issues.

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