Riviera Blue Project: 1973 BMW 2002

Bidding is downright reasonable for this 1973 BMW 2002, which is a desirable round taillight model that originally came from California. As such, the car is said to be largely dry and free from the cancerous rust that can plague many of these vintage European collectibles. The seller’s car wears a somewhat desirable shade of paint known as Riviera Blue, although it does have some custom touches applied with the upper reaches of the body featuring black paint, which is a tribute of sorts to how Alpina used to finish their modified factory cars. The BMW is bidding lightly at the moment, with bids up to just over $8,000 here on eBay with no reserve.

Fortunately, if you’re not a fan of the two-tone look, the black paint is chipping off the top of the body, and Riviera Blue paint is still visible underneath. The 2002 is made more desirable for being a round taillight model, which is a simple way to distinguish an early model from a later car. The seller claims this 2002 originally came from California, moved to Texas, and then returned to California, so it has certainly lived in hospitable climates all of its life. This has helped ensure that typically vulnerable areas like the shock towers and the lower portions of the fenders and quarters have remained in solid condition.

The trunk is a treat, as the paint looks near new over the typically rusty shock towers, and the original trunk mat suggests that this 2002 hasn’t been messed with too much. The photos above show that the 2002 rides on tasteful BBS or BBS-lookalike wheels, a common upgrade during the late 70s and 80s. Interior photos reveal a black interior in good shape with clean bucket seats that aren’t torn up but do have a few splits. The steering wheel and shift knob are original, and there’s even still a factory radio face plate still attached to the dash. The color really is a distinguishing feature here, as the paint inside the trunk and along the edges of the lid show you how deep the color is.

The engine is fresher than it looks, with the seller claiming to have history that indicates the motor was replaced with a factory crate engine by Haner Haus in Santa Rosa in 1993. While this doesn’t make it brand new, it would seemingly suggest it has more life left in it than an original, matching numbers unit that had been left sitting idle for the last decade. The engine does start up and the seller describes it as a good, running motor. Overall, this 2002 looks like an easy car to get back on the road and drive without having to undertake a pricey restoration. The color is my favorite feature, along with the wheels and the round taillights. Would you restore it or drive it as-is?


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  1. alphasud Member

    There is a lot of good here to like. Starting with a solid body is huge and definitely worth paying more for this car. I agree the blue is a keeper color and I would get rid of the black top which also might have been a cheap way to hide sun damage of the original finish.

    Like 5
  2. Paul Jackson Member

    I had a 1970 2002, great little car, completely rusted out by 1983! Maine is not good to cars. I’d love to purchase this car, fix anything wrong and only drive it in the summer

    Like 2
  3. DeeBee

    Paint it and have a good looking daily driver, that’s exactly what I’d do.

    Like 3
  4. Chinga-Trailer

    To say that “bidding is downright reasonable” is silly – no bids really count until the last five minutes. Whenever you see a huge bid initially, you can be fairly certain said bidder is a friend or neighbor of the seller. By the way, check out new Facebook group – Rejected by BAT

    Like 2
  5. Leslie Martin Member

    Well bought at $10k. Not bad for a non-sunroof rust free California original roundie. Considering the desirable original color and the fact that all the expensive hard to find parts appear still intact, this is a good specimen. Clean it up a drive it, or respray and restore it, you can’t lose with the way 2002 values have been climbing lately.

    Like 1
  6. Saltydog

    Have to wonder, though, why it’s a salvage title.

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