Same Owner 30 Years: 1976 BMW 2002

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In BMW fan and collector circles, the 2002s are considered iconic. They were built between 1968 and 1976 by Bavaria Motor Works in Europe and were considered “executive” sporty cars because of the combination of performance and comfort. This ’76 edition is described as a 30-year project, and the seller’s strategy is to focus on the many upgrades the car has received rather than the car itself (for example, there are two photos of the car’s exterior and 22 photos of parts and pieces). Another tip brought to us by “eagle eye” T.J.!

The 2002 was derived by taking the chassis of the New Class Sedans and shortening it. The heart of the car was the 1990cc SOHC inline-4 which was most often paired with a 4-speed manual transmission (U.S. versions could get an automatic, but why?). Horsepower ranged from 100 to 130 depending on whether carburetion or fuel injection was at play. More than 339,000 copies of the 2002s were produced, with more than 20 of them (most non-running and rusty) being in the hands of a friend of mine who is a rabid 2002 fan.

As the story goes, this non-rusty BMW wearing older Jade Green paint was sold new in California. About 30 years ago, the seller bought it and his wife drove it for perhaps 10 years. It’s been stored in the seller’s garage for an equal amount of time, which is now in Conyers, Georgia according to the listing. The seller is concerned about tire-kickers rather than serious buyers, so you may have to go through a process of demonstrating how serious you are about acquiring the “Beamer.”

The list of new or newer parts and upgrades is extensive and some of it may only be of value to true 2002 connoisseurs. These things include an asymmetrical camshaft, pop-up pistons, blueprinted heads, tii exhaust manifold, breaker-less ignition, rebuilt clutch and transmission, rebuilt radiator, and it goes on. The car has air conditioning which blows quite cold. The odometer has rolled over at 120,000 miles and the seller says the car could fetch $35-50,000 on professional websites but will take $15,000 here on craigslist. Is this the kind of project you’d like to sink your teeth into?

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  1. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Could fetch $35-50,000 on professional websites but will take $15,000. I know which way I would go selling this rig. Nice looking ride.

    Like 5
    • JMG

      $15k seems about right for this year, this model, and in this condition.
      $25k is optimistic.
      $35k is controlled substances abuse range.

      Like 13
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

      Mike, I agree with you. Gotta question the seller’s intentions here. They want a “qualified” buyer and then threaten to sell it on BAT for way more $$.

      Like 4
      • leiniedude leiniedudeMember

        Hi Dennis, I hope all is well. I agree. We all know it is a crazy world out there. Take care, Mike.

        Like 2
  2. BimmerDudeMember

    Noting the Car Club shield on the grill, from BMWCCA.ORG, so the seller is in the club that can offer information, parts, admiration.

    Like 1
  3. Sstephen

    Could never pass smog in California again. Pre 76 would be exempt. Nice car, however.

    Like 1
  4. Eddie Pennsylvania

    A former neighbor who lives in Harmony, PA is among the nation’s best with these. He worked in several high-end European import garages, dealing with a lot of rares, exotics, and supercars, before settling on these as a passion. I would see trailers in front of his house form as far as Colorado and California with 2002s on board. He owned and drove several himself. Anyway, GLWTS, and if the winner is reading this, look up this feller if your restoration/refurbishment runs into trouble.
    NOTE: Harmony, PA also sports an import/exotics/supercars garage, probably the best place to see cool cars in the area (given the roads north of Pittsburgh are a pitted abomination, you don’t often see such vehicles out and about)

    Like 1
  5. Leslie MartinMember

    The value in the engine mods isn’t that it has an “Asymmetrical cam”. It’s that the cam and head mods were done by Jim Rowe at Metric Mechanic. The upgrades described are right off the Metric Mechanic”2200 Rally M10″ menu. Nobody did or does a better job custom grinding cams and tuning 318i heads for these motors than MM.

    If this motor was built to that spec including the higher compression pistons and tii manifold with a properly tuned set of webbers, it’s probably putting out closet to 160 hp. If you’ve ever driven a 2002 you know that’s plenty of power to redline the fun to drive meter!

    There’s no doubt 2002 prices are on the rise. But seeing what really clean post ’73’s have been going for on BaT, I think $35k is unlikely. But if someone picks up this car for $15k, it will be a very well bought project.

    Like 0
  6. Patrick Gill

    Piano top pistons were standard on M10 engines, Tii exhaust manifold? same as a std. 2002 from what I remember, set of Webbers, it has a single twin choke down draft webber on an inlet manifold from a 2002 automatic.

    Like 1
    • Leslie MartinMember

      Oops. Correct it’s a single carb.

      I was referring to the lighter and higher compression pistons that Metric Mechanic built their motors with. But I’m not sure what the seller is referring to when they say “Piano top pop up pistons… very rare”. The Tii exhaust manifolds have slightly larger ports for improved flow than the regular 2002 manifolds.

      I just noticed the “rebuilt” designation on the title. I wonder what that means in GA???

      Like 0

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