Worthy Project Car? 1974 BMW 2002 Tii

This 1974 BMW 2002 Tii is a desirable project car, but is there a chance rust has proven itself a formidable opponent and that this car is past the point of saving? Hard to say, as the Tii’s have enjoyed rising prices as of late and finding a project grade example has gotten harder and harder to do. The seller notes he purchased this car to restore five years ago but has not gotten close to starting the project. It is a complete car, but the floors, lower sills, and other areas will all require rust repair. The BMW is listed here on eBay in New Jersey with bidding just over $1,800 and the reserve unmet. Thanks to Barn Finds reader sylvio for the find. 

While a round taillight 2002 Tii is the most desirable of the breed, square taillight examples of the high-performance 2002 are not far behind. Of course, enthusiasts tend to get less excited overall for the square taillight models with their big, heavy U.S.-mandated safety bumpers, but you can swap those out for the prettier chrome slim bumpers without too much fuss. From the back, you might even say this 2002 looks reasonably solid, with a decent-looking trunk lid and tail panel, along with good lenses and rear bumper and its 2002 Tii badges still intact. Chrome trim looks serviceable as well, and the seller notes the spare tire well is not rotted out.

Plenty of other areas are, however. Front floors are pretty much gone, with full replacement necessary. The sills on both sides are also quite rotten, but surprisingly, the front and rear shock towers are in very good shape – these are normally just as vulnerable as those other areas. A solitary E21 Recaro seat sits in the driver’s compartment, and it also in pretty sad shape. The passenger bucket is standard 2002 fare, as is the back seat. No word on the health of the rear floors, but it seems likely that there’s more corrosion to sort out if you look hard enough. The three-spoke vintage sport steering wheel and Cibie headlights all point to this 2002 being someone’s hobby car at one point.

The 2002 Tii is a classic “running when parked” example, as the seller notes it was firing under its own power five years ago. The engine bay remains largely intact, it seems, and the Tii-specific bits look to be accounted for. Overall, the drivetrain is the most attractive feature here, and I’m not sure if the body warrants restoring this back to showroom spec. Numbers matching is nice to have, and all of the rotted out panels are available as replacement pieces if you’re so inclined to try and save it. Is this 2002 Tii desirable enough to warrant the fabrication work necessary to restore the rotten bits?

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  1. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice write-up, Jeff. I’d say any 2002 that’s not horribly wrecked is worth restoring these days. And a tii of any year that still has the mechanical fuel injection and most of its parts… definitely! Tri-Five Chevys (which I do love) and other chart-toppers of yesteryear have faded as the people who love them drive off into the sunset. However the 2002 seems to be getting a second wind among youthful buyers and may carry on into the future as a timeless classic. I’ve got a ’72 tii now that I plan to restore, enjoy for a year or two, then sell. Hopefully their popularity will last at least that long. Thanks for bringing this one to our hallowed halls!

  2. Chipsbee

    Nice write-up, again, Jeff. I recently sold my ’72 Tii needing considerable (but manageable) repairs, mostly mechanical. It will be a beauty when it’s finished, and will become a lovely driver. These are iconic, stand apart and depict an era unlike so many cars. The car I sold is in need of a differential, 3rd member.

    Jeff, were you the author of the Ferrari 330 P4 RCR kit I ‘won’ last December?

  3. djjerme

    Unlike an E30, almost everything is reproduced or available from BMW. So yah, it’s savable, but it would take a commitment, or a blank check on the dash when it’s dropped off at the shop.

  4. Brian Ach

    This is a parts car. There is a restored shell available locally, it would be best to transfer everything to that shell. The bodywork will kill you on this one and as a square tail you will be upside down.

  5. Araknid78

    Item location:
    Morganville, New Jersey

  6. Superdessucke

    These can be purchased in very nice shape from mid to high 20s, sometimes less. This makes no financial sense to restore.

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