South Hampton Service in the small town of Hampton, IL, is a real, honest to gosh garage. Oh sure, you can get fuel, a doughnut and cuppa just like any other gas station, but believe it or not, they actually service and repair cars–a rare perk these days. For that reason, this establistment often has some interesting cars on hand–as evidenced by the 1977 Cutlass Supreme Brougham, spotted here, and written up last year for CC. But my most recent find will never be mistaken for a Colonnade Brougham!
How about its opposite? While a ’77 Cutlass was an isolation chamber, silently conveying its occupants in silent V8 comfort and ease, the BMW 2002 was a completely different car. A driver’s car, for sure. Purposeful, zippy and handsome. They were cool!
Thanks to Perry’s post on a much rougher tii, I know the tii–the hot rod of the 2002 line (well, except for the Turbo), debuted in 1972, making this one a sophomore model. Kugelfischer fuel injection was just one of the highlights of the tii’s sporting intent. While mint examples are getting a bit dear, any 2002 is a ball to drive–or so I’ve heard (he says, shrugging and jingling the Lincoln keys in his coat pocket).
I first saw this car parked nose-in with several other cars about a month ago. I was going to stop, but drove on. This has cost me many CCs in the past, but I was luckier this time, for later that week it appeared right out front with a “For Sale” sign on its red flanks.
While my folks and I were on our way back home from the CC Meet in Auburn, we were talking, and the red 2002 tii came up. I commented that that car was quite a find, and I needed to stop by and check it out. Dad then mentioned that it wasn’t quite as nice as it looked. While it ran like a Swiss watch, it was full of filler, and restoring it back to original splendor would take an arm and a leg–as well as a fat wallet.
I was disappointed, even though I had no intent of purchasing it. But I still wanted to check it out, as the only other 2002 I had seen in recent memory was a ’76 model with the rubber baby buggy bumpers, owned by a salesman at a friend’s car lot and written up here two years ago.
Up close, and with the lowering sun glancing off the shiny paint and chrome bumpers and trim, I was surprised that it looked so good. It looked excellent, as a matter of fact. Whoever snags this car should just take care of it, enjoy it, and keep it up as well as he or she can, as new sheetmetal, paint and everything else would only lead to a vaporized checking account.
My dad once had a 1969 Porsche 912 Targa that was much the same. It was owned by a friend, and Dan cautioned him before he bought it: “Don’t restore it. It’s solid and runs great and is a ball to drive, but don’t restore it. Just enjoy it as it is, and you’ll be happier. And so Dad was.
These cars do not exactly grow on trees, particularly in the Midwest, so hopefully whoever gets it will just maintain it, love it and enjoy it.
Related: 1973 BMW 2002 tii 1976 BMW 2002
Nice color and rare but if it’s full of filler then at one time it was full of rust and that will just come back. Could cost $20,000 to get rid of it permanently and do a quality repaint. Problem is Hagerty says a #2 car is worth $22,700 which is probably what this would be with the rust repair and a repaint. I don’t think this guy will take a $3,000 offer but you never know 🙂
Nearly all 02s have rust somewhere, even cars from CA. Worse were the E9 Coupes built by Karman. Better for rust were the E3 (Bavaria) sedans but they have issues too.
E3s are a screaming deal right now and I want one. A #2 Bavaria is just $8,000 which is exactly what one sold for last week on BaT.
Been seeing this bad boy around and finally caught it while it was napping.
Oh man a napping shark! Great shot Don but don’t get too close 🙂
Nice find! I’m waiting to see an E3 or an E9 here in Richmond…I know there has to be one somewhere. Just about every other series of BMW is accounted for….
A nice little car, and there would be some sense of pride in owning such a historic BMW. If I had my pick though, I’d get a E30 3-Series coupe. Still bright red, of course!
Rust never sleeps ~
I’m in the middle of a frame off re build because if this right now .
Everyone looked at it and said ” replace the cab ?! but that’s perfect original paint !! ” .
In time , all rusty vehicles become unsafe .
Great find, and great looking car in red and sunshine
Did they all have that large gap between the front bumper and valence?
I don’t think so — all the European 2002s I’ve seen had the front bumper essentially flush against the valance
1973 US 5 mph front bumper….
I actually like the 5 mph bumpers used on cars sold in the USA during the 70s. The less damage to the car, the better.
They are like that, except possibly some of the early European ones. That steeply undercut front end would have been very vulnerable without it. The don’t look bad, depending on the viewing angle. Looking at it straight down from the top, like in that one shot, tends to exaggerate the gap, which is pretty considerable.
Actually, this was done in either 72 or 73 – I forget which. It was part of the oncoming bumper regulation prior to the rubber 74 bumpers, they simply moved the existing ones further out . Earlier cars (68-70) have much shorter brackets.
In 1973, there was a spacer added to all US-spec BMWs. This was the transitional year between the 3MPH chrome bumper and the big ugly 5MPH bumper in 1974.
Extended bumper mounting brackets to meet the low speed crash impact regulations in the US. Page 124 of this book:
A BMW 2002 tii I found on a German website, photo courtesy BMW Group AG.
The ’73 bumper was the way to go on these, even on the earlier models. Almost all 2002s that were driven daily have some damage to the upper nose, like on a ’69 Mustang. The extended ’73 bumper helps with that. I believe the ’73 also had different rubber pads than the ’72.
Pretty little thing, but filler scares the crap out of me. Wonder what it’s hiding…
Either rust or the fact that someone had been driving it like bumper cars. Pity.
I like the 2002. It was an unpretentious drivers car. Or a car for unpretentious drivers? These with the chrome bumpers are the best. Your description of rubber baby buggy bumpers made me laugh, because that’s what they often looked like on Euro cars early in the 5 mph bumper era (as opposed to the plated I beams used in Detroit). Neither was really a good look.
There’s a 1600 for sale about an hour from my house. The crummy Craigslist pictures do it no favors and the nagging feeling that there’s a ton of body filler under a lackluster re-paint are keeping me from running out and checking it out.
I like these old sedans and coupes, but after owning a 73 Capri 25 years ago, I’m not sure I’d fit comfortably behind the wheel anymore.
My MIL bought new 2002 in 1975, thanks to a modest inheritance. She was a single mom with four kids, and money was very tight. But there are priorities in life! And they did live in LA, of course.
I had to rescue her a few times, usually overheating. These cars were quite prone to that. She told me that she had to have a new engine pretty early on, under warranty.
I got to drive it a few times, including one memorable trip to Mammoth, for skiing. It had more torque and power than my 1600cc Peugeot 404, and made for a nice drive. The steering wheel in these seemed even excessively large for the times, in such a compact car.
When she decided to retire to Iowa in 1985, she decided not to take it with her, as I pointed out she would probably have some challenges getting it fixed there. Plus it seemed cruel to subject a totally rust-free car to the snow.
So she sold it to a kid who was thrilled to get an “old lady 2002”, its body in perfect condition.
Her son found her a 1970 Plymouth Gran Coupe with a 440 to take to Iowa. Much more appropriate. That car was the bomb, and soon acquire the name “La Bamba”.
I’ve always liked the 2002 of the 1970s. I used to know someone who had one with the circle tail lights. I also liked the later 2002s with the larger, more squared off tail lights.
Too bad the hipsters have made these 2002’s/tii’s priced unaffordium. I consider these, with the ultra rare Euro light 2400 and Bavarias the most stunning BMW’s ever. I mistook a new 5 for a Kia the other day…
In my first two jobs out of grad school in L.A., ca. 1972-1976, working in the Westwood area, these 2002’s, as well as the Bavaria model, were the go-to car of hip yuppiedom. So many of the guys (and a couple of women, too) that I worked with then had these cars, they were gaga over them and thought they were the greatest things on wheels. I could never quite “get” these, but then, the Mercedes bug bit me as the 70’s wore on, had to keep up with the peer group, you know.
Totally understand, my favorite Benzes are the 190SLs (slow but lookers) and equally the Pagoda SL’s, the W112/113s and the 300SELs, especially the mighty 6.3. Although all are slightly are pre-mid 70’s. Though, I’d take a 450 SEL 6.9 any day, operating cost be dam-d.
Don, so right. I’ve written before about my UCLA law student friend, trust fund baby, who had a new 1972 2002. The car had A/C and automatic, and was purchased at Vasek Polak’s BMW dealership in Hermosa Beach. I loved the car – such great space utilization and visibility, and of course it conveyed far more status than my 72 Maverick LDO, bought new in IN just before I moved out to LA for grad school. I had much to learn about car culture in LA and this was lesson one.
And what a lesson it must have been! I was still content with my ’70 Cougar XR-7 back then, but all these guys I worked with at a consulting company were young and making good money, BMW’s were hotter than hot. Everyone was jumping on that bandwagon. And then I moved south to Orange County in 1976, starting a job that led to years in the new home construction and development field. Talk about wealth and status, and having to compete with all those high-powered egos, that was the happy hunting ground of the Mercedes crowd, still is today, although there are so many higher end baubles for the Newport status seekers now. Glad I’m older and wiser and out of that rat race, and content, once again, with my little Ford product, the T-Bird!
Have to say my ’73 2002 was a fabulous driving car. Bought second-hand in Nova Scotia in 1979, rust was already a major issue and by 1981 the trunk floor was gone and the gas tank couldn’t be filled above half! But by then I’d had the good fortune to drive it across Canada to Vancouver, mostly on two lane highways. A great road trip in a great car.
My strongest memories of cars are usually the sounds of their engines, and the BMW was right up there near the top.
Beautiful little cars on my must have list!
Until I totaled in a winter accident in the early 1970s, I enjoyed my 1969-1970, orange, European-spec 2002ti, which had twin Solex sidedraft carburetors and 120 bhp, more or less. Reliable it wasn’t, but it was fun to drive. The gearbox was stiff until the oil warmed up, the radiator was leaky, the transmission was weak, and traction in winter was nil.
The father of a kid in my Boy Scout Troop way back in the day (early 90’s) had one of these, in a lovely metallic blue. Don’t know if the color was original but man it looked nice, and his son made sure to point out to everyone that the tii was the “best” model. I guess he wasn’t exaggerating! (as above, not counting the turbo.)
The same guy also had a Healey 3000 roadster, and his everyday driver was a recent (at the time, early 90’s) Maxima SE. A very nice selection of cars in that household!
Beautiful 2002, the round tailamp cars are my favorite. Too bad the car is full of bondo, sure looks great in the pictures. I believe 73 only had the front bumper extended a little more for bumper requirements, 5 mph for front and 2.5 in rear until 74 when 5mph was front and rear. As I recall the parts were different for the bumper brackets and some extra bracing. 74 had the big bumpers and shocks and the bigger rectangle shaped tail lamps.
In October 1975, I purchased a new white/navy blue 2002 (not a tii). It was a lot fun to drive, had excellent visibility all around, and had looks that could not be mistaken for anything else. Back then in Canada, there were not that many BMWs on the road, and they had not yet acquired their yuppie-mobile status. I remember 2002 owners flashing their headlights when meeting each other on the road.
It was not really that quick, the engine being strangled by emissions plumbing. It was a bit tricky to drive in the snow, and the heater/defroster was totally inadequate for our Canadian climate. As noted above by ‘Former BMW 2002ti Owner’, the transmission was very reluctant to shift into second when cold.
But reliable it was not. In the two years I had it, it needed both a transmission and an engine rebuild, and suffered a long list of niggling faults. I shudder to think what it would take to keep it going after 40 years!
At that time, resale values were particularly good, so I traded it in for a 1977 320i.
Here’s a picture of it, taken from the front steps of the family home, in the spring of 1976.
I actually prefer the big bumpers and square taillights! Maybe it was because I grew up seeing more of them but also they have a more solid look, and I can tell you from a practical standpoint that the big bumpers are much better for city parking, and the 74-76 plastic grill is easy to source and replace (apparently the chrome grill is both hard to find and install).
In 1998 I traded an old windsurfer for a 1974 2002, white over blue with steel wheels and the 4-speed manual, 250,000 miles with a rebuilt engine and rusty rocker panels. Loved it, but by the time I had body work and paint, installed two new tires, replaced the clutch and transmission and sourced and installed all the correct trim and the like, the car looked and drove wonderfully but I couldn’t afford to keep it and risk the rust breaking through the filler so I had to sell it! I got $4,750 for it, which I was quite pleased with in 1999 when $5,000 bought a nice 2002, and $10,000 bought a nearly perfect one.
But today they are just ridiculously expensive, can’t imagine spending $20,000 on a high volume 4-cylinder car, no matter how cool and fun to drive!
Beat me but I’d rather take the Jaguar in the back. My neighbour once had a 2002. Loud and noisy. On the other hand: I’m a passionate BMW driver but only 6cyl. Currently E60 530D with for about 300.000 km and still counting.
Thing is a 1973 Jag xj6 sedan weighs nearly 4,000 lbs, whereas the 2002 was just over 2000. A completely different type of car to drive.
the silver one in the background is one of the infamous XJ40s built from 1986 on … but you’re right: a completely different type car to drive. One could say: Eine andere Art der Fahrfreude 😉
Absolutely yes I saw that it was an xj40, was just trying to compare apples to apples as much as possible. The only thing jaguar sedans and bmw sedans have in common is a small back seat!;-)
ummm … YES ;). I’m amazed about how small X351 is.
That car was a gold 1994 XJ12. Buy it and you’ll be on a first-name basis with Nigel the Mechanic. 🙂