I hadn’t prowled for CCs in a little while, and I felt that this day might be a good one, so I went far. The hunch paid off – even more than I bargained for. I’ve been having a few of these multiple encounters lately, but seeing two BMW 2002s in under an hour was pretty unexpected. Normally, it’s something more JDM, like triplets of AE86s or a sequence of Skylines. No, today was going to be blue and white and Corvair-esque all over, albeit with a twist.
I found the later car first. And boy, that one was not about to hit the road. This late-model 2002 Automatic obviously met with something that fundamentally disagreed with its weltanschauung. I saw it and winced. I’m sure a few of you are wincing now seeing this, too.
It was a sad sight, but I had caught it right next to a specialist repair shop, so this poor BMW is going to get the attention it deserves quite soon.
Because of the close proximity to that workshop, which was open, busy and guarded by a very vocal Doberman, I did not take all that many photos. But I snagged enough images to get a sense of how badly battered this beautiful Bimmer was.
I wonder how the impact affected the lovely 1990cc engine this car is renowned for. Looks like the shock of the accident turned it into a dual carb version! Strange, as the Automatic was supposed to be the peaceful one of the bunch. But then the twin tailpipes should have clued me in.
They sold about 36,000 of these 3-speed autos between 1969 and 1975, though this one is obviously a late model with the (ugly) square rear taillights. That means about 10% of all 2002s were automatics.
Not half an hour later, in front of a factory, I bumped into this lovely 2002 Ti, made sometime between 1968 and 1972. Now this one should have a twin-carb set-up from the factory and a higher compression engine providing 118hp, whereas the Automatic should only have 99hp to play with.
This one was obviously in much better nick, but there was one niggle: because they are shaped with such a prominent brow ridge above the headlights, without a front bumper, I find these cars have a very unbalanced esthetic. Maybe they just took it off to mend or re-chrome it. Bumpers gonna bump.
Looks like Japanese BMW 2002 owners agree that the best steering wheel for the job is a Momo-like item. Given how thoroughly uninspiring the stock wheel is, one cannot really fault that logic.
Unfortunately, I was prevented from documenting this car further by two guys on a smoke break who were wondering what I was doing there. They weren’t aggressive about it of anything – I was admittedly quite far away from home base, out in Saitama prefecture, and checking where I was on one phone while taking photos with the other. They told me how to return to Tokyo and told me I was at least an hour away (I was on a bike).
It took me closer to 40 minutes to get back, but I did have to cross three rivers to get there. So it’s a good thing I found these 2002s when I did, because I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go back in that area again soon. The weather is already turning muggy and will get torrid and rainy soon – in my corner of the world, the best days for CC hunting are behind us for 2021 already. Here’s hoping there will be many an exception to this rule, and that the owner of that white 2002 was insured and unhurt.
Curbside Classic: 1973 BMW 2002tii – In Need Of Rescue, by Perry Shoar
CC For Sale: 1973 BMW 2002 tii – Beautiful, But Beware!, by Tom Klockau
Curbside Outtake: 1972 BMW 2002 – A Study in Grüne, by Ed Stembridge
Curbside Outtake: 1971-73 BMW 2002 tii – These Happy Golden Years, by Ed Stembridge
COAL: 1974 BMW 2002 – Rust-Bucket Resurrected, by Matt Spencer