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1972 BMW 2002

1972 BMW 2002

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Details

Price: SOLD | Visit the Bring a Trailer Auction

Mileage: 98,106 Indicated Miles (Total Mileage Unknown)

Engine: Hot Rod E21 M10 2-Liter 4-Cylinder Metric Mechanic Engine

Transmission: 4-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Nevada Green Exterior (001)

Interior: Tobacco Brown Interior

Additional features:

High Compression Pistons

High Performance Camshaft

Weber 32/38 Carburetor w/Automatic Choke

Hi-Flow Headers

Ireland Engineering Stainless Steel Exhaust

Crane Electronic Ignition

Ireland Engineering Spark Plug Wires

Bosch Red Coil

Ireland Engineering Aluminum Radiator w/ Electric Fan

Airtech Performance Fuel Pump

Front and Rear Strut Braces

H&R Sport Springs

Koni Yellow Sport Shocks

Ireland Engineering Urethane Sway Bar End Links

Ireland Engineering Urethane Front Control Arm Bushings

Stainless Steel Brake Lines

Sunroof (rebuilt and fully functional)

Momo Prototipo Steering Wheel (original steering wheel included)

Pioneer Stereo w/ Bluetooth

Cibie H4 Glass Headlights

Front and Rear Side Marker Delete

Coco Floor Mats

Classic Auto LED Taillights

Fire Extinguisher

Complete Mechanical and Cosmetic Restoration

13-Inch Steelie Wheels w/ Hubcaps

175/70R13 Cooper Lifeliner GLS Tires

California / Colorado Car

Extensive Build / Restoration Detailed Below

Background

1972 BMW 2002 exterior photo

The BMW 02 Series sedans were defining models for BMW. Smaller and lighter than the Neue Klasse sedans they were derived from, the 02 cemented its own legacy and set the stage for the legendary BMW 3 Series that followed. It was the lens through which a generation of Americans discovered BMW and passed down that enthusiasm to their children. Its simple, sporty three-box design has aged into an iconic form that is recognized far beyond the vestiges of the BMW enthusiast. The best 02 Series was the 2002, powered by the 2-liter version of the 4-cylinder M10 engine. That engine was mated to a chassis, suspension, and brakes that were unapologetically driver focused, yet all in a comfortable two-door sedan that you could drive you mother to church in. Rust, neglect, and age have taken their toll, but a loyal and fanatical following have ensured that a healthy population of 2002s remains compared to other cars of the period—a testament to how good the 2002 is. As time continues to march forward the 2002 has enjoyed notable appreciation, with sorted “roundie” taillight examples fetching the highest premiums.

Summary

 exterior photo

This 1972 “roundie” 2002 is shod in the very rare Nevada Green over a Tobacco Brown interior. Nevada Green has the distinct spot of being 001 in BMW color code numerals. The light olive hue is the defining element of this 2002, and it is complemented fantastically by the early 2002 Tobacco Brown interior—but it doesn’t stop there. The original engine was replaced with a rebuilt Metric Mechanic E21 M10 featuring surface turbulence cylinder head and valves, high compression pistons and a high performance camshaft mated to the original 4-speed transmission. The M10 breathes through a Weber 32/38 carburetor featuring automatic choke. It exhales through high-flow headers and an Ireland Engineering stainless steel exhaust. Spark comes from a Crane electronic ignition system and Ireland Engineering wires, while fuel is delivered from an Airtech Performance fuel pump. Cooling is accomplished through an Ireland Engineering aluminum radiator and electronic cooling fan. The suspension consists of H&R Sport Springs, Koni Yellow shocks, and Ireland Engineering urethane sway bar end links and front control arm bushings. The exterior was refinished in Nevada Green with the US marker lights deleted, upgraded Cibie H4 headlights, and Classic Auto LEDs in the OEM taillights—an added safety benefit in the distracted-driving modern world. Inside, the front seats have been reupholstered along with a Momo Prototipo small-diameter steering wheel (the original steering wheel is included), modern pioneer head unit with Bluetooth, replacement headliner, replacement carpet, and Coco floor mats.

The records and documentation show that it was originally a California car, and remained in California before coming to Colorado in 2016 with what is reportedly the fourth owner. The original owners’ handbook is included, and it shows frequent and regular services through the mid-1980s. It was sold by the original owner in the 1990s, then upgraded to its current state by the second and third owners after the original M10 engine seized. The fourth owner, who I purchased it from, is a classic BMW enthusiast who also owns an S38-swapped E28 535i and an E34 540i M Sport. He brought the 2002 to Colorado in 2016 where he continued the excellent stewardship of the previous owners, enjoying it on fair weather days. It had developed some typical 2002 / M10 oil leaks and he agreed to sell it to me with the knowledge that we would bring it back to top-notch mechanical condition.

In preparation for sale we did just that by turning it over to 2002 specialist Mark Hutto, who gave it a complete round of mechanical restoration. The work included removing and steam cleaning the cylinder head, along with inspecting all internal components. An E21 oil pan was replaced with the correct 2002 oil pan and 2002 oil pick up. The engine was resealed with a fresh head gasket, distributor housing gasket, valve cover gasket, lower timing cover gasket, front crankshaft seal, water pump gasket, and oil pan gasket. This was followed by repairing the distributor housing oil sending unit, adjusting the valves, setting the spark plug gap, and setting the ignition timing and carburetor idle mixture. A Bosch red ignition coil and fresh distributor cap were installed along with a round of engine compartment wiring and plumbing housekeeping (Mark is fastidious to a fault in his engine compartment organization). The fuel pump was relocated to the exterior of the trunk, along with the fuel tank vent. The clutch master cylinder was replaced and the system bled. The transmission was resealed with fresh output shaft and shift selector seals, along with a replacement driveshaft and flex disc. The shifter was rebuilt with a fresh shift tower brace, fresh bushings, and the tunnel foam seal. The heater box was completely rebuilt including a replacement Bosch fan motor. The radiator was replaced with an Ireland Engineering aluminum radiator, and the gas tank was steam cleaned, resealed, and pressure tested. The speedometer cable was replaced. We installed fresh Koni Yellow Sport shocks and H&R Sport springs, and gave it a fresh front-end alignment.

The end result is a meticulously sorted hot-rod 2002 in a rare color combo with tasteful upgrades. It receives compliments and attention on every drive and is equally at home on display at the local Cars and Coffee as it is ripping up some of Colorado’s finest canyon roads—and believe me it rips. Yet, it presents like a stock 2002 with subtle enhancements. Overall it is in excellent condition, but is just imperfect enough to use and enjoy—as every 2002 should be! We would like to find a new owner, who will continue this car’s unique legacy for the next chapter of its story, and enjoy it for years to come.

Exterior

1972 BMW 2002 exterior photo

The Nevada Green paint is in excellent condition. It was re-painted by the previous owner and was done to exacting standards. There are no glaring defects, even close examination reveals only minor imperfections. There are a few very light swirl marks and some very minor chips and pits on the leading edges. There are no significant rust areas, the only areas of note being typical superficial rust around a previous rust repair in the spare tire well, superficial browning along the lower door seams, and ?????? All trim is intact and in good condition; it is original, but matches the overall patina of the car well. The headlight, indicator, and brake light lenses are clear and crack-free with the exception of light spider cracks in the right front marker lens. There is no indication there are LED lights in the taillights until the brakes or turn signals are activated. The windshield is crack-free, but it does have minor pitting. The side window and rear glass are in good shape. The windshield wiper arms and inserts are in good condition; the speed fairing on the driver’s side wiper is present. The 13-inch steel wheels are in excellent shape; the chrome hubcaps have some imperfections, the worst being a scratch on the right front hubcap. They are wearing new Roundel emblems that we replaced. The Cooper Lifeliner GLS tires have over 60% tread remaining.

Interior

 interior photo

The Tobacco interior is in excellent shape. Open the door and you greeted by the perfect 2002 smell—classic vinyl with a hint of gasoline. There are no odors—other than that wonderful 2002 smell—and it has never been smoked in. The carpet has no stains or tears and was replaced by a previous owner. The front seats are in very good shape, thanks to being recovered. The fore / aft and forward folding work correctly, however the recline function can be finicky on the passenger side seat. The driver’s side recline knob is missing. The passenger recline function is finicky. The door cards are in good shape, but there are small imperfections in the trim and door card material. The “scissor” door handles are quintessentially classic BMW. The manual windows operate smoothly and quietly. We replaced the door seals. The dashboard is clean, with one large crack where the instrument cluster meets the dashboard and another small crack in the front of the parcel tray. The 3-spoke Prototipo steering wheel is perfect, thanks to being recently added; it is finished in Heritage leather that looks period correct. The original steering wheel is included with the sale and is also in good shape, but it does have several cracks in the spokes. All instruments function properly, except the turn signal indication in the cluster only flashes once (the signal works correctly on the outside). The stereo works perfectly. The heat blows warm and all controls function correctly. The blower motor is quiet thanks to being recently replaced. The trunk flooring panels are present, as is the spare tire and jack underneath. Only one key is included with the car, but they are easy to duplicate.

Mechanical

 engine photo

The M10 fires on command on cold or hot starts. It idles smoothly and pulls strongly to redline. The Weber 32/38 carburetor is jetted for Colorado altitudes and has an automatic choke. The high-compression pistons and high performance camshaft add considerable punch—especially in the higher rev range. It does not leak, does not run hot and the electronic ignition does not need the periodic adjustments that the original mechanical ignition did. The transmission shifts perfectly smooth and the shifter bushings are crisp and tight. The clutch take-up is correct and it does not slip. The steering had the typical feel of a 2002 steering box, but it does not have excessive play or an excessive dead spot. The suspension is firm and compliant and the brakes are strong with plenty of pad thickness and rotor run-out remaining. There are no excessive driveline or wheel bearing noises or vibrations. The Ireland Engineering exhaust has a mildly aggressive note, but is perfectly civilized with no drone. As it sits, this is a turn-key 2002 ready to be enjoyed by its new owner. None of us would hesitate for a moment to drive it across country.

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