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BMW 2002: Buying guide and review (1966-1976)

BMW 2002: Buying guide and review (1966-1976) Classic and Performance Car
BMW 2002 tii front BMW 2002 tii side BMW 2002 tii rear BMW 2002 tii driving BMW 2002 tii touring BMW 1602 side BMW 2002 interior BMW 1602 cornering
BMW might build a lot of different cars today, but its success as the purveyor of compact sporting saloon cars can be traced directly back to the 2002 saloon. It was the success of this stylish and well-engineered saloon around the globe that helped to cement BMW’s reputation for quality, while the performance variants attracted those looking for a little fun.
 
Looking back, the success of the 02s is no great surprise – these are great-looking cars that are easy to look after but also a hoot to drive, thanks to torquey engines and safe but entertaining rear-wheel drive handling. They're not the bargain they once were, however you can still pick up a reasonably sound car (excluding the more special verstions) for relatively modest money. 
 

Which 2002 to buy?

 
It all started when BMW condensed the Neue Klasse's best attributes to a smaller, more affordable package. In 1966 the 1600-2 was launched: a two-door saloon, powered by a 96bhp version of the M10 engine from the 1600 saloon. 
 
BMW wanted to market the car in the US, but the sole engine choice was hampering sales, and the more powerful twin-carb 1600ti engine wasn't homologated for use Stateside. However, the 1991cc M10 engine from the 2000CS Coupe was, and inserting it into the smaller and lighter body spawned one of the greatest sporting saloons of the '60s: the 2002. This, coupled with the addition of the fuel-injected tii, took BMW to new heights, especially in the USA, where it was a huge success. 
 
At the top of the tree is the 2002 Turbo, one of the very first turbocharged performance cars. Featuring a large KKK turbocharger, power was increased by 40bhp over the tii, with wider wheels, brakes and arches to match. Although our guide focuses mainly on the naturally aspirated models, but the much of the information – especially rust spots – applies to the Turbo.

Touring versions added a touch more practicality, while the Baur convertibles offered open-air motoring. Both are rarer than the saloons today, and offer their own unique ownership challenges. There is a healthy following for both. 
 

Performance and specs


BMW 2002 (1968 model)
Engine  1991cc four-cylinder, SOHC, single Solex carburettor
Power 113bhp @5800rpm
Torque 116lb ft @ 3000rpm
Transmission Four-speed manual
0-60mph 11.3secs
Top speed 108mph  
Insurance group   -
Fuel consumption  25.4mpg
Price when new  £1597
 

Dimensions and weight


Wheelbase              2500mm
Length 4230mm
Width 1590mm
Height 1410mm
Weight 940kg
 

Common problems

 
We spoke with Barney Halse of East Sussex-based BMW specialist Classic Heroes to find out about the 2002’s weak points:
 
• As with most cars of this age, corrosion is the biggest killer. Most panels are readily available, but it could be prohibitively expensive to buy a car with a rusty shell and restore it with all new panels. 

• Low values in the '80s and '90s means lot of older restorations will have been done on the cheap, using non-original parts and patching up corrosion instead of repairing it properly. A lot of these cars are on the market now, and even though they might look shiny on top, they can hide all sorts underneath.

• The main hot-spots are the rear spring boxes on the inner wheelarch housings, outer arches into the rear sill areas, inner and outer sills (especially around the four jacking points), front inner wings, the lower outer and inner front panels, front floors, lower A-post areas, inner front wing box sections and boot floors. 

• The Touring is slightly more complicated, although most of the metalwork can be repaired using saloon parts. It’s important that you check the condition of the tailgate, though. If it has rusted badly, it could be extremely hard to repair and it's almost Impossible to replace. 

• With regular oil changes and maintenance, the M10 engine is good for over 100,000 miles between rebuilds. If the engine hasn't been rebuilt by now, it will definitely need a thorough going over. 

• A small amount of oil burning is normal but any blue smoke from the exhaust indicates worn valve stem seals, or even worn cylinder bores.

• When the oil has warmed through, hold the car at about 4000rpm for a short distance, back of the throttle, and check your mirror for signs of smoke.

• Be wary of any car that appears to have cooling issues, as the aluminium cylinder head can warp and crack if it overheats. 

• Both manual and auto gearboxes are strong, and should outlast the engine if they have been serviced correctly, though the manual’s synchromesh can wear out, causing a crunch into second and third gear on downshifts. 

• A floppy gearlever can usually be rectified with a couple of new bushes, costing around £30. 

• A limited-slip differential and five-speed close-ratio gearbox are rare and desirable options, although later five-speed gearboxes from other models are regularly swapped in for extra drivability. 

• For ease of servicing and reliability, the carburettor car is the one to go for – tii’s complex Kugelfischer fuel injection warrants specialist servicing, though is a wonderful car when it is set-up correctly – and is certainly worth the extra effort if you can. 

• There’s great parts support for the '02, from BMW Classic in Germany, and companies such as Jaymic in the UK, 2002 specialists for over 20 years. 
 

Model history

 
1966: 1600-2 introduced in Europe (name soon changed to 1602)
1968: 2002 (carburettor) launched with 113bhp, first in the USA then the rest of the world. Twin-carburettor 2002ti (with 120bhp) introduced into Continental Europe later that year
1969: 130bhp 2002tii introduced, featuring Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection
1971: Range-wide minor mid-life facelift with new indicators, bumpers and side rubbing strips. Europe-only1.8-litre 1802 debuts, straddling the gap between 1.6- and 2.0-litre. Michelotti-styled Touring three-door hatchback launched, as a 1602, 1802, 2002 and tii
1973: Another facelift, this time changing to square tail-lights and black plastic front grille strips. 2002 Turbo is unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s produced for just ten months, until being killed off by the global fuel crisis  
1974: Simplified base-spec 75bhp 1502 launched in Europe as an economy model
1976: Production of all models (except the 1502, which went on to 1977) ends.
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
• www.classicheroes.co.uk
• www.jaymic.com
• www.02forum.co.uk
 

Summary and prices

 
As long as the shell is solid and the engine pulls well, you can enjoy an ’02 on a modest budget. It’s more important to buy on condition than on model, although our favourite all-rounder is the tii – the injection gives it a stronger pull that you’ll really appreciate on the road.
 
Values for the regular saloons are generally affordable, with a great saloon commanding around £13,000. Perfect restored examples or very low-mileage cars could command significantly more. Pay between £6000-£9000 for a decent runner, with £2000 the starting price for a restoration project. The Touring has always been the value option, with the best coming in at around £7500. 
 
If you’re thinking of going for one of the Baur convertible models, the good news is that these no longer carry a huge premium over the saloons. Around £15,000 should get you a very good example, although something perfect will likely cost more. Budget £7000-12,5000 for a good running example, with projects starting from about £3500. 
 
Things get considerably more expensive when you start looking at the 2002tii models. These start from around £9000, with usable examples sitting between £15,000-£23,000. The best command upwards of £30,000. 
 
Turbos are on a different planet to the rest of the range. Event projects start from the £30k mark, with usable cars starting at £50k. Good cars go for around £80,000, although the best cars sell for upwards of £105,000.
BMW 2002 tii front BMW 2002 tii side BMW 2002 tii rear BMW 2002 tii driving BMW 2002 tii touring BMW 1602 side BMW 2002 interior BMW 1602 cornering
Last updated: 4th Sep 2017
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BMW 2002
7500 49999 GBP
  • BMW 2002 Turbo

    POA POA

    BMW 2002 Turbo Detailed write up to follow. Viewing is highly recommended - although strictly by appointment only. To find out any further information, or to arrange to come and view the car, please contact a member of the sales team on 01825 740456. Factory Equipment: Additional Equipment:

    • Year: 1974
    • Mileage: 135000 mi
    For sale
    POA POA
    Munich Legends
    01825 740 456 View contact number
  • 1976 BMW 2002

    $12,750(£0) $12,750(£0)

    1976 BMW 2002 This 1976 BMW 2002 is shown here in light blue with navy blue interior. It comes equipped with a manual transmission, sunroof and includes the spare tire. Very presentable. Excellent original California car. Mechanically sound. For $12,750 If you have any additional questions Please call 310-975-0272 or email with any questions! We also welcome all international buyers. We can help with shipping quotes and arrangements.

    • Year: 1976
    For sale
    $12,750(£0) $12,750(£0)
  • BMW 2002 1974

    €19,950(£0) €19,950(£0)

    BMW 2002 1974 Chamonix Weiss in very good condition This is a 1974 BMW 2002 in the original and popular couleur Chamonix Weiss with blue leatherette interior and beautiful alloy wheels. Both the interior and exterior are in very beautiful condition. The car has the original matching numbers engine and automatic gearbox.

    • Year: 1974
    For sale
    €19,950(£0) €19,950(£0)
  • BMW 2002 2,0 tii

    €43,300(£0) €43,300(£0)

    BMW 2002 2,0 tii Equipment: Total restaureret Top Stand Dette unikke eksemplar skal ses Original Soltag Ring for info

    • Year: 1973
    For sale
    €43,300(£0) €43,300(£0)
  • 1974 BMW 2002 Tii

    POA POA

    The BMW 3-series model line consists of some of the most magnificent sports cars to ever hit the showroom floor and are among the most well balanced cars money can buy. These cars always maintained the quality of the driving experience as a priority all while making the design practical enough for day to day use. The root of the 3-series can be traced back to the 1960’s when BMW was having quite a bit of financial difficulty as a result of low sales in the U.S. market in addition to still feeling the after effects of WWII. BMW was trying to insert their affordable sedans onto American buyers but there was not much room with thousands of Mustangs and Camaros parked in people’s garages. No one really wanted a 4-door family saloon with a German badge when they could have an American made sports coupe with a powerful V8 at their disposal. BMW realized this and wondered, well, what if we make a car with less doors and more power? So, that is exactly what they did. In 1968, BMW debuted the 2002 which used a 2-door platform but maintained enough room in the cabin for 4 passengers. This design was revolutionary for BMW had essentially created the first sports sedan. A sports car with enoug

    • Year: 1974
    For sale
    POA POA
  • 1975 BMW 2002

    $7,500(£0) $7,500(£0)

    1975 BMW 2002 The featured 1975 BMW 2002 is available in burgundy with tan interior and comes equipped with a manual transmission, dual carburetors, BBS wheels and includes the jack and spare. Excellent original car. Lots of potential. These cars are becoming more and more collectible and rising in value. Just came out of storage. For $7,500 If you have any additional questions Please call 310-975-0272 or email with any questions! We also welcome all international buyers. We can help with shipping quotes and arrangements.

    • Year: 1975
    For sale
    $7,500(£0) $7,500(£0)
  • BMW 2002

    £49,999 £49,999

    A full bare metal nut and bolt restoration has just been completed and the car has traveled only a small distance since completion. The car has retained most of its original components and was built single handily by a BMW specialist and enthusiast. Finished to a high standard. Time has been spent to achieve better than new panel fitment. Special attention payed to door fitment and shut gaps. All of the bright work has been replaced with new items from BMW, new lights, lenses and badges. The interior has had new carpets fitted and a new headlining supplied by BMW. The seats have been re trimmed to match original specifications with the centers in alcantara. There are no cracks in the dashboard. The only fault is the door cards . The vinyl is all in perfect condition but has some tarnishing to the chrome parts. This is a common fault and i have tried to find better examples to replace them but cannot. Perhaps BMW will re manufacture these eventually. Overall its a very tidy interior and is a nice place to be. This is the cars original engine and is in fantastic condition with no problems as to be expected from these M10 units. Notoriously 'bullet proof' and in production in one form or another until fairly recently, don't expect to have any problems with it. For restoration the engine was simply removed, cleaned and re installed into the car. No work has been carried out on it other than a service and valve adjustment. This engine still has its original factory gaskets and seals and does not leak or burn any oil. The original four speed gearbox fitted to the car. It was removed, checked and re installed with a new clutch and fluids. Very smooth and positive gear changes The original wiring loom is present with no problems. It was tested and bound in new cloth braiding before installation. All of the running gear on this car is original. It was removed, checked and re installed. The front lower ball joints and track rods are the original factory fitted items, even the gators on the drive shafts are original and holing new grease inside. Everything has all been prepared and painted with Trimite stove enamel to protect and keep it in good order and was colour matched to the factory specifications. Four new tyres are fitted and look the part being replicas of the original type used in the 70's. Dunlop SP. The spare wheel in the boot has its original tyre still fitted dated 1971

    • Mileage: 66836 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    £49,999 £49,999
    Graham Crompton
    Graham Crompton
  • BMW 2002 Alpina Look '74

    €36,950(£0) €36,950(£0)

    Lowered price from €39.950 -> €36.950 Specifications >>>>> Oldtimerfarm specializes in consignment sales of vintage and collection cars and we are proud to present you this car. Oldtimerfarm is located in Belgium, 9880 Aalter, Steenweg op Deinze 51C, where this car is in our showroom. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday 10-17h (also without appointment). We are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Mondays on appointment only. Make sure you scroll down to look at the extensive photo report (100 pictures). Of course, a more detailed description can be obtained by telephone. Contact us: Xavier: 0032 472 40 1338 (NL, FR, DE, EN, IT) info@oldtimerfarm.be Olivier: 0032 473 11 7300 (NL, FR, DE, EN) olivier@oldtimerfarm.be Oldtimerfarm from Aalter would also like to sell your classic car or car collection. For more information, please contact Xavier. Exhibitions where you can find us: Pictures of the car:

    • Year: 1974
    For sale
    €36,950(£0) €36,950(£0)