In June 1973, my parents bought a BMW 2002 so Mom could have a reliable car for her daily commute. Over the years, including after retirement, she put nearly 140,000 miles on it. In 1997, when she decided she should no longer drive, I inherited the car.
It’s great fun to drive, and I put more than 25,000 miles on it before deciding to undertake restoration. Critical problems included rust in various places; uneven compression in the motor; a badly pitted windshield; and, suspension issues. Between 2003 and 2010, I managed to address all of the critical issues as well as make several period-correct modifications. The engine was rebuilt with a 292 cam and Weber carb, the front brakes were upgraded, the rust was eliminated, and a five-speed overdrive transmission was added. In addition, because the original Fjord Blue color was so common, I selected Turkis for the re-paint job because there were so few originally sold in that color.
Since 2010, I’ve driven another 13,000 miles in the ‘02 (with plans for major road trips in 2016 and 2017). The car has been exhibited at the Salisbury Show in Des Moines and at the BMW vintage show in Saratoga Springs. It never ceases to amaze me as people wave when I drive by, or give me a thumbs-up on the freeway. I’ve even found notes left under a wiper when the car has been parked somewhere offering to buy the car or telling me of the writer’s wonderful memories of a special 2002. Life is great when you drive a classic.