1972 BMW 2002tii
After the Lancia Beta sedan, I wanted to go for something a bit more mainstream, and where I might get some of my money back (yeah, I know). With a 2-month-old in the house, I also wanted something that was not a total project. Of course, getting there required test drives of things like a project Jensen Interceptor with sketchy brakes that ran out of fuel on the test drive. Must get something with V8 power in the future. Narrowing things down, I got to a BMW 2002 listed at about $4500, needing some work to bring it back from a period of limited use. It was a small-bumper car, very original, a little rough around the edges, but what killed it for me was the flesh-toned Manila Beige color.
So it was back to the drawing board, or actually craigslist, where I found a 1972 2002 tii out in Lodi, CA. Originally Granada or Verona red, it had been thoroughly redone in black several years ago, and wears a set of period Cosmic wheels (more commonly seen on early 70s Lotuses, Fords, Minis, etc.). What’s more is, the car was originally delivered in Düsseldorf, and still has its flush turn signals and metric gauges. It did also have a rebuilt engine with 1600 miles on it and a lot of other recent drivetrain, brake and suspension work. So as much as I like my cars visually as they came from the factory, I fell for this one. My wife and I had a quick business discussion and agreed to go see it. Two weeks later (thanks to bank hours on weekends), we drove home in it.
Here is is on the 2013 Snowball Rally:
Since buying it, I’ve done very little work to the car. It needed a couple of things:
- Brakes pulling to the left. Hot off the presses, the latest diagnosis after repeated adjustment is that the e-brake cable is rusty, sticking, and needs replacement.
- Cold start injector fix – apparently the wire to the injector needed repair.
- Stereo dead. Replace with new unit, and eliminate the ridiculous 10″ sub and massive amp.
- Grinding starter. Turns out the ring gear is a wear item – who knew, I’ve never encountered this on an Alfa – and so I had it replaced.
It still needs the following:
- Replace the seat recline knobs. Who knows why, but some previous owner saw fit to remove these and not replace them.
- Heater and fan not functional. I have no idea what the state of the system is, but part of this job will be replacing the a/c console with a standard console since the previous owner had the a/c removed.
- Minor rust spots (see, it still kinda fits in here!!). Take it in to the body shop for some localized fixes.
- Upholstery seams splitting (see above about fitting in). Reupholster with original-pattern seats.
- Some kind of upgrade to make up for the tiny rear brake lights. Some kind of a period-correct rear fog light wired into the brake light circuit will probably do the trick.
There are a couple of other minor needs, but overall it’s a good driver. It’s been on several day rallies, and sadly I’ve been neglecting the Alfas for the last few months in favor of getting to know the new “girlfriend” and working out the bugs. Most recently it did a 600-mile overnight rally through the Sierra Nevada and even a small local show two weekends later.