Safe Bet – 1973 BMW 2002 (and bonus 1972 2002!)

While rare old crocks are what really make us wobbly in the knees, obscure versions of common cars, or even common versions of popular old cars, can also be fun in their own way. Back when cars were still more maintenance-intensive, people still appreciated reliability, hard as that may be to believe, and the cars that were relatively reliable back then make great driver classics. If you can strike that fine balance and exercise them just enough to stay reliable, but not so much as to induce daily-driver levels of wear and tear, you’ll have many easy years ahead of you. And you can increase the likelihood of that working out by doing some preemptive maintenance, which is probably what today’s cars will need. We have a pair of BMW 2002s, starting with this 1973 BMW 2002 for sale for $3200 in San Rafael, CA.

1972 BMW 2002 right front

One nice picture of this car, but it’s not really enough to understand its current condition. Things worth banking on at this price level are oxidation in the paint, some minor dings, worn interior, and more rust than you can see here, but hopefully nothing outside of what’s typical in a car this age that’s spent its life in California. The car is said to be running but needing upgrades – in this context, an upgrade must really mean a repair. With any luck, what we’re looking at here is a well-loved old car that is needing a light rolling restoration. However, if that’s too easy for you, or you’d really like a box that looks a little less like a Chamonix white refrigerator, check out this 1972 BMW 2002 for sale for !!!$3500!! (seller’s punctuation, it must be a great price!) in Novato, CA.

1973 BMW 2002 right side

In the more popular Colorado orange color, this car is said to have been recently extricated from a long rest in a barn. It is said to run well, although the seller glosses over some other details (and says the paint is good), so you’ll probably want to take some of the hyperbole (and exclamation points) with a grain of salt. The modifications (Recaro-style driver’s seat, mesh wheels, and steering wheel) suggest it was last cared for back in the 1980s. Is the front bumper included with the car?

1972 BMW 2002 left rear

Looks like a towing company is selling it, so you might want to ask some questions about how they acquired it, and whether there are any liens on the car. This is likely an original California car, with a blue license plate and not much visible rust in these low-resolution pictures. However, the dents on the passenger side mean you’ll need to at least have the paintless dent guy come out. Who knows, that and a wet sand might do the trick. Dangling trunk seal looks as goofy as toilet paper stuck to your shoe, and will allow exhaust into the car.

1972 BMW 2002 interior

Interior is definitely rough – having that Recaro redone in some nice matching pattern vinyl would be cool. If you’re lucky, a good cleaning of the rest of the interior will get you by, although you’ll want to replace that nasty old steering wheel with something nicer. Some of the side trim is visible on the passenger seat, there’s a newish stereo that implies more recent use, and the dash looks complete and not too horrible. Is that rust or just dirt in the driver’s door jamb? Maybe this thing is not as bad as it looks – if you’re in the market, these two cars are definitely worth a call.


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