In spite of the fact it was not the first of its type, if you ask many car enthusiasts of a certain age what the first sports sedan was, they will say “BMW 2002”. Accuracy aside, BMW certainly pulled off something pretty amazing in marketing a mid-range sedan with an upsized engine as something sporty, and convincing a significant part of the population that it was their idea. Of course, as their numbers have dwindled, nostalgic car enthusiasts who miss quaint things like hearing a real engine, shifting their own gears, and rolling their own windows are coming back looking for the remaining 2002s. So it’s nice to find a decent-looking example which just barely squeezes under the self-imposed ceiling of $4000 – check out this 1973 BMW 2002 for sale for $3900 in Portland, OR.
Malaga red is a smart color for this car – while the safety colors of the 1970s are pretty cool on small cars, the dark colors do a good job of making the stainless trim and body creases stand out. Fortunately, they also hide the rust, as this car is said to have some. Under single ownership since 1985 (fancy keeping a 2003 BMW 330i until 2045!), it is said to have good paint but some rust, though the seller does not explain how far it goes. One blurry shock tower picture does appear to show some rust there, so you’ll want to inquire for more detail. Door and sunroof gaskets have recently been replaced to make the car weather safe.
There are the iconic round tail lights, seemingly copied from any number of 1960s Fords. Said to have been garaged for most of its time with the seller, there’s no mention of a repaint, but the paint looks too good to have gone without it. The rear bumper looks a little off-kilter, and you’ll notice later (square tail light) style wheels, steering wheel, and also sheepskin seat covers.
Credit goes to the seller for being honest about the condition of the seats – most would have just left the covers on and said nothing. The rest of the interior looks like it might be a little rough, too – the black outer coating is peeling off some of the dash, and there’s what looks to be an aftermarket air conditioning center console. The seller does mention the need for replacement of the upper engine gaskets, but the only other detail given on condition is of replacement tires from Costco. That said, this looks to be a straight car in decent condition for a fair price – if you’re in the market, this one’s definitely worth a look.