BMW’s 2002 is certainly a cult favorite, right up there with the VW Beetle, Volvo 122, and more in terms of its recognition among classic car enthusiasts. While it’s not the lowest-maintenance classic you can get, its issues are well-documented, and you could fairly say it’s a good starter classic for someone who would consider one of the above cars, or something in the same price bracket, like an MGB or Triumph TR6. While the engine isn’t quite as thrilling as some of its contemporaries, it’s certainly a fun car to drive with decent power and safe handling. So it’s surprising to see one linger on the market, especially when the price is on the fair side – check out this 1975 BMW 2002 for sale for $4000 in McMinnville, OR.
If memory serves, some of the reason for this car’s lengthy presence in the online listings might be due to price. Beyond the big bumpers, which are actually quite practical for a driver, the beltline trim has been removed at some point. Red paint is also faded and peeling, and the wheels look like they would go better on a 1980s rally car. Curiously, it’s listed as a 1972 car when the square tail lights and big bumpers suggest it’s a 1974 – 1976 model, so the 1975 model year above is just a guess.
All that said, this car certainly has some strong points – it was a trouble-free daily driver for the seller at some point, has new tires, and a recent oil change. Color appears to be the original Verona red, or a very thorough color change, as the under hood shot shows red as well. All the other trim looks in good shape, and the front bumper has been tucked in for a cleaner look.
The engine shot is consistent with that of a clean driver, and there are some upgrades visible including electronic ignition, silicone cooling hoses, probable de-smogging, and if you’re lucky, a Weber carburetor hiding under that unsightly K&N air filter. The car is said to be for sale due to lack of space – this reason for sale is never particularly helpful when trying to assess the condition of a car, as lack of space could mean anything from “I don’t want to waste any space on this piece of junk” to “My mom just bought a new Prius and wants the garage back”.
Another strength of this car, and what makes it good for daily driver work, is the condition of the interior. Pictures show a nice Nardi wood-rim steering wheel, dash in pretty good shape, and seats with basket-weave upholstery that is only starting to fail on the driver’s side. Of course, there are no under-body shots, so perhaps it’s lingering due to shock tower or rear trailing arm mounting point rust. But if it’s as solid as the pictures suggest, this is a pretty fair deal in today’s market – if you’ve seen it, or own it, post back with the true story!