Suppose you’re looking for a classic BMW for less money than you’d pay for yesterday’s non-running version of one of Alfa’s least-desirable North American models (which conveniently leaves out the Arna and Dauphine). Normally, your average car person would say “poppycock!” and move along to something more worthy of their attention, but in this case, it’s not crazy talk. You can pick up this 1976 BMW 2002 for $3000 in Portland, OR.
Aside from the big bumpers, which might diminish its general appeal, it’s hard to see why this car has had to suffer through at least one price drop – only $100, but a price drop nonetheless. The photos don’t show much detail in the critical lower-body areas, and the seller concedes there is rust in the usual places – hopefully rockers and not shock towers or but what you can see doesn’t give any indication that this is a rustbucket. For your money, you get maintenance records, a 1971 M10 engine with 40-60,000 miles running a Weber carburetor, Tii exhaust manifold and a K&N air filter for that nice sucking noise when you put your foot down. As you can see, the driver’s door trim is missing, and this appears to be a sunroof car in Malaga red.
The chassis features fully functional electrics, upgraded anti-roll bars, and new brake pads, discs, and calipers. There’s also a new clutch, flywheel and pressure plate, exhaust, and a universal flex disc – that last one is a little worrying as it suggests it may not be meant specifically for BMWs. There’s also a recent stereo and speakers, along with fresh fluids. On the downside, there’s the aforementioned rust and a bypassed heater. Perhaps the seller can give detail on what failed, since a heater valve is easy and not too expensive to repair, while the heater box can be the opposite.
What is visible of the interior looks pretty decent, but was it too hard to open the door? Mixed cloth/vinyl seating is probably not original, but looks decent here and is nice in high/low temperatures. The dash does show some cracking, the 320is wheel is a nice touch, and the cigarette packs suggest you’ll need at least a year’s subscription to the air-freshener-of-the-month club. For a car you want to drive regularly, the practicality of the giant bumpers is hard to beat, and the 1976 car had some refinements the earlier models did not. For a usable car, it’s hard to see why this one has lingered on the market, so if you’re interested, don’t hesitate – there are plenty of 02s out there, but the good ones go quickly.