By on March 20, 2013


For some reason, BMW 2002s are easier to find in self-service wrecking yards (in Colorado and California, anyway) than are 320is. Most of the Crusher-bound 2002s I see are pretty well picked over— probably before they ever got to the junkyard— and so I don’t photograph them. However, a round-taillight 2002 with automatic transmission is something you don’t see every day.
I spotted another ’73 2002 with slushbox at this very same yard, about a year ago; that one was more complete than today’s junkyard find, but there’s a certain “abandoned project car” similarity to them.
It makes me sad when I see an old car with the instrument cluster totally destroyed by a junkyard customer, all the parts scattered around the car’s interior and nothing purchased.
Automatic transmission and air conditioning! This unit has an aftermarket or dealer-installed look about it.
Not much of this engine is left. Still, there are some usable parts remaining on this car.

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55 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1973 BMW 2002...”


  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    You won’t find these in wrecking yards in the midwest because they have all long since rusted away. I briefly considered getting a good example to use as a fun commuter car year round but was told that it would rust away if driven during road salt season. Oh well. I still want an orange one….someday.

    • 0 avatar
      dswilly

      How about a Mint Green one?

      http://s1183.photobucket.com/albums/x461/dswilly/

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      I learned the same thing. I was told I could buy the best example in FLA or CA, bring it home to New England, and five years later it would have the same rust as if it was always been in the rust belt. At the time, a fine 2002 manual car could be bought for the price of a fine E30 iS, but you could never use it year round in the rust belt without paying for it years later. If there is a good side, I was able to order from BMWUSA a new trunk floor for a friend for a 2002 about four years ago.

      The junkyard car is missing a lot, but from what I can see of the shell, the body looked pretty clean, too bad we can’t learn about these cars while they can still be retrieved from the crusher.

      Loved the link to the mint green 2002. It’s a funky color, but it’s original to the later square tail light models, I saw a similar car unused in someones’ side yard in La Jolla about five years ago.

      Lastly, when I told coworkers years ago that I was looking for a nice 2002, a guy who had recently left the company and was visiting overheard me. About two weeks later, he shows up at my desk with a black box. Inside was a diecast orange 1/18 scale round tail light 2002 tii model from a BMW accessory department. Anyone who has one of the BMW-sourced models knows they’re pretty neat and detailed.

  • avatar

    There’s an orange big-bumper model sitting at a body shop about five miles from my house. Dunno if it’s for sale.

  • avatar

    back when bmws were really bmws. ‘cept for the auto, of course.

    • 0 avatar
      lowsodium

      So E30’s, E36’s, and E46’s arent considered real bmw’s? Those 3 generations have some rabid fans.

      • 0 avatar

        point taken. don’t know much ’bout bmw nomenclature, but i’m thinking you’re talking 90s bmws. after that, not really.

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        For those very few readers who don’t get what E30, E36, and E46 mean, these are the engineering project reference numbers for the three different 3-Series cars sold roughly from 1983 until about 2006.

        As someone who has both a 325iS (E30)coupe and a 328Ci (E46)coupe, I think they’re both real BMW’s. Ask two owners what is not a real BMW, and you may get two different answers. I think maybe the 1-Series may come closest, and another owner may suggest the new 320 sedan. When the 1995-1998 318ti (E36 Compact)was current, several owners I talked to disparaged them for their older rear suspension design and four cylinder motors, and BMW didn’t sell enough of them to warrant exporting them any longer to the states, even though they continued to sell E36 and the later E46 ‘Compacts’ in Europe.

    • 0 avatar

      +1, Marcelo. I think BMW lost its way early in the 21st century, after the demise of the E38 and the E39.

    • 0 avatar
      LBJs Love Child

      2002 w/Auto and A/C = 0-60 in a leisurely afternoon.

      • 0 avatar

        from what i’ve read on this car (as i’ve never driven one), it was less about the power (though there seemed to be some), but more about the handling. and looks.

        • 0 avatar
          LBJs Love Child

          The auto 2002’s engine was down +/- 15% on power, and it wasn’t a particularly good auto (GM 3-spd, IIRC), although it still handled well.

          The 1968 2002 in my avatar was fast. No slushbox or air pump.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            In the US, the automatics had the same power. They didn’t even give up that much performance, although obviously the 4-speeds were more fun.

            Here’s a comparison from a test performed in 1970:

            http://media.caranddriver.com/files/bmw-2002-1.pdf

            BTW, the automatic was from ZF, just like the manual.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        2200lbs curb, and 80-some HP?

        *Cry me a river*, says the guy driving the non-turbo 300D.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    Why’s there a picture of a gearshift gate pattern on the dash if the car’s an auto-tragic?

  • avatar
    Summicron

    These and ’64 Giuliettas are what make me want a time machine with a cargo deck.

  • avatar
    photog02

    The A/C unit should look dealer installed- Max Hoffman didn’t import any 2002s with factory air conditioning. All were dealer installed.

    • 0 avatar
      roger628

      That’s because there was no such thing as factory AC in Europe at the time, with the possible exception of the MB 600 Pullman.
      Even in the 90s, it wasn’t all that common.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I saw a bright orange one in a Best Buy parking lot in perfect condition once. It was amaze.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I grew up in Germany…our landlord in Karlsruhe always had a white four-door BMW of some sort. When we lived in his upstairs apartment, it was a white 2000. As a very impressionable six year old, my first few rides in that car cemented my love for all things square and BMW. Fast forward to 1992, having just graduated college, I joined the BMWCCA and came across a beautiful Baikal blue 1974 2002. Drove up to check it out from Tennessee, took one drive and brought it home. It was my dailky driver for many years, and to this day is the ONLY car I’ve ever truly, deeply regreted selling. The 2002 will always remain my ultimate dream car (maybe that’s kind of sad in a way, given how many ueber-performance cars are out there that one can lust over), but dang it…every time I see one I still want one again! Hate seeing any of them wasting away…

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Cool that they named a car after the deepest clearest lake in the world with Baikal Blue. I believe you could get a 5-Series in that color more recently too.

    • 0 avatar
      CV Neuves

      @ threer, I thoroughly understand your feeling. What I particularly liked about the Bimmers of that era was the unique singing of the engine, and the instruments of the dash, with the white and green lights coming on when starting. My parents had a late 1960sd 1800 and I a later 2000 – the bathtub shaped one with the then usual faux wood dash.

  • avatar
    racer193

    There was a red one of these on the local kijiji last last fall for $2500 shoulda bought it but couldnt justify it to the wife. This one looks like it could be brought back with a little time and effort, but its too bad someone ripped the gauge cluster apart and didnt take any of it.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Goodbye another lovely BMW 2002. You’re not green like mine was, but your speedo probably is also broken, and the heater fan is probably also kaput. Sweet dreams.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    If this actually was an automatic model there would be a callout for it on the trunklid , like VW used to do back in the same era .

  • avatar
    MZ3AUTOXR

    20+ years ago in college I had a’72. Bright orange with primer spots where rust reformer was used. Learned a valuable lesson – don’t own a car that needs restoration when you have no money.

    I ‘restored’ the brake calipers, the sunroof gasket, gas tank, and a ton of other small stuff before rust finally got to the point where it went to the junkyard.

    Did I enjoy driving it? My memory says yes, but then the other cars that I drove in that time frame were a Plymouth Volare, an AMC Eagle, and a 78 Ford LTD, so my memory is probably skewed a little.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      “don’t own a car that needs restoration when you have no money”

      Lordy, how true. MB 220 SB in my case. Your words should be chiseled into a stone tablet for every young car nut to wear around his/her neck, ages 16-25.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    If I were with 200 miles of that shell I would buy it and ship it to europe and quadruple my money. There is a massive market there for reasonably rustfree cars such as this and mercedes. Every year the mercedes club(VDH) goes to the USA, rents a couple of 40 foot containers and fills them with cars and parts. Australians and New Zel;anders have long been grabbing all of your muscle cars for peanuts and bringing them home.
    You guys dont know when you have it good.

    http://www.mercedesclubs.de/index.php/teilemarkt/teileversorgung-aktuell/teileversorgung/item/409-vdh-schrotteltour-californien-2013

  • avatar
    blowfish

    If my memory seves me right the turn signal is on the right side, instead on L side as most car. The later yrs may have changed, my bro has a 75 it may have went beck on L side.
    2002 were not not RHD drive cars from old blighty as its hard to move around.
    Even RR shadows have the the shifter on R side for hime market as well as the colonial market.
    I think the Cloud has the same config too.
    Any of the best & brightest can answer on the bimmer?

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Boy that BMW is seriously picked over. These are the cars that planted the seeds for the Ultimate Driving Machine….

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Yes, and they had 4-cylinder engines, just like the 1st M3 did in the mid-80s. It’s hard to take the “BMWs should only have an inline-6″ people seriously as BMW loyalists.

      • 0 avatar

        Hey! Glad you guys pointed that out. Of course I knew that, but I thought it was just too obvious to mentin. Aw, shucks, guess a lt of folks get angry when somebody doesn’t automatically drop their jaw at the sight of one. Guess it’s just part of what makes up that well known image.

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        Let me address a few of the points raised by previous posters. It’s true that the 2002 and the first M3 (E30) had four cylinder motors, but that’s where the engine similarity ends. The 2002 used a 1,990cc single cam motor, the first M3 used a 16-valve 2,302cc
        motor based on a newer two liter version used on BMWs sold just in Europe at that time. Another version of the European four cylinder was later used in the price leader 1991 E30 318i sold in the States just prior to the switchover to the newer E36 body, which itself began offering both that motor as well as the more prolific six cylinder( not sure what the four-door models were called, but the coupe versions were the 318iS and 325iS).

        Yes, you know the E36 Compact in the States as the hatchback 318ti. I believe the 1995 and 1996 models used the 1.8 liter DOHC four cylinder, and newer models sold in the States used a 1.9 liter version, while still calling it the 318ti.

        Someone asked about the steering column levers on the 2002. I have brochures for the early(1970)1600/2002 cars and the later(1973)2002/2002tii models. Both series have left and right levers. The earlier model doesn’t describe them. The later car uses larger knobs on the levers, and the righthand lever is clearly marked with wiper symbols. In the text, the directional lever is described as including flashers, directionals, and high and low beam operation. The main headlight switch is a pull/push affair on the instrument panel to the left of the gauges.

        Finally, for those who made it to final jeopardy version of ‘what’s that color, the ’73 junkyard car(dark red) is called Granada, and the bright orange color that a few of you yearned for is called Inka(don’t ask). This is from the the brochures. I even asked a friend of mine who’s been involved with BMW dealer service since the late 1960’s about the orange color, and he didn’t hesitate – INKA.
        As for the distinctive green color on the very late 2002 that we were linked to, I haven’t found that brochure yet, I know it’s here someplace.

        For anyone interested in a really good buyers guide for older(E30 and E36) 3-Series, Road&Track did a fine article on what to look for, and which models to stay away from(any model that ends with’e’,as in Economy), and intentionally left out the M3’s. I can’t find my copy of that issue yet, but will keep trying to look. If you’re interest just in the E30 M3, the UK magazine Classic and Sports Cars February 2002 did a fine article on the limited edition E30 M3 Evolution.

    • 0 avatar
      CV Neuves

      The primeaval versions of the “Ultimate Driving Machine” – then advertised in Germany as “For the Joy of Driving” (“Aus Freude am Fahren”).

      I do not wish to fail to remind friends of that automaker, that just about ten years before that car, Mercedes refused to buy up bankrupt BMW, and the state of Bavaria saved the Motor Works. Maybe, this goes to show, that capitalism might work a bit better with the state nudging it the right way.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        “Maybe, this goes to show, that capitalism might work a bit better with the state nudging it the right way.”

        No, it MUST work that way. If anything, history has proven that capitalism NEEDS the state in order to function. And by “function”, I mean, privatizing profits and socializing the risks.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Can you make a JYF about an E34 or E28?

    Cheers

  • avatar
    Shamwow

    Where is Crab Spirits with his charming tales of Junkyard Finds?

  • avatar
    KixStart

    First item on CraigsList today, strangely enough, is a ’74 2002 that runs:

    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/dak/cto/3696675078.html

    Only $1K!

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “I think maybe the 1-Series may come closest, and another owner may suggest the new 320 sedan.”

    I gotta say, to me the 1-series is the closest thing to a 2002 heir. Small, light, similar size. I always thought it was a shame the 1-series was stuck with a 6 cylinder.

    The 3 series, as beautiful as it is, is a compact luxury car.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      Again, this is just my opinion, but if one of my buddies told me they were interested in a base new BMW, I would probably ask them if they would consider instead a pre-owned 3-Series. Option for option, it would cost less money than either a comparably equipped new 128 coupe or 320 sedan, with virtually the same warranty. I did a build-out estimate on the BMW site for both new car models, and found that they were only about $150 apart from each other when equipped with similar options.

      As for the 1-Series being the heir to the 2002, you’re not the only one who feels that way. I just happen to think the 1-Series for me seems like a scaled down 3-Series the way that it’s equipped. It’s fairly plush compared to the manual-everything 2002. And, I just like the size and feel of the 3-Series(coupe).

      • 0 avatar

        Hey snakebit,

        Of all the current BMW line up, the only one that would interest me is the Series 1 coupe. I think it looks better than the hatch. If the wheels weren’t so big, if there was a bit more sidewall on the tyres (and not a run flat) and if it were a bit lighter, and if I won the lottery and lived in another country, I’d buy one.

  • avatar
    LeCar

    A ’71 2002 was my first new car. Purchased it in December of ’70 after I returned from Vietnam. Sold my ’67 1/2 Sunbeam Tiger in British Racing Green and used the money to help buy the green (color was listed as agave) 2002 4-speed/ no a/c. Drove it a lot for my first job after the USMC and loved it.

    What killed these value-priced BMW’s was the US going off the gold standard. It was way too easy for imports to the US to be priced VERY favorably since the American dollar was pegged at some ridiculously low number ($32 for an ounce of gold?). When the gold standard was dropped, imports became way more expensive and the gents in Munich realized they would have to go way upmarket to match what their prices were going to have to be.

    Wished I still had the 2002 and also wish I still had the Tiger.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The US went off the gold standard in 1933. I really don’t think this effect killed BMW’s value pricing in the 1970s.

      • 0 avatar
        LeCar

        You are correct on the gold standard.. I apparently was thinking of the “Bretton Woods System” which worked like a gold standard as far as I am concerned. I now recall the press said things like “Nixon let the dollar float.” I still believe it had very much to do with BMW going upmarket as their value-priced cars would no longer be value-priced in the US. Fast forward to the claims of Japanese currency manipulation today, called “the weak yen.” Below is a reference from an economist.

        During most of the 1800s the United States had a bimetallic system of money, however it was essentially on a gold standard as very little silver was traded. A true gold standard came to fruition in 1900 with the passage of the Gold Standard Act. The gold standard effectively came to an end in 1933 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlawed private gold ownership (except for the purposes of jewelery). The Bretton Woods System, enacted in 1946 created a system of fixed exchange rates that allowed governments to sell their gold to the United States treasury at the price of $35/ounce. “The Bretton Woods system ended on August 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon ended trading of gold at the fixed price of $35/ounce. At that point for the first time in history, formal links between the major world currencies and real commodities were severed”. The gold standard has not been used in any major economy since that time.

  • avatar
    lon888

    A man i worked with in the late 80’s drove a totally clapped out 1st -gen Omni/Horizon POS that he literally drove the wheels off. Then suddenly, somehow came up a totally mint 2002 with fuel injection. I couldn’t believe it but he kept that car absolutely mint for about the next 7 years. There’s not many BMW’s I lust over, but a FI 2002 is defintiely on my short list.

  • avatar

    BUMP! 8-)

    Keep them garaged, away from salt obviously and avoid rain & snow whenever possible. They’ll last a long time & you’ll have a fun driving car!

    Enjoy some photos of North East 02’s on our site: http://bmw2002.us/index.php/events/past-events

    Scott


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