BMW builds some exquisite sports cars and the automaker has been known as “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” However, more and more enthusiasts are saying that BMWs have become larger, heavier, more luxurious, less sporting and by the way, more expensive!
BMW is responding to the enthusiast backlash by offering the 1-Series and upcoming 2-Series. These vehicles will be smaller, lighter and more reasonably priced. They will drive closer to the original BMW 2002 which offered a more “straightforward” driving experience.
All of this is indeed great and it is good to hear that BMW is going where their enthusiast faithful want. However, what about the “original” BMW 2002? I’m talking about the simple carbureted car with chrome bumpers, mirror, grille, window surrounds, etc.
So what are some details regarding the BMW 2002?
Well, first a bit of history. If you look at the BMW symbol, it contains a stylized propeller. It was the result of a consolidation of two aircraft manufacturers during WW1. Thus, the “automaker” was involved in aircraft for 10 years prior to building its first car.
The 2002 began in the U.S. in1968. It was a compact 2-door body combined with a reliable 2.0-liter 100 hp engine that was torquey.
Of note is that in 1972 BMW provided the 2002tii. The “tii” stood for “Touring international, injection.” This meant that this 2002 was fuel injected and built for high performance as it had a 9.0:1 compression ratio and about 120 hp. Additionally, it was equipped with beefed up suspension and larger brakes. Although the 2002tii is a great car, the focus of this article is on the simpler carbureted 2002.
The 2002 had round taillights up until 1973 and in 1974 it gained redesigned square taillights.
The 2002 was discontinued at the end of 1976 and it was replaced by the BWN 3-Series (320i).
After investigating the 2002, I would like to recommend the 1972 and 1973 models. They have 2.0-liter carbureted engines (no costly fuel injection, high pressure fuel pump and computer to possibly go wrong!). Furthermore, they have round rear taillights and much chrome throughout. Additionally, some of the cars are equipped with 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmissions.
The car looks good, is fun to drive and quite simple mechanically. Additionally, this classic 2002 has some collectable status. This all sounds pretty good to me and I hope that it is helpful to you!
View the slideshow to see the BMW 2002 with round taillights and chrome!
Look for an upcoming article on the Italian Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV. Until then, good driving!
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site:www.cartown1.com. Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.