As reported in our general show coverage for the sixth annual SoCal Vintage BMW Meet 2013, the Los Angeles, CA event brought out hundreds of vintage BMWs to go along with just as many eager enthusiasts ready to share their love of all things Bavarian. It was a fantastic way to spend a sunny Saturday. Everything from classic E9s to E30s and 2002s were displayed within the park. Awards for 'best of' categories were also handed out - two new chassis categories were added including E32 7 Series and E34 5 Series.
For those who grew up in the 1970s, the word 2002 should put a smile on your face. One of the most iconic BMWs ever made, the 2002 is seen now as a great way to get your feet wet in the German collector car scene. Whether it is a total rust bucket or a 100 point show car, 2002 owners alike are a dedicated bunch. With that in mind, we set out to find the best examples within the show.
Below are a handful of the top 2002s from the SoCal BMW Meet 2013 to share with you. Let us know in the comments section below which you love best.
1973 BMW 2002tii
'People's choice for 2002s'
I've done the mod cars before, but this time I wanted to go as stock as possible.
If not for any other reason, this car should stop anyone in their tracks for the color alone. Called 'Colorado,' this vintage orange is less bright than the more recognizable BMW 'Inka Orange.' Purchased about two years ago, the owner found the car in his own neighborhood, neglected and sitting on four flat tires. Found in the incorrect color, the current owner traced the car back to the first owner and found out the true color. But paint wasn't the only major improvement. "We took it all the way down. We took off every nut and bolt. It took almost two years," said Michael, the owner.
Like most vintage car owners, it was decide that this car would stay bone stock, with the exception of a 5-speed. "I've done the mod cars before, but this time I wanted to go as stock as possible." Currently a show car, the car recently won first place at Oktoberfest. Michael obviously loves his car and says, "It's been a blast to drive, and I'm one of the only coupe owners that went back to the 2002."
1975 BMW 2002
I have a BMW 2000 M Roadster. That's my fast car and this is my go to Starbucks car.
Purchased by the current owner in 2007, this car was in need of a serious restoration. Not even being registered since 1998, the owner decided to bring the car back to its original state on his own. The stock motor and transmission are still in the car and it has been back on the road for six months now. You might think restoring a car is time consuming, try restoring on your own. That's what this owner did and it took him about six years. The only improvements made to the car are the new electric fuel pump and the battery moved to the trunk (for better balance and saving space in the engine bay). "It's just a drive around town car," Harry, the owner commented on its current. "I have a BMW 2000 M Roadster. That's my fast car and this is my go to Starbucks car."
And something you might not see on all 2002s are the wheels, those are a rare factory option. The front bumper is visibly larger than the previous car shown, and that's because they are the stock US bumpers. "A lot of guys when they do their cars will take those off and put the early bumpers on them, but these bumpers actually work. Driving in LA and Southern California, they are a good thing to have."
1974 BMW 2002tii
I do like driving around in it. You always seem to get noticed.
A change from the bright colors was this pure white 2002 in very nice condition. The owner has had the car for about six years and has been working on it since the day purchased. "I bought it for about $6000 and probably have put about $12000-14000 into it," he said. "But I do drive it. It doesn't just sit in the garage. During the summer there are driving events and we go drive around the canyons with a bunch of 2002s that get together. So I do drive it."
This car has been modified with Bilstein shocks and polyurethane bushings, Eibach springs, 5-speed transmission, upgraded 65-amp alternator, stainless steel brake-lines, 14in 3-Series rims, Hella driving lights, new radiator, and more. But the only thing the owner hasn't done is the engine because it doesn't need it yet. "It still runs fine, doesn't burn any oil, and does what it's supposed to do. I'm not going to rebuild it until it needs to be rebuilt. It's not a racecar, it's an investment and a car I plan on keeping, to come to things like this and drive in the canyons."
The owner says the car's name is Gretchen and Jack only gets under her hood - Jack being the car's only mechanic. "Everywhere you go someone says nice car or neat car. Just this morning we stopped at 7-11 and someone said 'killer car dude.' I do like driving around in it. You always seem to get noticed."
1971 BMW 2002
It's more of a restomod rather than all original.
If this blue looks familiar, that's because it's the same one used on modern Mini Coopers called 'Oxygen Blue.' And while putting a new color on a vintage car doesn't always come out the way you planned, it couldn't be a better choice for this 2002. Equipped with a modern M20 motor, modern suspension, bigger injectors, lighter flywheel, and a limited-slip differential, you can imagine this car must be fun to drive. "It's more of a restomod rather than all original," Radu, the owner commented.
Racing flares and custom wheels complete the exterior look while the interior has a roll cage. This is a track car, according to Radu who takes it out to Willow Springs with various clubs. "It's so me, it's everything I wanted in a car. Almost for the first time ever I have a finished project on my hands."
1974 BMW 2002
It was either going to be the Datsun 510, a 2002 or the Porsche 914 and I chose the 2002.
This Siena Braun Bimmer has been under the current owners care for little over 10 years. "I've always wanted the little canyon racer. It was either going to be the Datsun 510, a 2002 or the Porsche 914 and I chose the 2002," said Andrew, the owner.
And a canyon racer is just what the owner got with these fun modifications: M20 motor conversion (out of an E30 325i), new urethane bushings and suspension parts, front coilover kit, rear disc brakes, and a big brake kit at the front. Andrew rebuilt the motor himself while having the headwork done at a machine shop.
The Vintage BMW community has a lot in store for those looking for a fun project car or a serious show stopper. These 2002s were the best of the best at the SoCal Vintage BMW Meet 2013 with stories equally as interesting. We hope you enjoyed our selection and hope to see you next year!