BMW 2002 – Today’s tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

BMW 2002 todays tempter BMW 2002 todays tempter

The 60s were a pivotal time for BMW in which their successful line of ‘New Class’ sedans ensured their post-war survival. This era birthed the 2002, one of the most iconic and celebrated driver’s cars of the time

BMW’s success in the early 60s was defined by their "New Class" line of sedans, primarily the 1500 introduced in 1961.

Following the war and the European Financial Crisis in the 50s, the wildly successful 1500 marked a major turning point, and allowed BMW to pay its shareholders a dividend for the first time in almost 20 years.

Whilst paramount in ensuring BMW’s survival to this day, the 1500 was overshadowed in the eyes of drivers for its smaller, and more nimble counterpart, the 1600-02 coupe.

The 1600-02, later becoming  known as the 1602, was unveiled at the 1966 Geneva motor show with a 1.6lt four cylinder M10 capable of a modest 63kW. Featuring a unibody construction, MacPherson front struts and independent rear suspension, the 1602 was a celebrated driver’s car by publications the world over.

Fast forward a year, and the people were asking for more. BMW upped the compression of that 1.6L M10 and paired it with side-draft carburettors drawing a further 14kW, introducing a new model dubbed the 1600TI.

Here marks the crucial events that lead to the 2002’s creation.

The more sports oriented 1600TI was never sold to the US, much to the chagrin of US importer Max Hoffman - who begged the Bavarian firm for a sporting version to be sold in the States.

Legend has it however that both the designer of the four-cylinder M10, and BMW’s then-Director of Product Planning had separately fitted their personal 1602s with larger displacement 2.0lt M10s. Once they crossed paths, they joined forces and pitched to the board what would eventually be the BMW 2002.

This numbers matching BMW 2002 is listed at $23,950 and is described as in excellent condition inside and out with minimal rust. Still retaining the 2.0L M10 and a three-speed automatic, this 2002 also includes rare leather Recaro seats, with stereo head rests.

The seller also lists a few modifications, done so for reliability. Electronic ignition, battery boot relocation, and replacement of the front and rear struts.

Prices for 2002’s vary from sub-$20 for high-mileage examples all the way up to the $50,000 mark for the most extensive restorations. This example seems to sit in quite a sweet spot with only 75000kms listed.

Any fans of the iconic Bavarian marque can check out the full listing here.

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