If you’ve ever seen the show “Cutthroat Kitchen” on the Food Network, then you know who Alton Brown is. He’s generally a zany guy who comes up with ridiculous rules and silly restrictions during cook-offs to make it harder on the contestants. I’m don’t watch the show, but I have a vague understanding of what it is, so please don’t hold my ignorance against me. Anyway, he’s a pretty quirky and outgoing guy from what I understand, but apparently he’s a car guy as well.
In the latest edition of Motor Trend’s Celebrity Drive, where they interview a famous person who also happens to be a gearhead, they inter view Food Network star, Alton Brown. During these interviews, MT goes through a series of standard questions, like “what’s your daily driver” and “what was the car you learned to drive one”. The typical questions arise and Brown’s daily driver happens to be a BMW 2002 and his reasoning couldn’t make him more of a proper gearhead.
Brown was also known for his show “Good Eats”, where he broke down recipes in a very specific and scientific manner. He put forward the same effort into finding his perfect BMW 2002. He wanted it to be perfect and what he got wasn’t much less than that.
Brown wanted a BMW 2002 because it was the same car his grandfather had when he was a child, so there’s a strong emotional attachment to it. “I have an emotional connection to the car because my grandfather had one when I was growing up, although his was white,” Brown recalls. “I very, very strongly remember the smell of it, I remember the feel of it, I remember he used to let me shift the gears, I remember the feeling of the gearbox. Just a very, very emotional connection.”
His 1971 BMW 2002 is mostly stock and in mint condition. The only modifications are his Recaro seats, H&R sport suspension and a five-speed manual gearbox, as opposed to the standard car’s four-speed. “What you’re looking for is a setup, from a suspension standpoint, that kind of maximizes that. So it’s just really set up as a driving car. It’s got Recaro racing seats, it’s mint. Even though the car is super stock, certainly from an exterior standpoint, it makes the car just amazingly fun to drive.”
During these interviews, MT usually asks how they would rate their cars. Brown gives his 2002 a 9 out of 10, saying “How do you rate perfect with a vintage vehicle? I wouldn’t even know how you do that. Is that 10 as fun to drive or great to look at? I’ve got to leave some room for improvement, so I’m going to go with a 9. I’m also a really big fan of BMW motorcycles, so in a way it’s almost like a motorcycle of a car because it’s got no power steering, no power brakes, no drink holders,” he says with a laugh. “When you’re driving that car, you’re doing nothing but driving that car. And it is as brass tacks an automobile as you’re likely to find.”
Brown also goes on to mention that he prefers his 2002 over typical American muscle cars because they’re more fun to drive. He likes muscle cars, but they’re only fun in short, straight lines. It’s nimble sports cars that he likes more, so he daily drives his 1971 BMW 2002. Which also happens to be named Klaus, which is just the perfect name for a 2002.[Source: Motor Trend]