Before the BMW 3 Series dominated sales charts and suburban driveways, it was the 2002 that made BMW famous. It was the car that put the Bavarian brand on the map, especially so in America. It solidified BMW as the sport sedan king of the world. Because of this, it sold incredibly well and there are used examples littered across the globe. Most of them are actually quite cheap because of their high supply and relative lack of good conditioning. The BMW 2002 chassis is also a great starting point for a sports car. So, because of those reasons, they are popular among the tuning community, as pretty interesting creations can be made.
This specific 1972 BMW 2002tii is a perfect example. What started life as a standard 2002tii now resembles its stock car in body shape alone. This owner comprehensively upgraded every single aspect of the 2002, using mostly parts from other BMWs. Under the hood is now an S14 four-cylinder engine from an E30 BMW M3. However, it’s no ordinary S14. It’s an AC Schnitzer-tuned unit that displaces 2.5 liters, rather than the original 2.3. Power isn’t listed but the original AC Schnitzer S3 Sport 2.5 made 245 hp. That engine is now mated to a Getrag five-speed dogleg gearbox and powers the rear wheels through an E30 M3 rear diff. In the tiny little 2002 body, this should be more than enough power to make it properly quick.
As for the suspension, the shocks were upgraded with Bilstein inserts on the standard 2002tii strut housings. Ireland Engineering coil springs and camber plates were also fitted and E21 3 Series rear trailing arms replace the standard car’s. The steering rack and pinion is also from an E21 but the actual steering column is from a BMW 3.0 CS. Brakes were upgraded with a 3.0 CS brake booster and E21 calipers. So it should handle and stop every bit as quick as it goes.
Inside, the seats were replaced with Recaros from an E21 3 Series and reupholstered. The rear seats were replaced with the bench from a 635CSi and reupholstered to match the fronts. The dash was given cool orange contrast accents and a retro MOMO steering wheel was added. This cabin is very cool and seems fitting to a 2002.
But what’s listed here is only the tip of the iceberg. This is one of the most BMW 2002 builds we’ve ever seen and what’s most impressive about it is that it was done using almost all parts from other BMWs. So it’s still very much a BMW. The work that’s done is also incredibly impressive, with superb quality and attention to detail. This car has won several awards at different Concours events and is stunning.
It’s currently up for auction and, at the time of writing this, its current big is $66,000. That’s quite a lot for a BMW 2002 build and could be the most expensive one I’ve ever seen. However, it’s also probably the best 2002 build I’ve personally seen and could be worth the money for the right collector. Check it out.