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Classic Car Cultist: The BMW 2002

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On: Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 3:51PM | By: Chris Salamone

Classic Car Cultist: The BMW 2002

Produced from 1968 to 1976, BMW’s 2002 Neue Klasse model (New Class for those without the predilection for sauerkraut) completely changed the face and future of BMW motoring for generations to come. So much so, the 2002 became the predecessor for BMW’s dominant 3 Series and 1 Series models and permanently changed BMW’s reputation to one of producing premium uber-touring vehicles. To this day, the 2002 remains a standout amongst BMW’s rich history of revolutionary vehicles—and with good reason. The 2002 was fast, fun, and beautiful. Found in over 262 movies and TV shows, the BMW 2002 is still alive and well within the minds of car fans everywhere.

Nothing shouts trustworthy, yet mysterious, spy like a 2002. Starring in Matlock, French Connection II, The Fog, and countless other serious productions, the 2002 certainly can help to create a professional image for any actor. On the other hand, the 2002 can also invoke silliness (see Seinfeld, Wayne’s World, Naked Gun, and the like). The 2002 was a car with multiple personalities, a vehicle that tried to be good at everything.

Such is the duality of “the original ultimate driving machine.”

The 2002 originally came with a 1990 cc engine, which produced 108 hp. Seeing this as a good starting point, BMW also added the 2002tii, which produced a whopping 130 hp which could attain speeds of 115 mph, to the lineup. While the normal 2002 and 2002tii were almost identical, the tii included larger wheels, different front brakes, and some other minor modifications which made the tii a bit more enjoyable to drive. In 1973, just years before the 2002 would say goodbye, BMW released the 2002 Turbo at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The 2002 Turbo produced 170 hp and 180 lb ft of torque.

In addition to the traditional 2-door sedan, the 2002 also came in a 3-door hatchback—aptly named the Touring model. My2002tii.com appropriately asks the question: “So why own a 2002tii?” The answer is summed up perfectly. “Well, you would only have to drive one [down] a few miles of road to know why this is the car that put BMW on the map…and truly became known as the first ‘cult car’. Sensational handling, great fuel-injected engine, designed to cruise at 100+ mph and 6,000 RPM for hours on end, and even 30+ mpg driving when you maintain USA highway speeds.” If you weren’t convinced before, you are now.

Possibly the best part about the 2002 is that the average person really has no idea what it is, or just how important this car was to BMW. Onlookers gasp at the 2002’s first impression, without understanding its significance (or affordability). A reasonable 2002 can be picked up for a few thousand dollars and a collector’s dream 2002tii for less than $20,000. With prices like these, historical importance, and so much ambient aesthetic appeal, the 2002 is sure to grow in popularity over the coming years—making it an ideal purchase for novice car collectors… or, for that matter, really anyone.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



dwalter | 5:23PM (Wed, Jul 20, 2011)

Cool car.

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