Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Malaga...Meliga...Me-like-a Niiiice '02: 1975 BMW 2002

We've covered BMW's classic sport compact sedan, the 2002, in myriad instances over the past three years. We don't dip much into tii territory unless they are free, because those fuel injected high spec cars are well out of DT budget caps. However, the basic carbureted 2002 represents a great value - they drive nearly identically (with a few upgrades) and don't require a German double-Dr. Dr. engineering degree (DDr. Ing.) in Mechanical Systems & Controls to tune and understand them - like the mechanical Kugelfischer injection system might. Early cars look great, but an even better value than an early roundie '02 is the late model (1974 - 1976) version with big bumpers and rectangular taillights - but that can easily be remedied. Find this 1975 BMW 2002 for sale in Boise, ID for $8,000 via craigslist. Tip from Chris S.

Fortunately in the modern "connected" world we have some nice resources to provide up-to-date market value information for classics, exotics, and collector cars. One such resourse is Hagerty's Classic Car Valuation tool, which gives a great snapshot of value trends. According to the tool's current data, average market value for a 1975 model year car in "Condition 3" is about $9600. Maybe subtract a few bucks for the automatic trans on this one (who buys a 2002 and wants a slushbox these days - other than Billy Joe?) and add some value for the 2-owner story (if verified) and nice original condition, and this car is still a really good value at $8k.

Compare this to a "roundie" (round taillight, small bumper, '73 & older model) 02 and the value really starts to show. For a final-year roundie, 1973 car in Condition 3, Hagerty says $11,200 is the average value. So versus an otherwise identical car (minus huge diving board bumpers, rectangular taillights, and some other smaller details) that is two years older, we have an average value reduction representing over $3k in savings.

Hagerty describes Condition 3 by stating that such cars "drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These cars are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. "Good" is the one word description of a #3 car." I think that's a fair description of the Boise car, based on the (albeit limited) information available in the CL ad. Let's not assume that this was a concours car a few years ago, which would preclude it from being classified as #2, but I can't see any visual flaws in the photos - if that holds true upon closer inspection (and it's ready for a long trip, man) then it wouldn't be fair to call it a #4 car, so #3 it is for the sake of this posting.

This one seems to be a great find - claimed two owners since new, maybe original paint in that nice Malaga maroon, and what looks like a very tidy interior with air conditioning and enough fuzzy covers over all available surfaces to sufficiently protect the fragile '70s plastics. What lies beneath the dash mat, steering wheel cover, and sheepskins? If it were my money, after verifying that this car runs as good as it looks, I'd swap the automatic for a 5-spd from an E21, lower the car a bit on some Alpina style wheels, and convert the bumpers to the late-Euro or pre-73 US skinny chrome spec. Here are some decent writeups on the process - doesn't look too bad and makes a HUGE difference aesthetically to the feel of the car. Keep the original parts in the garage, buff the paint, drive, and enjoy.

See a better deal on a survivor-spec vintage sports sedan? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. I would love to get one of these, and actually extend the bumpers another three feet, and mount a real diving board ago one end or the other. Joe B

  2. So if the pre-74s are 'roundies,' what are the post-73s called?

  3. By the way, I think it's easier to put an e21 5-speed in an autobox '02 than in a four-speed-- the transmission tunnel is wider. I didn't have to do any sledgehammering to the tunnel of mine.

  4. I dunno, I just sold my mint '76 for about 50% more than this, but it would have taken this one 10-15k to get to the condition mine was in. Normally I'm all about cheap price of entry, but for later, non-Tii 2002's right now. low teens will buy a beautiful example with no needs that is show-worthy.

    I guess this is a long way of saying that unlike a lot of current "classic" cars, this is one where I think the top of the market represents a better value than bottom or middle of the market.


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