Published on July 22nd, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW 2002, The Classic BMW We All Want
This is probably the first BMW that got the attention of Malaysians. It was a dynamic looking 2-door 4-seater that had an angled shark-like nose with bulging single headlights on either side of the twin-kidney BMW grille.
After financial struggles during the 1950s, BMW went back to smaller, 1.5 to 2.0L powered sedans, after predominately making luxury vehicles since the war ended. The ‘new generation’ of BMW’s started with the four-door sedan, the 1500, in 1962. It was the manufacturer’s first brand-new car and new engine since the early 1930s. The 1800, 1600, and 2000 came in the years to follow with various evolutions in the M10 four-cylinder engine through each variant.
In 1966, the 1600-2 was developed as a more affordable version of the 1600. It was shorter, with less luxuries, and had only two doors, hence the “2” designation in the name. Following in fashion with the earlier New Class models, the 1600-2 (or 1602 as it came to be called later) was given the “ti” (touring international) treatment by giving the 1.6L M10 a 9.5:1 compression ratio and dual Solex PHH side-draft carburetors churning out 105 hp. Then two simultaneous events occurred, giving the 2002 birth.
The 2002 is perhaps the most famous of BMW’s new generation cars and it revitalized the Bavarian automaker’s international reputation. The world was captivated by the 2002’s attractive blend of power, agility and style.
Other variations included the cabriolet, targa, a three-door touring model, a twin-carbureted ti and a rare turbo. 1973 yielded a major aesthetic redesign, supplanting rectangular taillights for round, and adding elongated bumpers to meet U.S. safety regulations. The availability of parts for these cars is nearly limitless but the problem lies with the bodywork of these cars. Prone to rust and interior plastic fatigue, most Malaysian 2002’s are in the state of despair and almost beyond restoration. Still, with enough funds and motivation, you could get any 2002 looking like the one pictured below.
In 2005, BMW even constructed a “new” 1972 tii almost entirely from its vast supply of replacement parts.