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Used BMW 2002 review: 1968-1976

The 2002 makes an ideal first classic that with a moderate amount of TLC can be used as everyday transport. It has for a number of years been highly collectible with the Tii the most desirable of the "common cars". The Convertibles and Turbos are very rare and unlikely to be seen as daily transport on Australian roads. Most being in the hands of die-hard BMW enthusiasts and leading a pampered life.

In general, if you are looking to purchase a 2002, the condition of the body is far more important than the engine and drive-train. The mechanicals are simple and relatively easy to work on.


The build quality of the original car was excellent, but like any 35-40 year old car rust cannot be avoided. The areas to specifically look out for are;

* around the front indicators
* Lower rear of front fenders
* Sills and bottom of the doors
* Wheel arches - inside corners
* Rear panel below boot - inside and out
* Inside the engine bay around the headlight assembly
* Floor, boot floor and fuel tank
* Rear shock towers - visible from inside the boot

If the car has a sunroof - around the inner edges and also the out roof sills as drainage can be a problem.


The M10 was a strong engine, especially the bottom end with its 5 bearing crankshaft. The most problematic area lies with the valva train, especially on earlier model. The original head had inefficient lubrication channels that results in wear to the valves and seats. You will however find that most available 2002's have had engine upgrades done over the years and the problems resolved.

The 2002 engine is a simple to work on and in most cases reliable. Normal checks should be done for engine noises, rattling of valvetrain that might be the result of a stretched timing chain. Any smoke is usually the reult of wear in this area.

Older cylinder heads have been known to crack and warp. Identifying tell tales of this are water in the oil and a sweet smell around the engine and radiator.

In genral though the engine is solid and reliable, parts are readily available and the simplicity of the engine means re-builds are not too costly. The fuel injector system is strong and robust but should be serviced regularly.


All transmissions are reliable and the clutch on manuals in strong. The only reported problems were originally with 2nd gear synchros and the output flanges but most transmissions have been rebuilt by now with ugraded parts that have resolved the issues.

Differentials are strong but sometimes have an oil leakage problem.


Always look out for a car with the interior in good condition. It is not only a pointer that the car has been look after, it is also the second most important factor in purchase. Not as important as a good body, but more important than the mechanicals. The cost of re-upholstery and a re-trim can be significant.


The 2002 has always been a popular car. It is still an accessible collector car as reasonable examples can current be found at an affordable price. As with purchasing any classic car, never spend your full budget on the purchase, there will invariably be items that will require work Although rare in Australia, avoid the automatic transmission as it dilutes the sporting experience and is detrimental to re-sale value.

The rare convertibles and Turbos will always be at a high premium. For the average person interested in getting into the classic car scene the 2002 is a good choice and the Tii, injector model is the best bet.

The 2002 has an active global enthusiast network. Detailed advice is available from many owner group forums on the Internet and there are numerous clubs suitable for BMW 2002 owners here in Australia.


Year Price From Price To
1976 $3,500 $5,500
1975 $3,500 $5,500
1974 $3,500 $5,500
1973 $3,500 $5,500
1972 $3,500 $5,500
1971 $3,500 $5,500
1970 $3,500 $5,500
1969 $3,500 $5,500
1968 $3,500 $5,500

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(base) 2.0L, Leaded, 4 SP MAN $3,500 – 5,500 1968 BMW 2002 1968 (base) Pricing and Specs
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