BMW owes almost all of its enthusiast credibility to the 02-series, and chiefly, the 2002tii, which was a Bavarian hot rod in its day. The one above, going up for auction, spent six years under restoration wherein every nut, bolt and washer was made new again. It even enjoyed a two-stage repaint with original Polaris Silver Metallic, panel replacement, full rust repair, a new wiring harness and a rebuild of the legendary fuel-injected 2.0-liter engine. Combine that with a few subtle performance upgrades and you’ll struggle to find a more perfect BMW, old or new.
If you love classic cars but aren’t one who cares about exact period-correctness and numbers-matching parts, cars like this 2002tii are masterpieces. The extensive restoration was high-enough quality to earn this Bimmer second in class at this year’s Hillsborough Concours D’Elegance. It lost out to a 1977 Mercedes-Benz 230 and a 1966 Lamborghini 400 GT won overall, which should speak volumes.
Where projects like this set themselves apart, however, is in what ways modern touches are added. Bringing this stunning silver coupe into a more modern era are a five-speed transmission, limited slip differential and Wilwood front calipers with a rear disc kit from Ireland Engineering.
The performance of the original 2002tii cemented BMW’s reputation around the world as a brand focused purely on driving. Driver-centric cockpits, communicative drivetrains, lightweight bodies and direct steering were all top priorities. When people think of BMWs today, the 2002tii often makes an appearance in the conversation. Modern BMWs are more focused on luxury, ladened with tech and creature comforts but even with a price to match the current 5-Series, I’d still take this pristine 2002tii every time.
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