This is an Australian-delivered 1972 BMW 2002 that’s been given a series of well-thought-out upgrades to significantly boost performance, without visually impinging on the car’s originality.
The car is now being sold by Glenn Manton out of Victoria in Australia. Glenn is a long-time 2002 aficionado and this isn’t the first of his 2002s that we’ve featured here on Silodrome. He’s had a 5-speed manual transmission added to this car, as well as a Schlick 284 cam, oversized Mahle pistons, a Weber Downdraft 32/36 carburetor, and more.
Fast Facts – The BMW 2002
- The BMW 2002 was introduced in 1968, evolving from the earlier “Neue Klasse” sedans that began with the 1500 in 1962. These sedans marked BMW’s return to producing notable sporty, well-engineered cars after World War II.
- The model name “2002” describes the features of the car, the “2000” is the engine displacement in cubic centimeters, and the “02” represents the two-door body style. The 2002 model was fitted with a 2.0 liter, four-cylinder SOHC M10 engine.
- The BMW 2002 caught on not just with enthusiasts but also with a broader audience, especially in the United States. It became an icon of 1970s car culture and was often associated with a new generation of drivers who valued both performance and style.
- Perhaps the most significant reason for the success of the 2002 was the fact that it melded a sports car and a sensible four-seat sedan into a single vehicle. The 2002 has comfortable seating for four, plenty of headroom, trunk space for luggage or groceries, a powerful (for its size) and fuel-efficient engine, and independent four wheel suspension.
- The 1972 BMW 2002 you see in this article is an original Australian-delivered car finished in Gulf Yellow. In recent years it has benefited from a number of discreet upgrades, including the fitment of a 5-speed transmission, a Schlick 284 cam, oversized Mahle pistons, a Weber Downdraft 32/36 carburetor, and more. It’s now being offered for sale out of Victoria, Australia.
The BMW 2002: A History Speedrun
The genesis of the 2002 model finds its roots in the earlier “Neue Klasse” sedans, starting with the 1500 in 1962. These sedans marked a significant turn for BMW, pulling the brand out of financial turmoil and re-establishing its viability in the automotive world. But it was the two-door 2002, with its more compact form, that truly captured the attention of car enthusiasts worldwide.
The BMW 2002 was named for its 2000cc M10 engine, and the fact that it has two doors – 2000 + 2 = 2002. The 2002 was closely based on the earlier BMW 1602, as the model name suggests this was the 1600cc two-door coupe. The 1602 had great potential, but it was potential that had not been fully capitalized on, at least not yet.
The designer of the M10 engine was Alex von Falkenhausen, and he drove a BMW 1602 as his personal transport. Von Falkenhausen had the larger 2.0 liter M10 installed into his 1602, creating the first 2002 in the process.
He was, however, not the only one to have had this idea and unbeknown to him Helmut Werner Bönsch, who was BMW’s director of product planning, had the exact same idea and had a 2.0 liter M10 installed in his 1602 also. Neither of them knew about the other’s car until one day they both happened to be having their cars serviced at the same time in the same garage and discovered they’d both acted on the same thought.
Helmut and Alex got their heads together and jointly created a proposal to the BMW Board to put a 2.0 liter version of the 1602 into production.
Although the BMW Board were not so easy to convince as to the need for a more powerful, more sporty coupé, the fact that the American importer Max Hoffman had advocated for it for the US market opened up the tempting possibility that BMW might just be able to obtain a lucrative export market there.
The board approved the production of the new car, to be called the 2002, and it was released in 1968. In a few short years it would become one of the most beloved BMWs ever made, and help set the direction that BMW remains on to this day.
It Always Helps To Know “A Guy”
The following was written by Glenn Manton, the current owner of this 2002 and now seller.
It always helps to know “a guy.” Especially when it comes to cars. Or more specifically cars with soul. After all sourcing a genuine fuel filler cap for a 2011 Toyota Corolla is hardly the stuff you need “a guy” for. But accessing the years of knowledge and nuance of someone who knows their way around say, a BMW 2002, now that’s how things get done (the right way).
It’s how old girls like Ingrid (the nickname of this 2002) come to life. Aside from already having a chrome factory locking BMW petrol cap Ingrid sports a host of subtle enhancements that ensure she can hold her own in modern traffic despite her age-thanks to a guy. A guy by the name of Brent May.
A guy who knows ‘02s. And was responsible for the 5-speed gearbox swap, the addition of an electric fuel pump and the carefully fettered suspension.
Brett also fitted up the period-correct Hella rear brake light, the Momo Prototipo steering wheel, and ensured the engine which now sports a Schlick 284 cam, oversized Mahle pistons, and a single Weber Downdraft 32/36 carburetor, pulls hard.
Ingrid now sits on 13 inch Neue Klasse steel wheels wrapped in old school Pirelli rubber which is just a little different. Now you can never know too many “guys” and as such another guy by the name of Simon Shiff took all the pictures. Once again a guy who really knows his stuff.
As for this guy, well, I just do the driving of this Australian-delivered, matching-numbers classic. That’s right…I do the easy part.
The 1972 BMW 2002 Shown Here
The car you see here, nicknamed Ingrid, is an Australian-delivered Gulf Yellow BMW 2002 – as Glenn mentioned above. It’s been through a lengthy process of discrete upgrades which are all listed above, though apart from the wheels and the Hella lights the car externally looks much the same as the day it left the factory.
The BMW 2002 continues to climb in popularity thanks to its truly analogue driving experience and its surprising practicality as a daily classic.
This 2002 is now being offered for sale out of Victoria in Australia – if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here on Car Sales.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.