1975 2002 Baur Build
Karossrie (Coachbuilder), Baur built 1,963 left- hand drive cabriolets, and 354 right hand drive cabriolets between the periods of July(1) 1971 – December(31) 1975. This information is according to VIN coding found on the most complete site I have come across for such information -http://bmw2002.terraweb.com.pt/producao.htm . This blog is about the restoration of my 1975 Baur built on February 21, 1975 and delivered to the UK a month later. The car retains its original Chamonix color. This specific information can be found by contacting BMW at the following email address email@example.com. As with any restoration , there are always new things to learn, and I will point out facts along the way that have challenged the process – much to do with one- off parts that are no longer available (NLA).
Pre 1971 there were a handful - (200) full cabriolets built. It was decided that a roll bar feature would increase safety in these cars, and the “Targa” was developed. Porsche had the rights to the word “Targa,” and it is used loosely to describe the Baur with the “roll bar” solid roof piece separating a lift - out front roof piece and fold – down rear flexible window piece. Baur also built the TC1, TC2/TC3 and TC4 - E21, E30 and E36, respectively, TC meaning “Top Cabriolet.” Below is a link to the support of these models – http://baurspotting.blogspot.com/.
Along the way I will give credit to those who helped with this restoration.
US parts suppliers; Lajolla Independent, http://www.bimmerdoc.com and Maxamillian Importing, http://www.bmwmobiletradition-online.com/. When buying parts through a US supplier a European Title is required in order to purchase two of any one part in a year’s time. This can slow the parts procurement process. Parts suppliers in Europe used for this restoration include; Jaymic Limited, http://www.jaymic.com, and Wallothnesch, https://www.wallothnesch.com/e/frameoffer.htm.
Chrome pieces requiring straightening, re-anodizing, or polishing, and ceramic coating services were provided by “Finish Line Coating” in Portland, OR. www.finishlinecoatings.com.
The Baur is about 1 ½” shorter, not in wheel base, but in height - 53.54 in. vs 55 ½” in. All other dimensions appear to be the same. The weight is about 160lbs heavier than a standard 2002 due to added structural reinforcing in the rear floor area between B pillars. The Baurs had unique one-off details that set them apart: smaller windshield size with a two piece rigid stainless steel locking strip, inoperable front wing windows, vinyl clad 1/4 window latches with a screw mechanism vs a flip latch, latches associated with the removable top and retractable rear top, including numerous seals, and riveted on stainless steel rain gutters are several notable differences. The B pillar trim and rear ¼ window hinges are shorter by 1 ½” as noted above. Neither are available, so carefully modification of standard 02 parts is required. And, as you might guess, all door seals and ¼ window seals are different and long gone NLA. I was lucky to source both from Carl Nelson at La Jolla Independent who has the only other Baur I have seen in person. The gas tank is noted as 11 gal where a standard 02 is noted at 12.1gal although there is no difference in fitment. The gauge cluster reads kilometers per hour as expected and came standard with a clock instead of a tachometer as a factory upgrade. Rear seat belts were also a factory upgrade. The original engine was an 89mm piston, 1990cc M-10. I can’t find any mention of a Baur as a tii or ti. However, I have seen dual side draft installations. My intentions are to create a pseudo ti car with tii struts and brakes and a rebuilt M10 engine with dual 40 DCOE side drafts and a ti (4) port air Alpina box.
Our 1600, 2002, and E9 BMW’s are susceptible to rust as we all know. Baurs are no different. Any time water is invited into the body as like in internal draining doors, rust will present itself. The Baurs have a nice open well where the rear retractable window stores that provides a good place for moisture to find its way through and un-perfect rear sealing arrangement. This car had its share of rust issues. The body work was expertly repaired by Coupe King in Long Beach, CA. There are several images of the extensive repair work on their web site, http://www.coupeking.com/. The car sat in Coupe King’s shop for a dozen years or more before I started my search for a Baur project. They are professionals to the nth degree, and I knew this would be a sound starting point. I purchased the car from Coupe King in February 2015.
The car was stripped to the bare minimum and rotisserie painted with the original Chamonix and a durable multi coat undercoating.
The car came to me as a shell with a truck load of original parts. The build began with disassembly of the front and rear suspension parts. The only thing(s) saved for reuse were the front sub frame, pitman arms, tension struts, steering box, and rear sub frame, trailing arms and axle shafts. After cleaning and powder coating, the front suspension was rebuilt with all new parts and cad plated hardware unless otherwise noted including: used tii struts, rebuilt tii brake calipers, bearings, resurfaced tii rotors/hubs, rebuilt steering box, brake backing plates, control arms, tie rods, etc etc. All rubber was replaced including upper strut bearings with .5 deg negative camber plates. To finish off the front end, Eibach Springs, HD Bilsteins, and a 19mm sway bar from Jaymic were added.
The OEM fire wall insulation is cumbersome, so a custom piece was provided by Coupe King along with a complete set of custom-formed brake lines. For those of us who have “bent” our own brake lines – it is a chore…
The European car front light buckets and lenses are quite different from the US reflector plate drop-in adjustable H4 Hellas. To make things more confusing, several versions of the European lights were provided over the years. Sourcing these is not easy but a true Euro restoration requires such detail. If you look closely in the images below, my Euro front lights are not installed but have been sourced – thank you Carl Nelson, - and are being restored.
The rear suspension build is quite straight forward – bearings, bushings, rebuilt axle shafts, all cad - plated hardware, Eibachs, Bilsteins, and all new rubber to finish it off. The original 3.64:1 diff has been retained.
She is a “roller” now and onto other tasks like rebuilding the heater plenum box and components, a re-soldered and pressure tested heater core, reinforced valve purchase, lubricated Bowden cables, etc. Thanks to help from faq contributor Auto Dynamik in San Francisco. The next task is sorting the wiring harnesses - checking every wire and making repairs as needed - tedious but necessary and a great lesson on what goes where. Not all harnesses are the same, and not all 12 fuse boxes are the same, i.e. model 71 vs model 73. The electrical portion of the renovation takes lots of quiet time to sort out unless this is your day job – which it is not for me!
The Baur came to me without an engine or drive train, so I set off to source an M10 engine. Only days into my search I found a donor car from NW European Auto Works in Bellingham, WA. It was a 74 tii that had sat in a field for almost a decade and in the rainy northwest was in bad shape but traded to Ron for repair work on another German car. The price was right although I didn’t really want an entire car which is the way it was offered. It was a quick trip to Bellingham and back with a donor on a trailer. I set about pulling out the motor, transmission, etc.
With the engine out and off to C and D Engine Performance www.CDEngines.com for rebuilding, I continued with the restoration in my cramped garage.
The next long-lead item is a European dashboard. The Euro dashes do not have the “fasten seat belt” telltale on the upper dash. In the US I have found them difficult to find. However, I was connected through faq to a great resource in Denmark who was in search of some parts I was able to provide; and, in return, he had a very good two-piece dash from a tii. A tii dash with clock is not correct for a Baur but given the scarcity of Euro dashes I made the purchase and sent it off to Just Dashes for recovering - http://www.justdashes.com/. The dash came back looking factory new. The recovering work was excellent. Now with a gauge cluster with a tachometer, a clock seems reasonable and adds a bit or recognizable character.
The engine build came to a screeching halt with a cracked block from the donor tii. Back to square one and the need to source another M10 short block. One phone call to my friend Mike O’Hara at Mike O’Hara BMW Service in Portland, and I was back in business – a 74 tii long block and a 74 short block.
The engine is in its final stages of assembly and will be installed by Race Craft in Woodenville, WA. http://racecraftnw.com/.
The car is meant to be a street car for limited use, but a 292deg. reground cam from Ireland Engineering http://www.bmw2002.com/ in a ported E12 head with 100% replacement valve train parts, 40 DCOE Weber side drafts, and 1mm oversized K & N pistons with about a 9.5:1 compression ratio will give the Baur a sporty punch on a Sunday drive. Add a balanced 228mm flywheel/clutch assembly, and we have a tidy power plant.
During the protracted engine build I decided to complete the interior work. The removable hard top that came with the car looked to be in decent shape. The retractable rear section needed to be replaced entirely. The retractable frame went to the powder coater while Jaymic in The UK ordered a new top from BMW. It is very surprising that these are (were) still available. The hard top is NLA with a delivery date from BMW of July, 2017. The date came and went with no new production, so it was time to rebuild the original top. Fortunately I found All City Convertibles in Kirkland, WA. https://www.allcityconvertible.com/. They provide expert work with years of classic car upholstery repair and installation experience. New German wool loop carpets were sourced from Europe. There is no substitute for properly cut, marked, and hemmed with proper vinyl trim pieces, than carpets from Jaymic. The carpet install was painless – the hard targa top restoration was a different story. Once the damaged top covering material was removed, it was clear the top had likely flown off the car and was tweaked out of square and had been poorly repaired with epoxy filler among other things. All City did a fine job, given their starting point, with resurrecting the top - requiring removing the old repair material and properly bringing the shape back to true form. Recovering the outside and re-stitching a new underside headliner to match the pleated original completed the job. The original seal along three sides of the top had to be reused and is NLA. The rear seal is still in production but chrome latches and other joining pieces and NLA and had to be rechromed and polished.
This blog will be amended once I have more to share. Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you have a particular interest in any part of the article I can be reached best by email