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Might as well get my two cents in. I have a 1974 1802 Touring, original drivetrain 240,000 km, 4:11 diff. I have to drive 4100 rpm just to get to 65 mph. It actually gets quieter around 4300 rpm. Couple of trips to Monterey this year 4 hrs at around 4300- 4500 each way in 90 degree weather. Intervals at 5k+, but the temp starts to go up a bit, and the frequency of speeding tickets also increases. Bottom line. The engine, even though old and tired, doesn't mind 4k+ driving. Actually seems quite happy.

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there is no problem with running a properly maintained M10 at any level below the redline for long periods. it is NOT beating on it and it WAS made to run like that.  if you are below 4k rpm all the t

In 1974 we drove from the BMW factory in Munich to the Nurburgring and spent a lot of the trip on the autobahn at close to 6000 in top gear (and we were in the RIGHT lane) If it is a healthy engine do

They all speak the truth , these little bleeders of ours love to rev & stretch their legs on the open highway.REV BABY REV.

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Thanks guys (anywhere in time), now it makes perfect sense.
I drove the car briefly before i restored it so i blamed the noise at 60mph on the condition...
9 months later car restored, engine rebuilt and i was like ... what the hell is this 60mph drama about ? maybe third gear is not kicking in ??? maybe my automatic gear slips ?? maybe i forgot something loose in the engine ? ... no, no and no

After installing an external tachometer (mine has a watch instead) i found out that i drive 60mph at 3500rpm , like (almost) all '02s even when i have a 4.11 diff.
Spinning the wheels at start and 2nd gear very common and the car is very agile. 
i found a 3.64 diff on ebay and by the simple math it should do 60mph at 3045rpm, great cause that's where it's still relatively relaxed.
Yet, keeping up with traffic is no less than 75mph and that should be around 3800rpm which starts to sound like a very normal engine speed.

If i could only change my disbelief that those engines are "happy" with it ... 
 

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Human Factor: What is pleasing to the ears vs the engine. 

 

Lots of toys are more enjoyable on the freeway with ear plugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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