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Need Help From The Experts...


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I'm new to the community. I have been reading up on the 2002 for a while now and recently pulled the trigger on the following car...


I have placed the deposit and will be flying to California next week to view the car in person before completing the purchase.

So as the title says...I need help from the experts of the 2002 community. Basically looking for advice on what should I be looking for? The description is pretty detailed and the seller is a huge bmw enthusiast and had a pretty expensive collection of BMW's

Thank in advance! In not a complete novice, but I would like all the info anyone can provide.

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Nice early car, appears rust-free. Don't care for the wheels or the interior upholstery, but that is just me.


Covering schawrz on front grill is wrong too but that can be rectified in a jiffy if you prefer correctness.


rear view mirrors are wrong for the year - but maybe originality isn't a big issue you or the seller.


Fancy mods to the engine bay beyond my level of knowledge but better make sure they check out


Also, look for bondo under all that shiny Verona paint!


Here is the info from the VIN given:



V.I.N. 1669546 Modelo BMW 2002 Región USA Versión (LHD) Volante a la izquierda Transmisión Mecánico Carrocería 114 Generación Pre 71 Año 1969 Producción ene-69 - dic-69
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A couple of things.  It says it's restored but definitely not to a stock interior, so you may want to think about whether you want stock or not.  Seats have no head rests.  Trunk interior not the same color as body?  Not sure if the blueprinted engine would give 180hp even with the mods.  My 71 has same cam with 9.5 compression, ported polished E12 head, weber 38/38 but nowhere near 180hp.  Engine sounds very noisy at idle and a lot more noisier than mine.   The price seems fair for what they say went into the car but if it were me I would have another reputable shop look it over before deciding.

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From the VIN I'd say the car was a mid-year '70 -- too high to be a '69...


Check the archives--tons of info on what to look for when buying a used 2002--just don't get buck fever and buy it anyway even if you have some doubts--that's a lot of money for a not correctly restored 2002, even with the modified engine...IMHO


But if it's what you want, and it checks out, go for it.



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Car looks nice and has great performance upgrades if that's what you want.

I agree with the other posts and here is my 02 cents...

Did the '69 models have head rests?  I'd want them or add them if possible.

Black painted trunk?  Why????  Has the car been in an accident?  Is it 100% straight?

I'd spend the money to have a trusted shop thuroughly check it out.


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Is it 100% straight?


The gap at the front of the driver's door looks funny and that particular piece of belt line trim is rough, compared to the rest.



Calling it rust free does not mean there is not rust waiting to bubble back through.  (which mine is doing now)  I cannot imagine going through such a thorough restoration without taking photos of the process.  I would like to know what they started with and would ask to see the photo album of the build.  I have seen too many photos of "rust free" cars where they cut out the holes and weld patches to the thin skin of what used to be good metal. 


Brake/clutch fluid that low should light the warning light on the dash ( I think) and may indicate a leak somewhere.  That looks like a welded in rust patch in the upper right corner by the turn signal.  I would pull the assemblies out and look behind them.  It appears to be missing the fuse cover, not that that is a 'deal breaker'.



Not an "expert" here, just making observations... piddley thought they may be.

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First of all, thank you everyone for all your feedback and advice: much appreciated!!!

Rather than go back and quote everyone I will try to address each in somewhat order....

The car is no doubt a resto mod. I decided against a Tii since there are changes I would want to make anyways and it just didn't seem right to do if the car was all original: should be preserved not modded. I think the resto mod on this vehicle is, overall, period correct. Meaning if someone back then wanted to hop up their car in that time period, this is what they might do. It's not for everyone, but I don't think it's obnixous of gaudy, so it fits what I'm looking for.

As for performing a PPI, are there any shops in the LA, Gelndale area that anyone can recommend to check out the car? Preferably a shop with 2002 experience.

I emailed the Vin to the BMW Group Archive and they stated the car was built October 30th 1969 and delivered November 3rd 1969 to "JBS Group" which I'm assuming is familiar to the forum. I guess they provided vehicles to service members who later shipped the cars home. Does that still make it a 1970?

The trunk is actually carpeted, so I am unsure is the truck is painted to match the body. I will be checking it when I see the car in person, mostly for any evidence of rust/overall condition. But I guess this mod triggers the "purists" OCD :)

Good catch on the drivers door trim! I noticed the door gaps which is a standard inspection point, but I handnt noticed the "wonky" condition of the trim.

Is the brake fluid reservoir the container attached to the drivers side strut tower? Didn't notice that low fluid level on first glance either: another great catch.

I noticed the idle was high too, something I was going to check when I see it. I know cars I've had in the past ran high until they warmed up. Didn't know if it was sometjing typical in the 2002's.

Now for the major red flags. The seller said this car was his baby and never planned on selling, but he's trying to buy a house which nessitated the sale. As for the red flag....he said he has absolutely no pictures of the build and absolutely no receipts......WHAT????!!!!

Trust me, I was just as puzzled, which is one of the main reasons I'm flying from Maui to see the car in person. He said he built the car over the course of 4 years and didn't keep anything because "It was just for me, and never planned on selling it".

I did research in the "Barking" system. I found out this was a mod performed post WWII. It involved placing several small puppies in the wheels which could be commanded to run backwards to assist with braking. I guess it was the precursor to power assist brakes. He must have added new puppies since I would assume, depending on breed, the dogs would have either died or outgrown the wheels. All kidding aside, again, I do appreciate everyone in this community scrutinizing the vehicle/listing for me. I feel much more educated about the vehicle already!!

With all that being said, please keep the feedback and advise coming. All are welcome and encouraged to comment!!!!

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Good spot on that rust repair by the front turn signal, high idle ( maybe wrong jetting ) ? mine idles at 500 rpm if I let it , & that fuel pump is so noisy !  as is the engine but I've found you tube videos even the best running engines sound like a tractor on the computer !

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