Tremelune

2002 as modern highway cruiser?

38 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

I'm in the process of consolidating my fleet, and one of my precious garage spots is about to open up. As this spot is precious, I'd like the car that fills it to be one I love, and an automobile that serves a useful purpose. As such, I'm wondering if I can fill this spot with a drool-worthy classic that will behave as well as a modern car in the areas I care about most.

 

Yes, I could just buy a modern car for less money that will be better in every way, but anyone who owns a car from the 70s has already lost all semblance of rational thought in this department. I'd rather build a 40-year-old car into something special. I'm just trying to figure out just how far off my rocker I am.

 

Most of my driving these days is just driving an hour or two out of Brooklyn on weekends to escape. 90% highway, in varying states of disrepair, in all weather but snow. I currently have an E39 M5 that handles this task phenomenally well, but it's a very heavy, very complex car that just doesn't capture my heart the way a monster like it should. If I could replace it with a classic that hits the bullet points above, that would be too cool. My goals for this vehicle:

 

- Comfortable. Quiet. Smooth.
- Rock-steady at 100mph.
- Excellent heat and air conditioning.
- Dead reliable; cheap/infrequent maintenance.

 

Sound/volume are very subjective, and I know plenty of people that insist they have no problem driving for hours on the highway with straight pipes or something. I am not one of those people. Most cars are pretty quiet at 65mph. Most are not at 85mph, and that is regularly the average speed of highway traffic around here. Most cars handle pretty well at 65mph, very few inspire confidence at track speeds (even in a straight line).

 

My plan would be to buy a rust-free car in good running-project condition, make sure the seals are good to keep down wind noise, then add a healthy amount of sound deadening material (CLD, CCF, MLV) to keep the noise out. Sound deadening goes a long way towards quieting down old cars if done right (and weight is not a huge concern), and this could be done to any on my list.

 

Originality means nothing to me, and I would prefer to get a modified example that would keep the price down and maybe get me down the road for my goals (while also absolving me of any guilt from wrecking a clean classic). Something with a modern engine and transmission would be ideal, but that may not even be necessary for my purposes if I can get away with a tall diff for low-RPM cruising at highway speeds.

 

My cost ballpark: I'm expecting to drop maybe $15k on a car and $10k to get it "right" for this purpose. Does that seem reasonable for a 2002 in good shape? Other vehicles I'm considering are: '69 Mustang, '67 Camaro, Datsun 240Z.

 

I guess I'm looking for first-hand accounts of 2002s that have fulfilled this role for people. Maybe some builds that had similar goals in mind so I can get a better idea of what it would take? I don't need an S54 track monster, but I'd like something that behaves better than a screaming, carbed example. Is there anything inherent about a 2002 that makes this a bad platform for my purpose? I realize their best performance feature is lightweight handling around corners as opposed to luxurious straight-line cruising, but still, I ruminate.

 

Thoughts?

 

BMW2002-1635_8.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

M20 swapped 02 with a 3.64 rear end is probably your answer. You just won't get the tactile feel the 02 gives with any other of the options for other cars you've listed. This car responds so well to modification.....yet driving a bone stock example is also fun as hell.

 

 Someone with a m20 swapped car should chime in.

 

Excellent AC? Well....that might be a tall order.......but some have done it!

Edited by arminyack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subscribed, fellow Pelicanite.

And where is the average speed 85MPH around Brooklyn? ; )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha, no chance. But once you get a ways up 684...

 

I've read way too much about 2002 engine swaps. Seems like the M42 is still the favorite, though the newest around is over 20 years old. I'm still waiting for Ford to release their 1.0L EcoBoost as a crate engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, John_in_VA said:

2002s were originally made to travel all day long at 100 mph with four occupants.  What's changed?

Air bags. ABS. Crash protection. ;-)

 

I'd vote M42, or turbo M42 and a/c. Like KenH's build.

 

But, rust and other drivers are your enemies here, OP.

 

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strange thing, safety. Like, safety is good, but as a motorcyclist it always winds up pretty low on my list.

 

The 100mph bit was mainly a consideration for the muscle cars I'm also investigating...If you want them to drive straight outside of a parade, it seems you need to reinforce the chassis and install new subframes with modern brakes/suspensions. I keed, I keed...The upside is stupid-cheap parts, tons of kits to do anything, and room for an LS.

 

Got a link for KenH's build handy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the 70's I've owned 2002's for the

expeess purposes of Road Tripping.

for the 4if july I drove west palm to Washington dc / return 1500 miles ?

my A/c worked , I averaged 70-75 mph 

 

image.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooo...As a subjective comparison, my E30 M3 is quite loud and very buzzy at over 75mph, even though it is very happy and comfortable to be there.

 

I get your point, though—it is encouraging to hear.

Edited by Tremelune

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Tremelune said:

Strange thing, safety. Like, safety is good, but as a motorcyclist it always winds up pretty low on my list.

 

The 100mph bit was mainly a consideration for the muscle cars I'm also investigating...If you want them to drive straight outside of a parade, it seems you need to reinforce the chassis and install new subframes with modern brakes/suspensions. I keed, I keed...The upside is stupid-cheap parts, tons of kits to do anything, and room for an LS.

 

Got a link for KenH's build handy?

 

 

Needs updated, it's farther along now:

 

http://www.classicdaily.net/category/current/1975-bmw-2002-turbo-m42/

 

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2002's excel at being FUN and unassuming (to quote Mr. Seinfield," Practical fun!"), while they can highway cruise, it's not where they are at their best.  I drove mine as a DD for 4 years and 60 miles a day.  That time was enjoyable, but driving up in the Angeles National Forest is what put a grin on my face.

 

Given your premise (and your other car options), you should be looking at a sexy E9 coupe, or it's fat-but-still-fun twin the E3 Bavaria.  That would a closer apples-to-apples comparison.

 

Not my picture.

SoCal10PB-29.jpg

Edited by AceAndrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely cars, but last I checked, every rust-free example is going for significantly more than a bog-standard 2002.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well.......YOLO

 

 

Seriously though, I mentioned the Bavaria as well.  It is much less spendy and much better at gobbling up the highway miles mile in relative "period" luxury.  

 

If you need to find someone relatively local to bounce the idea around with (and perhaps mooch a drive), message Mike Katsoris ( http://www.bmw2002faq.com/profile/39527-mike472/ ).  He's got one that has been sound-proofed and has had injection put on.  Friendly enough fellow.

 

Edited by AceAndrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure.

With a 5 speed.

My tii cruises very nicely at 70 turning just under 3K RPM. 4K she purrs at 87 MPH.

I've had her up to 105 once, she was still climbing but I shut her down to "normal speed"....Just had to do it once.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I daily drive my '69 in southern CA without any problems.  I cruise up to 80 mph quite often and have a 5 speed and fuel injection.  The reliability and fuel mileage are excellent.

 

I don't believe, however, you will get anywhere close to a modern car where quiet and HVAC are concerned.  I have all new seals and there is quite a bit of wind noise over 60 mph.  The heater is excellent but I've heard the AC is marginal.  I don't have it installed.

 

I love my DD though!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now