bimmer_b

Finishing my Dad's 2002tii-Legacy project story

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(edited)
  •  I'm sure some other version of this is on here somewhere already, but as that was written 4 years ago I have decided to rewrite the story myself now that I have had time to put it all together.
    When I was in about 4th grade my Dad (Gary) bought this Chamonix White '72 2002tii after seeing it parked in a snowbank in the Roaring Fork Valley of Carbondale, CO. I have fond memories of riding to school in it before he decided to start working on it. A few years later he began working on some minor upgrades and repairs which then snowballed into a one man restoration project.  He was an accomplished woodworker and cabinet maker in Aspen so he took his attention to detail and excellent craftsmanship and applied it to everything he did to the car. I don't think I was very interested in cars during this time, but I enjoyed seeing progress on it and the enjoyment it brought him. I think he used working on the car as a way to relax and found tinkering therapeutic as many other enthusiasts do. It was also a learning experience for him. He was the type of person who could be pretty good at anything he put his mind to and this was evident with the work on the car even when he had to teach himself to be a jack of all trades with this as he got more and more involved.
    Growing up I was always acquiring new and interesting information from my Dad who's hobbies and interests ranged from hiking, dirt biking, to playing stand up and electric bass and playing around with his miniature cannon. Like I said, I wasn't interested in cars growing up, but enjoyed watching the 2002 come apart and go back together (and come apart a few more times). Between my Mom the artist and my Dad the tinkerer, I acquired a love for learning how things worked, how they were designed and how they can be fixed. Some short background info about me-as I mentioned I like the satisfaction of understanding how things work and being able to fix them. I used to disassemble all sorts of things growing up and see if I could put them back together successfully. In 11th grade I decided that since I spent a lot of time driving my car I should figure out how that works too so if it ever breaks down I wouldn't be completely stranded. I signed up for the auto class elective just to learn a few basic repairs for my car. The previous summer I got a job working at the KTM dealer in our town since I used to dirtbike with my Dad and figured it would be a fun job working with parts and learning more about bikes. So as I started taking auto classes, I continued to work at the KTM dealer and they were kind enough to take time and show me how things worked, how to build shocks, disassemble engines and prep bikes for enduro trips. I realized that I really enjoyed this type of stuff. Always seeing the 2002 got me more interested in BMW's, so at this point I got my first BMW which was a boring automatic E36 325i, but I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I started working on that in class and then decided I wanted to continue my education in this type of field so I signed up for tech school, moved to Arizona, continued on to the BMW factory training program and am now a Level 1 Hybrid trained BMW Master Tech at a dealer in Virginia that I have worked at for 8 years now.
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    So back to the 2002tii and my Dad's " legacy" as it were. Unfortunately in January of 2013 he passed away from cancer leaving the car unfinished. Of course the obvious thing to do was go get it and finish it! While home for the memorial I inventoried everything he had, collected and organized all the pictures, plans and parts for it. The following year my then boyfriend and I devised a plan to drive out to Colorado with a truck and trailer, assemble it to the best of our ability, take it to the BMWCCA event in Beaver Creek, CO and along with my Mom bring it back to Virginia and complete it once we got it here. 
     
    Of course as they say "hope for the best and prepare for the worst".  The major issue was that the doors the trunk and the hood were unpainted. Ok, well we can just have the paint matched, paint it and be on our way.....not so. We got it back here, took it to our friend's body shop and discovered it was too difficult to match the paint and decided it would be best to paint the whole car. Great, no problem. Wait. The doors have so much bondo they are not worth it. On to buying new doors from BMW.  Ok, now we can paint it. Wait more discoveries. Wavy body panels, roof issues primer lifting etc. (I found pictures from 1982 where the car had previously undergone a total restoration so lots of hands had already been all over this). I didn't expect this to be a piece of cake by any means, but I definitely was not into sanding the whole body down for total redo of EVERYTHING my Dad (or the other resto people) had done. Sigh.  Thanks so much to Apple Valley Restoration for storing this way past what we all thought it would be and all the help throughout that time. Now, this is of course way more than I anticipated. Unfortunately, other events happened and to make a long story short, it had to sit at their shop for a while, got moved to a friend's garage to sit some more, then to another garage for even more sitting. Not a happy car. I whispered many apologies for this neglect. *Disclaimer* during this time I also started club racing my E30 and racing is a fun way of spending money and paying for bodywork is a not so fun way of spending money. So this contributed to the neglect sadly. Anyways. Here we are now. 2018. Goals, motivation, optimism, less racing (maybe). Shit is gonna get done! 
    Patience is not something I have a lot of stock of, but as everything in life is a test of it I am (hopefully) finally getting the hang of it.  After being completely blown off by another bodyshop I had come give me an estimate in January for what I had in mind and being really, really sad and having my Mom tell me to sell it and having an internal dilemma about what to do with a perceived ball and chain plus additional sadness and despair; Enter Kevin from D&V Autobody who was kind enough to come to the newest hiding place the 2002 is in right now and look at it. I am grateful to all those who maintain a passion for something no matter what it may be throughout their whole lives. Kevin seems to be one of these people and his passion is cars and has the same pride in taking a total mess and making it amazing again that my Dad started out with. With a "yes we can!" attitude he assessed it, said it could be done if not by his shop, but another trusted shop and by the end of the day had set up a plan, estimate and rough timeline. I took it to Moe’s collision who looked over the car, gave me an estimate within my budget, and agreed to take on the project. I handed it off to them in April with most of the parts and basically said “here are some parts, I don’t know where all this stuff goes”. They were kind enough to humor me and my lack helpful information about the car. Of course what seemed like a quick job turned into finding even more things to be repaired but in the end they persevered and last month all the body work was completed and I picked it up to start on the tedious task of figuring out how everything goes back together. 
     
    I have started piecing things back together and am trying to document as much as I can as I go along, but so far it has just been me trying to figure out how it all goes back together since I didn't disassemble most of it. 
    More recent pictures are on my Istagram @bimmer_b for those interested in seeing the progress. 
    ****The photos attached below on my first post are from when my Dad was working on it. Most all additional photo posts are photos I have taken and current unless stated otherwise. 

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Here is the prototype of the customer console my Dad created. I am currently sending the CAD drawings out for the face plate to get laser cut from aluminum. Eventually I plan to make a few of these if I can if anyone is interested in a custom upgraded console. 

 

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Edited by bimmer_b
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awesome progress Ana!!!  offer still stands if you need help figuring out where stuff goes.

 

probably see you at the track tomorrow.

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(edited)

Thanks! I'll be up there and have some questions for you. I actually came across your etsy carpet installation video the other day haha.  I'm waiting on some smaller pieces and retainers for all the trim before I have you come over so I can have it all ready to go on when I have your car to compare to. See you tomorrow.  

Edited by bimmer_b

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Great story and awesome project. I'm still driving my daily 02 around the Roaring Fork Valley and I'm sure I'll be thinking about this along the way. I always wonder what what my girls are going to do with the car after I'm gone.....  Best of luck and enjoy the rest of the journey!

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1 hour ago, landon said:

Great story and awesome project. I'm still driving my daily 02 around the Roaring Fork Valley and I'm sure I'll be thinking about this along the way. I always wonder what what my girls are going to do with the car after I'm gone.....  Best of luck and enjoy the rest of the journey!

Awesome! How long have you lived there? I think I only ever saw one other 2002 the whole time I lived there haha. 

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(edited)

Here are some more recent pictures from the bodyshop while it was there. 

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Edited by bimmer_b
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Thanks for sharing - I enjoyed reading your story. Best of luck and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress!

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I have been following your adventure with this project since the beginning and can’t wait to see the final result.

You are awesome, Ana!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Great story, and awesome work. I’m sure your father is proudly smiling down on your progress. Bravo!

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Super cool, great to see paint on it!  It's all "down hill" from here.

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Love seeing the progress along the way on Instagram and love the attention to detail. I came here just to read it after I saw your IG Story mention it earlier.  =)

 

Good luck with the build!

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18 minutes ago, AceAndrew said:

Super cool, great to see paint on it!  It's all "down hill" from here.

Now is the tedious part where I sort through 1000 nuts and bolts and figure out where they go. Still trying to organize and figure out what is what, but looking forward to the finished project.

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13 minutes ago, scabzzzz said:

Love seeing the progress along the way on Instagram and love the attention to detail. I came here just to read it after I saw your IG Story mention it earlier.  😃

 

Good luck with the build!

Thanks! I'm excited to share the progress with other enthusiasts. I will probably continue to post on there since it is easier to do quick pictures, but I will try to update this with more information about what I'm doing when I can. 

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(edited)

Here is a quick video of the car right after I got it back from the bodyshop. They did a great job considering how much additional work it ended up needing and did it all within my budget. There are a few things I'd like fixed once I get everything back together, but overall I'm pretty happy with how it has turned out. Hopefully the video quality is good enough that you can see how the paint came out. 

 

Edited by bimmer_b
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4 hours ago, bimmer_b said:

Awesome! How long have you lived there? I think I only ever saw one other 2002 the whole time I lived there haha. 

Been in the area since 2000. Work in Glenwood and go up toward Aspen regularly. I rarely see them here but I just saw another 02 a few weeks ago owned by a woman in Carbondale. A 76 in Anthracite metallic color. She got it cheap and it needs care but she is super excited about it!

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