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My first post! What should I do with these seats?


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Hello! I am new to this forum because after years of wishing and hoping, I just picked up a 73 2002! It needs frame rails and so it's in the shop getting that done. Along with the car I got an additional 3 front seats and one rear seat. All are in need of repair. Currently it has some 3 series seats in the front (I think?) that are in decent shape

Two of the front seats are not 2002 seats (I'm no expert) they have a cloth that I've never seen on an 02 and the drivers seat has a plug (seat warmer?) Both are missing hardware, the hinges are rusty and don't have covers.These may just end up going to the dump unless anyone here tells me they are worth something:





There is a matching rear seat, but since I don't think the front seats are for this car, I'm not sure the rear seat will work (again, car is in the shop, can't check the fit)


And then there is one actual 2002 seat that needs some help:

Is it a pipe dream to try to find a similar passenger seat? I have a vision of a brown interior, but it would have to happen in phases. Anyway, curious to hear what you all think of these sitting devices.

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The beige cloth seats may well be 2002 seats, but from a 75 or 76.  Those two years had headrests with the adjustment rods set close together, while earlier seats (like the blue one you pictured) have 'em much further apart.  We could tell more if we could see the reclining mechanism.   And that plug in your picture is probably for the infamous seat belt ignition interlock.  It kept the car from starting until the passenger seat belt was fastened, even if the passenger was a sack of groceries!  That little device usually didn't survive the first week of ownership.


What's unusual about both the beige and blue seats is that the're cloth.  Prior to 1975, very few 2002s came to the US with cloth seats, as the importer (Max Hoffman) ordered all his cars with the optional vinyl interior.  It's entirely possible that those beige seats have been reupholstered.  The carpet on the underside of the front seats and foam rubber on the back seat are giveaways.  2002 seats were padded with rubberized horsehair (gummihaar --love that word!).  


Depending on the color of your car, that dark blue seat may well be original to your car.  Post the original color (if you can determine it) and the VIN, and we can tell you more.  


And BTW, welcome to the 02 fraternity/sorority.  Lots of good information here, and lots of friendly folks too.





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Thanks Mike!
This car was purchased by the original owner in Frankfurt on August 1, 1973. The owner was a US military member and he sent it to his home in Kansas later that same month. He kept pretty good records through his ownership until sometime in the 90s.
VIN is 2593431 color is listed as fjord.

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Well, that blue seat is probably original to the car, as a Fjord exterior would have had blue seats inside.  It also explains the cloth seat, as the car wasn't bought through the BMW importer, but was either ordered directly from the factory or from a German company specializing in sales to military and diplomatic personnel stationed there.


Based on the VIN, you have one of the last 300 US roundies off the assembly line;  2593704 was the last one.




PS--post pictures!

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The seat below is, as Mike says, perhaps original to your car if your car is a late round taillight. By “late”, I mean manufactured from late January 1973 through August 1973. The distinguishing factors are (1.) the “eared” headrest — fatter at the ends than at the center —in contrast to the earlier “tubular” style, (2.) 12mm. headrest supports, as opposed to the earlier 10mm. supports, (3.) widespread headrest supports, as opposed to the later “close-set” supports, and (4.) black splatter-painted metal recliners. The cloth center section is not original. Whether the center section was originally cloth or molded vinyl, it had 12 pleats originally: now it has 13. A 1974 model seat uses precisely the same frame and headrests as the late 1973 model seat, but has a different seat cover, with 7 pleats, and a panel of smooth vinyl above the pleats on the backrest (akin to the navy blue 1975-76/e21 seats currently in the car).


Again, as has already been said, none of the 5 front seats you’ve shown (5 = 2 navy blue seats + 2 beige seats + 1 navy blue seat) has an entirely original seat cover. All have been re-done in some fashion.


1975-76/e21 seats have a manufacturing year stamped into the recliner (the metal recliner is covered by a flimsy plastic cover). Below, in the second photo, is the 1976 (“76” date stamp on one of my ‘76’s spare front seats. If the inboard female seat belt receptacle attaches to the seat frame, it is certainly an e21 seat frame. But 2002’s and very early e21’s (I suspect these were 1975-76 Euro-spec models) had their inboard female seat belts attached to the car’s driveline tunnel.


There are lots of threads about both identifying ‘02 seats and, perhaps importantly, restoring ‘02 seats, a potentially challenging and/or expensive project if your goal is to have original-appearing seats.


Welcome and regards,








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Thanks for the replies, it's pretty incredible the amount of specific knowledge that is in this forum. I'm impressed. Here's a few pictures of the car. It's had some spray paint applied and the passenger door looks like there's been an attempt at a repair. But other than that I think it's in fairly solid shape. Starts right up and sounds great.





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