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1976 2002 - testing the waters, feet still a bit cold...


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Price: $1234
Location: Omaha, NE


I have no idea what this thing is worth, but I'm considering selling it & if anyone has a quick valuation thought, that would be super helpful. 

This is a project Ive been working on for about 2 years. I have mechanical experience but no bodywork experience so, while there is no rust, the metal surface, such as subtle dents & so forth – is an amateur job; some orange peel as well. I also welded the trim holes shut, so it's not going back to original anytime soon. It can be enjoyed as is and it turns lots of heads, but a true collector will want to consider a future project to get the body flawless (if that's your thing). Interior is really nice - new carpet, dash cover, e30 sport seats, custom console with gauges, new momo wheel, great headliner, new window seals, new windshield. 

Mechanically, almost everything is new – including the engine, which is a crate rebuild (1.8) from Sise BMW. It has about 750 miles on the new engine. It was built with a 288 cam but I don't recall which pistons were used (I can find out). Also, new starter, alternator, interstate battery, 123 distributor, ireland header, all new ansa exhaust, aluminum radiator w/ electric fan, new weber 38/38 can w/ electric fuel pump from Ireland. The brake lines are all new, as are all brake components (oem setup). the wheel bearings are new, the springs & bilstein shocks are new, the subframe and all front steering and suspension bushings are new (poly), Has 22mm sway bars & a welded reinforced front subframe and new engine mounts. Italian turn signal lenses. LED lights all around.

About the only things that were not replaced are: the original 4 speed gearbox, the steering box & the rear diff. The steering box leaks & feels worn.

The car runs "pretty good". However, I live in a part of the world with no vintage car craftsmen – not european, that is. Ive tried with all my might to get local help tuning the carb just right & no one will even talk to me about it, because its carbed & because there isn't a bow tie on the front. I can't afford to ship it to CA to a proper mechanic & I can't afford the kind of fuel injection that I'd like (I'm not jamming an early e30 manifold on there). It also recently stopped charging the battery, so I dissected every inch of the harness, replaced the voltage regulator & checked belt tension. All issues can be fixed with enough patience, skill & money, of course – but I have too many other things going on.

So lots of upside on this car, but a few black eyes, Im afraid:

  1. amateur paint job
  2. grumbly acceleration / misfire
  3. electrical gremlin
  4. leaky steering box
  5. located in a flyover state, far from civilization
  6. hood prop / spring removed

    If anyone has any pricing advice considering the drawbacks above, it would be super appreciated. It would help me determine whether to sell it now, and which sales method to employ. Unfortunately, I'm not profiting on this like most classic car sellers right now – it will be a loss, and I can deal with that. Thanks!








Edited by ketchup
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I have no idea what it's worth; however, I think it's a cool '02, regardless of its flaws.  I have had one almost like it and have enjoyed thoroughly showing it TLC and bringing it up-to-snuff for a couple of years.  Currently, it's getting a new hot rod (of sorts) engine.  My point:  Someone might turn this ride into a gem.  Suggestion:  Put a number in that white circle and you'd be stylin'.


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Thanks to all for the feedback, including the PMs. I think I've decided to keep it for now, but Ive realized that fiddling with a carb just isn't for me. I'm considering fuel injection options, either an add-on system, or selling this entire power plant as you see it in favor of an M42 swap. If the latter occurs, I will list the current engine in the parts for sale section. It will include this like-new motor, the intake, new weber, new ignition 123 dist., ireland header, aluminum radiator, new starter, new alternator, 4spd gearbox – all together on one pallet. Wow – what a deal for the fellow with a project!

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These guys are in the BIMRS database.  Have you tried them?  I agree with Larry 100%…your car is cool.



John Martin, Omaha's European Import Specialist, has owned & operated the Sports Car Garage since 1976. His knowledge & hands-on experience is unbeatable.




02ing since '87

'72 tii Euro  //  '21 330i x //  '14 BMW X5  //  '12 VW Jetta GLI

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