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Guest Anonymous

Doing a paper for school on the 2002...need your input!

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Guest Anonymous

Hey everyone,

I have to do a primary research paper on a subculture or specialty group for one of my classes, so I figured what better thing to do it on than our beloved 2002?! So I need you guys' (and Gals) help. I want to know why you love the 02, what your favorite thing is about the 02, and why you think that it is such a cult car with a cult following? Anything else you think I should add would be greatly appreciated too. Thanks in advance for the input!

Alvin Caragay

BMWCCA# 156055

'72 BMW 2002

'89 BMW 325iX

'97 Toyota Tacoma

Pair of '90 Yamaha FZR400's

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Guest Anonymous


somebody was writing a graduate thesis on the 02 subculture! i have their draft article somewhere. email me and i can shoot you a copy..;)


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Guest Anonymous

I like 02's cos:

2002's have real character in an increasingly bland

motoring landscape. They reflect my individuality,

but beyond the aesthetic are a brilliant example of

simple engineering working beyond the sum of

their parts.

Their abilities are still valid today, despite the

significant advances in engineering, and are

appreciated by like minded people for similar

reasons. And there are a thousand simple yet

effective upgrades to further make your 02 special.

Last, but by no means least, a drive in any 2002

will leave a big smile on your face.

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Guest Anonymous

'cause chicks dig it

......AND I have a $50 a day rust addiction.:-)



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Guest Anonymous

After a year of driving a 320I(POS) I finaly got my 02 running. after a long day of school it is nice to know your 2002 is waiting there and even though it might not be the best looking car around, It still lifts my spirits to hear the raspy sound of the nice exhaust leak and to smell of gas. Also The people who own 2002's are a helpful bunch. The locals especially. The knowledge and stories shared between owneres seems to help keep our cars on the road.

Just my $.02

Andy Rattley

1971 2002

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Guest Anonymous

Alvin, I'm not sure I know, but I drove (and raced) 356A Porsches for 29 years, but by the time my son was a year old (and always in the front seat in a car-seat) my wife was gettin a little tired of being cramed in the "back seat". The 356 was ruby red with black leather interior and no A/C. This in So. AZ where summer temps at mid day easily go over a hundred. So. . . .I started looking for another car in 1981. Only requirements were: white, tinted windows, and A/C. I didn't care if it was a ' 52 Plymouth Suburban as long as it met my 3 requirements. Well, I'm not sure what took me to the BMW dealership, but maybe I remembered seeing the Bimmers race in SCCA when I was running Porsches. They had a chamonix '75 in the lot and a test drive (in which I noticed more body roll than I was used to in my 356 and turn signals which didn't return as fast as I was used to) convinced me this was the car. That was 240K miles ago and I'm still driving the same car. When my son turned 15 we bought a '74 and got it ready for him when he turned 16. He's 22 and still driving the same car (including to this year's O'Fest). Four years ago my son spotted a '76 Automatic in a junk yard (where it had been sitting for 5 yrs.) and we rescued it for my wife. Now all three of us in our family daily drive ' 02s. Our cars were the May 2002 calendar picture in Rob Torres 2002 ULTIMATE CALENDAR, and were pictured twice in BMWNA Feb issue of BMW Magazine. I do mantainence (or repairs) on our three cars every weekend. Why all this? All I can say is I now love the '02s as much as I ever did my 356s and I thought I'd never say that. They're easy to work on, parts are readily available and relatively cheap when you consider that this is a quality car, kept maintained, they run forever, a ball to drive hard, enjoyable to blow off machinery that has no idea what they're up against, and a opening to great and knowledgable folk. I could go on and on, but my wife says dinner is ready and will be cold if I do go on. Good luck with your paper, and get rid of those "other" cars you own.

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Guest Anonymous



I decided to get an 2002 by process of elimination. I was looking for and older car to be affordable fun to drive daily transportation. Finally I had the choices narrowed down to a 1st gen Z car or the 2002. The 2002 won out because I wanted four seats, and the only four seater Z cars were post 73, thus requiring smog checks. I sold my first 02, it wasn't affordable or practical, but I ended up with another one shortly after.

The 02 has the appeal of having the character of an older car, but the engineering of a car quite a bit newer (alas, not quite modern enough for my tastes) Well, actually, with a 5spd, AC, and massive sound insulation, I could be happy....but I digress. Anyhow, appealing attributes of the car also include the timeless styling and subtle reminders that you are indeed driving a bona-fide German car, which seemed to dissapear in foreign cars over the 70's. Driving a 2002 is making a sets one apart as a connoisseur of quality without being ostentatious. Okay, well that might be a stretch, but it certainly stands out from the lemmings in their Camrys and Explorers as well as the clownies in their newer bimmers, Mercededs and such which serve as mere status symbols. The best description of the joys of the 2002 is one of the oldest...see the link to the 1968 Car & Driver review by David E. Davis.

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Guest Anonymous

Growing up in a small town in Panama in the early

70’s it was easy to keep track of each and every one

of the cars that drove around town. The word spread

like wildfire if a new car, especially a new model, had

been purchased by one of the local denizens. I vividly

remember a phone call from a friend- his uncle had

driven down from the big city in a strange looking car,

the brand name was BM something-or-other, and it

was supposed to be very fast and exotic. Of course, I

had to go take a look.

I went to the garage where the car was being tuned

up; the scene was right out of the novel ‘One

Hundred Years of Solitude’ when ice came to town

and people mistakenly thought it was a colossal

diamond!. A crowd of onlookers and gearheads had

already surrounded the car. It was small, but the

trunk was large. It didn’t look fast or exotic, but it

sure looked different than all the American, Japanese

and European cars in town. Unlike the Fiats, Renaults

and VW’s the engine compartment was in the front;

the large hood opened backwards and inside there was

this big slanted four cylinder engine, mechanically fuel

injected, beautifully simple. This was the coolest little

car anyone had ever seen! Little did I know that it

would take me 25 years to be re-introduced to this

wonderful little machine. I could only imagine what a

thrill it must have been to own one of those cars back

then ...

Fast forward to the year 2002. BMW is now a well

established marque, a leader in the development and

production of fun, luxury sport sedans, an envied

competitor by all the BMW wannabe’s. The 2002 is

by now just a mere chapter in the long history of

BMW. It is referred to as a “historical” vehicle in

Munich, almost unknown. Yet the passion for these

cars is alive and well in the United States, where

2002s are being driven, maintained and loved by a

group of hard core loyalists.

But what makes this 30 year old car so special to so

many people? To us it is more than a car, it is a cult, a

lifestyle, an obsession and a disease. We have even

developed our own lingo! We are not drivers, not

merely ‘aficionados’, we are enthusiasts. We don’t

cruise, we go motoring in our daily drivers; we hit

the twists with our roundies, and debate about the

best guibo.

At car club events, 2002 etiquette is different,

atypical. Don’t expect many of us to crowd around

the beautifully restored car; we are more like to be

admiring (lusting after) the car with the bad paint job

but with all the goodies (mechanical upgrades)!

‘Garage queens’ are frowned upon, after all, what

good is the car if you don’t drive it! Sound system in

their cars: forget it! We are happiest listening to the

high revving symphony of the engine. Sometimes you

can see us driving in packs, around country roads,

bearing a big grin on our faces. You can also watch us

continue the action on the internet 2002 boards,

discussing (ad nauseum) the attributes of this set up vs

another, or perhaps exploring little known facts about

the “legend”. Newcomers are always welcomed but

warned that they may find themselves assimilated into

the cult.

But I won’t give away any more of these ‘insider

secrets’- you’ll have to observe these particular traits

at the next 2002 meet- I’ll be there!

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Guest Anonymous

The 02 is for me like your favorite pair of jeans which, although they are faded and more stylish ones are available, you always go back to.

About the only constant thing in my life over the past 25 years is the ownership of a 2002. During those years I have graduated from college, gotten married, seen my kids grow up, changed jobs several times, etc. But it is always a therapy to get into the '02 and just drive for the sake of driving, with no specific destination. If it is not running, the time spent bringing it back to life takes you away from the day-to-day stress.

The reason why the '02 has developed such a cult following is, more than anything, the people who own them. I do not think there is a group of owners more willing to help each other out than this one.

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Guest Anonymous

The Accidental Bimmerphile

© Copyright 2002 Glenn Stephens

I had always liked BMWs, or at least the idea of BMWs. As optimistic Americans we are taught that we can have it all - high rates of return with low risk, a family and a career, lose weight without dieting, a practical sedan with sports car speed and agility!

Up to that point the only BMW I had driven was somewhat disappointing, a friend's 325e. It felt solid and well-planted but the engine was somewhat weak and the redline was lower than a V8 Camaro. Undaunted, I clung to my icon of BMW as the complete car. The funny thing was, every time I bought a car, it wasn't a BMW. I think it goes back to the old car designer motto, 'You can have it fast, reliable, or cheap - pick any two'. BMW picked the first two and consequently new BMWs were outside of my pricing comfort level. Nonetheless I knew that someday I would own a BMW.

Well that someday came back in 1998 when my brother Tim called me from Florida. 'Hey Glenn, didn't you tell me that you always wanted a BMW 2002?' Having been raised in an auto enthusiast home, Tim and I both had the gearhead gene so our conversations often stray to automotive topics. Well actually, they usually start and end there. It seems that a co-worker of Tim's, a BMW CCA member, had a beloved but neglected 2002 that needed a home - a solid driver with 'a little surface rust'. And it met my overriding auto purchase criteria, it was cheap. Oh, and did I mention it had 'a little surface rust'?

A couple of phone calls and some careful spousal diplomacy later, the car was on a trailer headed for Atlanta. When my wife and I picked it up, her first words were, 'I thought your brother said it had a little surface rust! What I had neglected to consider was my brother’s automotive optimism and the fact that he works at a coal-fired power plant in central Florida. The previous owner had driven the car to work almost every day where acid rain and searing 95 degree sunshine had taken its toll. Not to mention that the car was filthy inside and piled high with grubby car parts. The drive home was no more encouraging. The interior reeked of smoke, gas, and gear oil and the whole the car howled and shook like a spanked cur. Arriving at home I told my wife, 'It's not so bad. Even the air conditioner worked!' I knew this because it was missing a knob and I couldn't turn it off. My second drive in a BMW was not exactly fulfilling the fantasy.

So what to do? I knew basically nothing about BMWs or 2002s and I had no idea where to begin. I knew that I wanted a safe, reliable daily driver sedan as a supplement to my 1990 Miata with some driving verve and a little cool factor thrown in. This particular car was none of the above so it got parked in the back corner of the garage until I could do some research. The web was invaluable as were a couple of good knowledgeable vendors. On the mechanical side, I decided I needed new brakes, some suspension upgrades, a limited slip differential and 5 speed tranny for highway cruising. On the inside, I simply refused to drive a car that was so unpleasant - seats dropping more horsehair than Churchill Downs, tobacco-stained headliner, cracked dash, Days Inn carpeting. I gutted it. I stripped everything off the car and ordered all new interior items. I cleaned, fixed or replaced all the trim, lights, markers, bumpers, etc. and soon I got a serious case of the 'might-as-wells'. If you buy one really nice piece for your car suddenly all the others are no longer worthy. So you replace them too!

After fixing the bodywork and getting it painted I was encouraged. All that was left was bolting on some parts, right? Well, half of them didn't fit and the others couldn't be found. Pretty soon I found myself in a gumption trap - option paralysis. The car sat. Finally, in mid 2001 I found inspiration. It occurred to me that the next year was 2002. How cool would it be to have a 2002 in 2002?! A rallying cry reverberated through my garage - 2002 by 2002! I chose a path, right or wrong, didn't matter. The car would not be perfect, but it would be done. I named him too, Pug, partly because without his bumpers he has flat front-end like a pug dog but also because of his pugnacious character. Pug was to debut at a local 2002 gathering in September 2001 but a failed clutch slave cylinder put paid to that perfect plan. After some ever-lengthening test trips, Pug was ready for his first long drive, to the 2002 gathering at the Spartanburg BMW factory on February 2, 2002. 200 2002s on 02-02-02. Who could ask for a better coming-out party?

I can honestly say that every time I drive my 2002 I feel a sense of pride and more importantly, this German car has restored my faith in the American dream. You can have it all - space for four with luggage, comfort, power, style, and yes, verve. And after spending double my budget, I now understand that those things don’t come cheap!

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Guest Anonymous

The car was well built, don't see too many Vegas, Pintos, Capris (owned 2 German built!), Opels, from the same era around anymore, and none of those inspire any tugs at the heart, at least not for me and seems like the general public. Maybe Opels. ....

Since they were well built and engineered, and there were alot of them over all the years, they are easy shade tree restoration candidates, like Mustangs, etc.

They drive great.

Everyone appreciates the above, therefore CULT.

I've only owned 2 over 18 years, second one is a sharp looking one, (and my only car), that fortunately only sees about 5,000 miles a year since I do not need to use it to comute to work. Almost everytime I take it out someone remarks about it, "hey I owned one", " looks good" etc, which is cool, but not the intention when I spent alot of time and modest amounts of money fixing it up. Then is was just to have a respectible looking and reliable car, but since it took longer than expected to complete, and then it was the year 2002 that is the result.

I'm cheap. And this car for me is cheap tranportation. Yes I spent time and money redoing alot of items, but the time spent to me is "hobby" time and the money is less than any new car, with panache to boot. I get more satisfaction out of driving it than any other new or used car for the same $$$.

Its fun,

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