Jump to content
  • 2760001
    Year: 1972
    Manufactured Date: 05/10/1971
    Original Color: Inka
    Sunroof: Standard
    Transmission: 4 Speed Manual
    Last Sold: No value

    From BMW Group Archives:

    “The BMW 2002 tii US VIN 2760001 was manufactured on May 10th, 1971 and delivered on May 27th, 1971, to the BMW importer Hoffman Motors Corp. in New York City. The original colour was Inka, paint code 070.“

    Legal delivery to: Hoffman Motor Corp. (a New York City domiciled corporation) on May 27, 1971

    VIN 2760001 was, and is — it survives and is garaged in Sacramento, California — the first U.S.-spec tii manufactured. It, and VIN 2760002, were built on May 10, 1971, long before even the third, fourth, and fifth U.S.-spec tii’s, VIN’s 2760003, 2760004, and 2760005, were manufactured from August 23 to 25, 1971. On September 1, 1971, three more tii’s were manufactured —  two oddly out of sequence, making me suspect their dates might be wrong. These earliest examples were needed for testing, working out bugs, and, especially for the U.S. market, to allow shipping time in order to get examples into road testers' hands in a timely manner.


    And then, after September 1, there was... nothing, no more U.S.-spec tii’s were manufactured until October 1971. Tom’s parents’ VIN 2760007 was manufactured October 20, 1971. It’s doubtful 2760007 could have reached the West Coast of the U.S. before December 1971. His parents purchased the car in February 1972, and, reportedly, only seven tii’s had been purchased in the U.S. by that time. And quite a number of the earliest U.S.-spec tii's were delivered to Canada, for distribution and sale there.


    Road & Track Test Car

    I believe that the tii being road-tested in this October 1971 Road & Track article (attached below, first four images) is VIN 2760001. Why?


    1. It could be Inka, based on the photos — which are obviously black and white. edit, @tjones02Since 002 is obviously silver, the black and white photos would reflect that. Also, black and white photos would obviously show Golf yellow of 003, 004, 005 and 006 as much lighter than the medium shade shown in the photos. Sadly, there is no color sticker shown in either the R&T or C&D photos. But, that at least makes us believe this is the same car tested by both magazines.

    2. It appears to be full U.S.-spec, underhood labels and all; and, most critically, 

    3. The October 1971 publication date implies an actual road test approximately three months previously — that was the standard lead time ca. 1970’s. This then implies a July 1971 road test, supported by the article’s mention of “hot, humid weather during this test”, since the car is in the New York area. And how do we know that?


    Although Road & Track was a West Coast magazine, the October 1971 road test states that the testers “journeyed to New York on a tight schedule to test the car” and the test included “several laps around the Lime Rock circuit, and over the lovely roads of rural New England”. As photographed for the road test, the car is wearing New Jersey new car dealer plates: DBE-24/20(?). I believe, based on the testing location, that VIN 2760001 entered the U.S. on the East Coast, probably through Elizabeth, NJ, the Port of Entry for virtually all Northeast-bound deliveries. And, Elizabeth was also the closest port to Hoffman’s New York headquarters, and I’m confident that Hoffman wanted to exercise control over the debut of the tii.


    If the shipping from Germany to Elizabeth, NJ took 5 to 7 weeks, and assuming BMW spent no time here in the States fussing with the test car, the car would need to have been manufactured by late May or early June to be available on the East Coast in July. But if Hoffman wanted to fuss with the car, or needed to fuss with the car, before turning it over to the press — typical in this era — the car really needed to be manufactured in May 1971. As it turns out, only VIN 2760001 and VIN 2760002 were manufactured in May 1971, May 10th, to be more specific. And VIN 2760002 was a Polaris car. The photos may be black and white, but the test car is not Polaris. So, VIN 2760001 looks like not only the prime suspect, but the only suspect!


    Thus, the Road & Track road test car survives. That’s pretty special. But wait: there’s more! Did you say “more”? I sure as hell did!


    Car and Driver Test Car

    It appears that the same car, VIN 2760001, was likely used for the road test that appeared in the February 1972 Car and Driver (attached below, fifth through eighth images). Why?

    1. It could be Inka, based on the photos — which are obviously black and white;

    2. It appears to be a full U.S.-spec tii,

    3. There were very few tii’s in the U.S. by November 1971, and this particular car was not only in the U.S., but in the New York area. We can probably assume that the test took place in approximately November 1971, three months prior to the publication of the article. The following statement, “Hoffman Motors, the BMW concessionaire in the U.S., hasn’t announced prices yet...” is consistent with an article written in November 1972, before tii’s were actually being sold.


    The text is not particularly helpful in terms of location, but the specifications page photos look consistent with Car and Driver’s customary test track. And, in at least one photo, the test car wears a U.S.-format front license plate. Before I looked back to the October 1971 Road & Track road test to recall that car’s license plate, I tried to read the license plate on the Car and Driver car and thought I saw “DBE-24 xx”. Indeed, the car in the October 1971 road test wore New Jersey new car dealer tags, DBE-24 20. Admittedly, dealer tags can be transferred from car to car. Nonetheless, I believe the Car and Driver car is the Road & Track car, VIN 2760001.


    4. Both tests resulted in an actual top speed of 115 mph (I still believe that the two May 1971 cars might have emerged from the factory with 3.45 differentials, whether or not they were delivered to the initial purchasers with said differentials) and the reported curb weights were within 20 lbs. Car and Driver — which always achieves better acceleration times — recorded a 0-60 of 9.0 versus Road & Track’s 9.8. But I’d also guess the car was considerably more broken-in by November 1971 than it was in July 1971. The quarter-mile time, likewise, improved by .5 seconds. By November, the valve cover is greasy and dirty, but the U.S.A. sticker remains, coated, however, with the same grease and grime (ninth and tenth images below).


    So, certainly at this point, I’m leaning towards believing that VIN 2760001, while wearing New Jersey dealer tags, was the road test car for both Road & Track and Car and Driver.  And, as I said before, the car survives. Now that is pretty darned special!

    Thanks to Tom Jones (@tjones02) for his legwork, research, thoughts, and multitudinous efforts to assemble this information on the first U.S.-spec tii. I would certainly consider Tom to be the "go-to person" on these early tii's — and many other sub-models as well!















    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Also, keep in mind that even though the photos in the Road&Track article are black and white, that 2760002 was Polaris Silver, the pre production Euro VIN Tii sent to the US for EPA and DOT testing was Chamonix (both of those cars are known to still exist in the US), no other Tiis were known to exist in the US, especially with US side markers, US turn signals, bumper guards, and as can be seen the engine photo, a US air cleaner with evap pipe. The black and white photos show a Tii that is obviously not silver or white.

    • Thanks 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Thanks again, Tom,


    I’m still building the entry, from bits and pieces we discussed this past June. I’ve added the 2760002 stuff above, but I haven’t even gotten to the Car & Driver road test!


    Best regards,




    • Thanks 1
    Link to comment
    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
  • Upcoming Events

  • Create New...