Welcome to Found Around The District, where we highlight fascinating cars we find around a city where people are too busy fighting through traffic and hunting for parking to drive anything interesting: Washington, D.C.
I'm a little disappointed in you so far, District of Columbia. I walk your streets all day long, looking for interesting cars I can highlight on Jalopnik, but I come up empty more often than not. Up here, it's an endless sea of government-issued Crown Vics, generic luxury sedans and SUVs, and nondescript economy cars.
Here's the thing though, D.C.: I don't fault you for this! I absolutely don't. See, this is a rough town for cars. The weather sucks, what little parking exists is very expensive, the traffic is insane, the drivers are awful (according to my own observations and just about every commenter who has weighed in on that so far), and the crime rate in the District means you're always wondering if you're going to get broken into. I wouldn't want to own anything nice here, either.
But it does my heart good to see that there are folks who say the hell with all that and drive whatever they want. Case in point: this lovely cream-colored BMW 2002 I found in... um, some neighborhood. (I'm still figuring out what's what up here.)
I think it's safe to say that the "Neue Klasse" sedans and coupes are among the most important BMWs ever made. They established the Bavarian automaker as a major player and served as the genesis for the modern sport sedan. It led to the 3-Series, which everyone and their sister has been trying to take down since.
I love the design of these cars. It's so simple, clean and elegant, and it just looks like it would be fun to drive. It's quite a far cry from the massive, bloated BMWs of today, but it's not like they're the only car company who have put on some weight since the 1970s.
The 2002 I found looked to be in great shape overall. In spite of the harsh driving conditions in this city, someone's taking good care of this thing. I really like that color too — it's a bit unusual but I think it works well on the little two-door.
As always, Super Jalopnik Bonus Points for the person who can identify what year this one is.
What do you think of the old New Class cars?