Finally, A Place to Put Those Sisal Mats — for $11,750!

Illustration for article titled Finally, A Place to Put Those Sisal Mats — for $11,750!

It's hard to believe, but there was a time when BMW wasn't the aspirational ride of douchebags mid-level executives everywhere. Nice Price or Crack Pipe remembers, and today has the car that turned all that around.


Okay everybody repeat after me: the 1991 Acura NSX from Tuesday was NOT an automatic. There, doesn't that feel better? At only twenty two grand, the price must have felt pretty good too, as 88% of you voted for door number one. It likely would have been even higher had there not been cries of it's an automatic- kill it! sullying the voting for a while. Proof that it was a five speed was provided, order was restored, and we put away the tasers and the fire hoses. Today's candidate is a five-speed as well, and hailing from another former enemy, it carries a price tag that's well within the budget of one of those douchebags mid-level executives. And it's not the least bit douchie.

BMW staggered out of WWII not to its pre-war glory, but to mainly building micro-cars. It wasn't until the late 1960s that the rondel brand regained some cred on the continent, and it was the 1600/2002 that first piqued the interest of enthusiasts here in America. Practical, well-handling, and modestly quick with its 108-bhp four, the 2002, along with the Datsun 240Z, replaced muscle cars as the de facto douchebag'sStag's ride.

Illustration for article titled Finally, A Place to Put Those Sisal Mats — for $11,750!

While the 2002 was good, the 2002tii was better. The 2-litre four of the standard car underwent a transformation when the Solex 40 two-barrel was replaced with BMW's Kugelfischer injection system. That change bumped horsepower to 130 and was the reason for the extra i on the end of ti. In addition to the injection, the tii is differentiated from the standard 2002 by larger front brakes and requisite master cylinder, more robust spindles up front and fully boxed trailing arms in the back. Inside BMW put a clock in the center of the dash, but the 2002's clean and airy interior was otherwise not changed.

Illustration for article titled Finally, A Place to Put Those Sisal Mats — for $11,750!

This late '72 2002 represents the penultimate edition for tiis having the M10 SOHC motor with aluminum intake, the high-performance euro-spec mechanical-advance distributor, and as the lightest iteration produced. While the 2002 has always been considered a douchebag's car "tinkerer's car" this one looks remarkably stock. The wheels are the same ones as chosen for Techno Classica's reconstructed 2002tii and the modern stereo is the only giveaway that it's not still the seventies inside the car. And it has sisal mats, sisal mats! You don't get much more ‘70s iconic than that in a car. A/C and a sunroof mean either increased value or more headaches as both tend to be problematic on cars of this age.

Illustration for article titled Finally, A Place to Put Those Sisal Mats — for $11,750!

More obvious issues include some wear and tear on the driver's seat- likely one left-cheek sneak too many - and enough overspray under the hood to make the Earl of Scheib proud. The standard 4-speed has also been switched out for the optional five-cogger, but it's hard to tell from the ad if that's original to the car or not. Other than that, it shows no obvious flaws, and that's what drives the asking price of $11,750. Before you dive into whether or not that's a good price for this boxy bimmer, check out the 2002tii forum's value guide for a slightly biased view.

So, what do you think of this Nixon-era notchback? Does that $11,750 price sound about right? Or, is the seller smoking those sisal mats to ask so much?


You decide!


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The 2002 is my favorite BMW ever. Ever. Nothing compares. It's light, fast, simple. Would that builders could rediscover that formula, but the advent of government-mandated safety gear and safety performance standards have rendered that goal nigh-impossible to reach, forevermore.

So, then. Nice Price? It's a bit strong, but the assorted 2002s I've had the fortune to meet, including the one owned by our church's pastor, have all suffered from some degree or other of body rot. And the steel's pretty thin, so once the rot starts, it gets bad quickly. This one looks okay.

Overspray under the hood. Well, most folks never see under the hood, and the ones that do are going to be looking at the engine. No biggie.

The interior's not perfect. That's okay: I can do interior work. I'm not one of those concours nerds that insists the entire car be perfecter than the day it rolled off the line. Sound seats can be had anywhere, the dash can be repadded. Everything inside looks more or less okay, so only minor tweaking is needed.

The engine bay is unfortunately not well represented. I want to see deeper into the thing. But knowing it's the injected model is fun. I'd be strongly inclined to convert it to EFI, via either Megasquirt or an adapted 3-series system, just because I've lived with enough EFI to know I really prefer the driveability it provides over carbs and mechanical injection.

There, I said it. I'm willing to admit it. There's something modern I'll go for.

But would I drop an extra thousand or so to have this car over the stripper Versa?

You bet your ass I would.