The BMW 2002tii is one of the most fun-to-drive and affordable classic cars available. Most classic cars have a distinctly fragile and wooly way of handling and accelerating down the road, causing drivers to think... ‘Don’t floor the throttle because something might break!’
Not in the BMW 2002tii. This car is plugged into the tarmac and every pebble is felt through the giant unassisted steering wheel, pedals and shift knob.
The seating position and performance sensations are far more modern than the VIN number stamp would have you believe. It was this light and nimble attitude that brought BMW back from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1960s, when Germany was reeling from a prolonged recession even as the rest of the world danced in tie-dye shirts and went to Woodstock.
BMW had big problems at the time, most critically being a lack of cash to invest in the business. Their primary 1500 sedan was well-regarded in Germany as a more agile and cheaper Mercedes alternative, but the small sedan was a fish out of water on U.S. roads clogged with millions of Ford Mustangs . Sedans and BMW ’s U.S. sales were out of gas as two-door coupes became all the rage.
Against BMW’s protests, he cajoled them into adding their largest engine under the 1500’s hood and chopping the rear doors. Instant sports coupe and American success meant nothing less than salvation for this historic engine manufacturer.
And for a clue about the origin of the 4 Series coupe names, a quick look at the (odd) 1500 sedan becoming the (even) 2002 two-door explains BMW ’s logic.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 1972 - 1974 BMW 2002tii, with special highlights on this sport model’s extra performance and style.