Much of BMW’s post-war success can be traced back to der Neue Klasse; an all new line of mid-range sedans that set BMW back on the path to prosperity. After narrowly avoiding a takeover bid by Mercedes-Benz, BMW shifted its focus away from hand-built V8 powered luxury cars and toward a mid-sized sedan that could appeal to a much broader market. The massive project was headed by Fritz Fiedler, with Eberhard Wolff designing the chassis, Wilhelm Hofmeister heading body styling and construction, and the great Alex von Falkenhausen designing the engines. This marked the first time since 1933 that BMW had designed a new car and engine from the ground up. The crisp styling was fresh and modern in a practical 3-box shape. Suspension was independent at all four corners with McPherson struts up front and trailing arms out back, ensuring excellent handling. The engine was a masterpiece; a four-cylinder, SOHC unit with iron block, alloy head and hemispherical combustion chambers that sat canted over at 30 degrees in the engine bay. These engines were imminently tunable and quickly became popular choices for tin-top racers and rallyists thanks to their incredible strength and power output. The New Class sedans evolved into the 02 – two door sedans and coupes built on the same platform. The 2002 is the car that many feel to be the father of the modern sports sedan, combining vigorous performance with practicality and style in an attainable and high quality package.
The 2002 was well suited to performance tuning, and the factory was quick to jump on the opportunity to market a hot version of their little sedan. Starting with the 2002 Ti (for Touring International), a twin-carburetor manifold was added to the M10 engine for a boost in power. At the same time, suspension was uprated to tighten up the drive. In 1971, the Tii was created when Bosch-Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection was added, boosting power to a stout 130hp – a full 30hp more than the standard 2002. The suspension was heavily reworked with stiffer sway bars, revised dampers, and fully boxed rear trailing arms. Larger front discs and rear drum brakes were also fitted behind wider wheels, rounding out this sporty package and giving the Tii unmatched agility in its class and setting the stage for what would become a cult classic.
This 2002tii is denoted as a 1974 model by its black grilles, rectangular tail lights and federal bumpers. Delivered new on February 18,1974 to Hoffman Motors Corporation in New York, it is a beautifully restored and extremely well maintained example in it's rare and original shade of Turkis (Turkish Green) over a light cream beige interior. This particular example features the desirable options of a factory sunroof, and factory air conditioning - a rare combination on a Tii. The beautiful paint work is excellent while the body shell appears straight and solid, with no evidence of major rust repair on the shell, especially in the typical trouble spots on the floors, rockers, and shock towers. All of the delicate aluminum trim is intact and straight, further evidence of its proper care. The exterior has been upgraded with a set of classic, period appropriate BBS alloy wheels shod with fresh radials.
The Teutonic and purposeful cabin presents in excellent condition with original vinyl seats, very good door panels and correct gray carpeting. The dash is crack free and retains the original “Tii” clock in the correct position and the correct post-73 wood grain instrument surround. The factory steering wheel has been swapped out for a period correct leather-wrapped Alpina-style four-spoke wheel, a welcome upgrade that looks great and feels great in the hands. A high quality AM/FM/CD audio system has also been well integrated into the cabin.
The original numbers matching M10 four-cylinder engine retains the full factory injection system and performance is strong. It is properly detailed and appears largely original, even down to the correct round washer bottle. The engine is backed with the standard equipment Getrag four-speed manual transmission, a robust gearbox known for durability and a positive shift feel. Inside the trunk, correct original gray trunk panels are in great condition and the correct jack and lug wrench are properly located behind the left wheel arch.
BMW aficionados know how difficult it is to find clean, unmolested 2002s, particularly with rare and desirable options. As a result, values are very much on the rise as demand increases. These are lively, fun, and reliable driver’s cars that are excellent entry-level classics. Whether for a seasoned collector or a first time classic buyer, this is a superb example worthy of any enthusiast’s garage.