A Beautiful and Surprisingly Modern BMW 2002

3y ago

FUEL Bespoke Design is a Sydney-based workshop that specializes in rebuilding classic cars with a series of upgrades to make them far easier to live with as a daily driver.

John is a former British Merchant Navy engineer who spent decades in the corporate world before returning to his core passion – machines. After emigrating to Australia 13 years ago, John bought himself a Mercedes 280SL as daily transport.

The occasional difficulties of using a 40+ year old vehicle as an everyday car got John to wondering if it would be possible to rebuild it in such a way as to keep the original spirit of the car, but incorporate a series of upgrades to give it bulletproof reliability and far superior performance.

3 years ago John decided to bite the bullet, and started FUEL Bespoke Design to take iconic cars and give them the upgrades that the engineers who built them would have used – if the technology had existed at the time.

THE BMW 2002

The reason for the popularity of the 2002 is simple. It’s a small, lightweight car with a relatively powerful engine, excellent suspension, great steering, and iconic design. Perhaps the single most important feature is that the BMW 2002 is a sports car, with room for 4 adults (5 at a pinch), and some luggage. It fills that almost mythical space between a sports car and a daily driver that many automakers try to make, but usually miss by varying degrees.

The short version of how the 2002 came into being goes like this – BMW already had the 1.6 litre 1602 in their line up. They also had a more powerful 2 litre in production called the M10. The idea of dropping the more powerful engine into the 1602 occurred to at least two people at roughly the same time – Helmut Werner Bönsch and Alex von Falkenhausen, respectively the BMW director of product planning and the designer of the M10 engine.

Amazingly, Bönsch and Falkenhausen both independently had the M10 engine installed into their 1602s with no idea what the other man was up to.

One day they happened to be getting their cars serviced and realised they’d made the same modification – and Bönsch knew that influential American auto importer Max Hoffman had been requesting a faster 1602 for the US market. Bönsch and Falkenhausen quickly formulated a product proposal, and it was approved by the BMW board unanimously.

Over its production run from January 1968 to June 1975, BMW sold almost 200,000 2002s. And today they’re revered by collectors and racers alike.

Read the full article here on Silodrome.

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