Need One Less Car

 

I am excited to announce that there is a new addition to the Need More Cars garage – a 1976 BMW 2002. The model in question was featured here in a “Need This Car” post.I picked up the car on January 12 and it’s parked in the spot previously occupied by the Porsche.

The Deal

This BMW had sat in front of a repair shop for over a year, with a price tag on the windshield that would decrease every few months. It started at $6,700 and sometime this Fall it had dropped to $4,700. During our biennial New Year’s getaway in Woodinville, Washington, I was discussing this car with my wife. We were at a winery (not shocking to anyone who knows us) called Martedi. She was convinced she could get the car for less than $4,000. I believed $4,200 was probably the least the owner would be willing to take. She was determined to achieve victory in this negotiation.

One morning she stopped by the garage to inquire about the 2002. She found out it was owned by a broker who wasn’t there at the time, but the shop owner who rented the downstairs space told her the broker had been offered and turned down $3,500, but he would probably take $3,700. Her detective work paid off. She contacted the owner, offered $3,750 and made the deal, 44% off of the original asking price.

The Car

I picked up the car a couple of days later and drove it home. Mechanically, it is in excellent condition. It starts immediately, the 2 liter engine loves to rev, there are no issues with the Weber carb, and steering is good. There are two things I noticed will need to be addressed – the brakes and clutch have an excessive amount of travel before engaging. Both systems are hydraulic, so I expect bleeding will be the answer.

IMG_3424
2 liter engine with Weber carb.

This 2002 has a factory sunroof with a manual crank, 13″ BBS wheels and 175/70R13 tires on the rear and 185/70R13 tires on the front. This is an unusual combination that will need to be addressed. Who puts the wide tires on the front? Somewhere there is a tire shop worker with dyslexia.

Cosmetically the car is rough, in the vain of the ratty muscle cars that are in vogue these days. This car was originally Sahara (beige, to those of us unfamiliar with BMW paint nomenclature). A previous owner painted the car its current green color. I obviously don’t know what procedure was used to paint this car, but I speculate that they used a hair dryer to apply dust to the original paint and then sprayed the green using a pressure sprayer that one might use in one’s garden.  I think they were going for a British Racing Green, which the car is clearly rejecting because of its German heritage. Kid 3, the seventeen year old, speculated that we might be able to peel the green paint off of the car in order to return it to its factory beige. He may be on to something there. There is a bit of rust here and there, so there will be some welding of new metal.

The Plan

I want to drive the car for a bit to get a better idea of what it needs. After pulling a wheel to bleed the brakes, I discovered that one of the wheel cylinders is leaking and I’ve ordered new cylinders and brake shoes. Kid 3 changed the oil in the car, which hadn’t been done since the summer of 2013 according to the sticker on the windshield. I intend to keep the car true to its 2002 heritage while making some subtle modifications, such as 15×7 wheels and 195/55R15 tires. It will return to its original factory Sahara color and the interior will be renewed.

Stay tuned as I provide updates on the progress of the ’02. I’m looking forward to getting some miles in on this one.

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