Bryan Lancelot´s 1973 2002 Tii – COTM April 2024

As a teenager growing up in the United States, I was enamored with the look of the 02 series of cars, especially with the 2002tii and the 2002 Turbo. I have owned a number of 02s over the years and I have restored three different 02s. I restored a 1973 2002tii to its original factory specifications as well as a 1974 Turbo. However, my favorite 02 that I have restored is a 1973 2002tii. For that restoration I made many modifications to the factory specifications. Below is a short history and summary of the modifications I made to my 1973 2002tii during its restoration process.

The restoration process began in 1999 with the hunt for a rust free 2002tii, which fortunately, I came across in California. It was a U.S. spec 1973 2002tii that originally came from the factory in Ceylon (metallic gold), but at some point in its life had been repainted in a shade of red. The car spent the majority of its life in California and Arizona so the body was rust free and was generally in decent shape in regards to the body panels, glass and floor pan. All in all, it was a solid car to serve as a donor for a complete restoration.

The restoration began in early 2000 and was completed in 2002. The car was disassembled down to its frame and all components were either restored, replaced or modified. My overarching plan for the restoration was to make the car something that could be thoroughly enjoyed on long weekend drives and to be taken to the track for some spirited driving. The good news about restoring an 02 back in 2000 was that it was relatively easy to find new OEM parts.

For example, I was able to find new OEM interior door panels, dashboard, window cranks, etc. all from a local BMW dealer who had held onto a whole stash of 02 parts from 1970s. Further, at the time, I had purchased a 1974 Turbo from the U.K., which was going to be my next restoration project so I was procuring Turbo parts from all over Europe in preparation for the restoration and I was able to purchase a set of front seats and a complete dashboard from a 2002 Turbo. I decided to put the extra set of Turbo front seats into the 2002tii along with the red Turbo dashboard gauge surround. You can say my 1973 2002tii is a combination of tii and Turbo components.

In regards to the items I modified during the restoration, below is a list of the more material mechanical oriented items I modified:

· I rebuilt the engine using a 292 cam. To me, the 292 cam has a much more linear powerband and is much more enjoyable to drive in traffic than using a 302 cam, but that’s just one man’s opinion

· I got rid of the Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection and installed Weber side draft carbs with Velocity stacks

· I had a Stahl header and custom exhaust system installed

· I installed a 5-speed transmission from a 320

· I installed stiffer springs and lowered the ride height

· I installed beefier swaybars

· I installed Bilstein Struts and Shocks

· I installed an A/C condenser from a 325 (yes, it adds weight and scavenges HP from the motor, but it’s nice to have on a hot day)

· I installed strut and shock braces in the engine bay and trunk

· I moved the battery to the trunk

For the interior, I made the following relatively minor modifications:

· I installed front seats from a 1974 Turbo and had the front and rear seats re-upholstered in black leather with red piping.

· I installed a Momo steering wheel with red leather highlights along with a red stick shift

· I used the red gauge cluster surround from the Turbo to provide a red accent to the upholstery

· I added additional sound deadening material and used German loop carpeting

· I added a CD/radio player and speakers

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with how the restoration turned out and it is an extremely enjoyable car to drive. It has now been 21 years since the restoration was completed so I am replacing bits and pieces as things start to get to the end of their useful lives. At this point, I have no intention of ever parting with this 02. It brings a smile to my face every time I see it and drive it.

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