Gordon Dunsmuir’s 2002 – COTM June 2021

My current 2002 record: September 2018 – March 2021

I had been searching for a 2002 for around three years circa, 2015, when my son discovered this car for sale. I subsequently purchased the vehicle and here is the history in my ownership.

The car had apparently been restored over a seven year period by a professional coachbuilder / refinisher who had endeavoured to recreate the car in the best possible way, given the shortage of available parts at the time, eventually being put up for sale so as to allow him to carry out a similar job on a 2002 Turbo. Unfortunately, the car came with no past history of any kind, apart from a few photographs of the final stages of restoration. It did nevertheless, come with assurance that the engine, gearbox and transmission had all been completely overhauled.

The car is listed by DVLA as being a 1974, but as the round tail lights were superseded with square ones towards the end of 1973, it has now been confirmed by BMW Classics that the car was built in April 1973. Despite the car not being 100% accurate for its year in some areas (front grill, door cards, door mirrors, interior carpet), it is undoubtedly presented in top condition in virtually every way.

I initially had to carry out some fine tuning of the engine and discovered that the door cards were supposedly from a Tii model, as they were fitted with the wood trim and map pockets. However, genuine door cards of the correct variety became available direct from BMW (after a long wait) and these were replaced. Also, presumably at the time of the restoration, the bonnet trim piece was unavailable as the restorer had made a pretty good job of fabricating two trim pieces that met in the centre of the bonnet (see photos). Once again, these pieces became available through my local dealer and it was replaced to make things correct.

Surviving from my previous 2002, so many years ago, is my current centre console that I manufactured at the time. Containing meters for: Amps, volts, oil pressure, oil temperature and a clock there is now a full complement of diagnostic gauges, as well as the original hazard warning light switch and a ‘period’ radio (replacing the unnecessary ashtray). Switches at the bottom are currently redundant, but I remember using them previously for: rear fog light, front spot lights, front fog lights and electric fan override, none of which are fitted right now.

The only other changes I have made to date are to fit my Mota-Lita steering wheel, also surviving from my previous 2002 (and fitted on many other cars), originally purchased because my diminutive wife could not see over the top of the original steering wheel (she is quite short and the seats do not raise / lower!) and I have exchanged the standard dampers for Bilstein Sport dampers, remembering how much improved my previous 2002 became when I carried out the same modification. All changes that I have made to the car are completely retro-reversible if ever required.

The car also arrived with no door mirrors and cheap Chinese tyres! Door mirrors were sourced from Fay and Pete at Jaymic (along with numerous other items!) and although (apparently) wrong for the model year, I deliberately bought the larger models to provide improved rear view vision. The tyres have now been replaced with Dunlop Sports to the original 13” specification.

There was also an intermittent cooling fault that was quite disturbing as the temperature gauge would sometime climb towards the red section…! Having checked everything thoroughly, the fault was traced back to the gauge itself and on this occasion I was very lucky to discover a NOS gauge nearby with a local ‘collector / expert’ who obliged with the new gauge insert and once this was fitted the cooling system information began to perform as it was originally intended.

The car was displayed throughout 2019 at various classic shows across central Scotland and produced a number of 1st and 3rd places. However, due to the current circumstances across the country in 2020/21, there have been no events to date and the car has only been run on two or three occasions to see daylight! I can only look forward to normality once again later in 2021.

Minor items that required attention when I purchased the car were few, (and not necessarily a problem), but could prove to be expensive: All resolved now except ‘single flash indicators’ and dashboard top defects.

  • Engine cam timing was one link out and had to be rectified and tuned, as was the ignition timing
  • Cooling system temperature gauge
  • Door cards
  • Cheap Chinese (Winter!!) tyres fitted – New Dunlops are now little short of £200 a corner……Jeeez? (one of 1970s most common sizes!)
  • Wrong wheel nuts for the type of wheels fitted!
  • No door mirrors
  • Single flash indicators (still under investigation)
  • Front bonnet trim
  • Dash is split and looks as if someone has attempted repair with heat gun!! Bugger of a job to fix!

My thanks go to Gordon Spence of Ashton Motors, Dundee, Gordon MacDiarmid and all at Jaymic and Wallothnesch for assisting me in my pursuit to make this car as good as it can be.

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