I had always been a fan of the 02 touring models since learning to drive in my Dad’s supercharged Agave touring in the late nineties. After seeing a really nice example at a Donington show in Taiga with green tinted glass I knew I needed to find a Taiga metallic 02. One found me after a few years of not getting round to looking.
Weirdly in 2007 the gentleman who had bought my Dads Agave touring phoned up and said he had a fairly standard taiga touring he was looking to sell, so up to Birmingham we went and drove it back, with a somehow fresh MOT, but brakes that pulled to one side – not much fun on the M6 in lots of traffic! We sorted out the brakes and a few other bits on it, swapping the SU carb and manifold back to a proper Solex PDSI set up. Later, wanting a 5 speed gearbox we bought an E21, swiped the gearbox and prop shaft for the conversion (the E21 went to a new home in Northern Ireland, so no cars we irreparably harmed!).
Somewhere along the line we picked up some nice E12 Recaro seats and had the centres redone in black basket weave to match the rear seats. A Larini stainless steel exhaust system was fitted which is still going strong, not too loud or tinny but a nice growl when you put your foot down.
We picked up a 2002 targa cabriolet sometime around 2013 which had the tii early alloys, after the targa spewed out 10 pages of MOT fails we decided to swap the wheels, giving the cabriolet the old Minilites from the touring. The Targa cabriolet found a nice new home as we couldn’t restore a cabriolet and keep our beloved touring in good shape too. At some point we had the roof, bonnet and front panel sorted (it had a late front end with twin headlamp grilles when we bought it) when I found a nice pair of early style twin headlamp grilles. At a later date the rear outer arches got replaced along with new doors.
We fitted the 123 Tune electronic distributor as we had heard many good things about them, and it was a really great upgrade. We also decided to fit Eibach progressive rate springs and Bilstein comforts shocks for our 2016 Bavaria Tour trip. I’d always held off lowering it before as we load it up for shows and like going on the ferry up big ramps, but the progressive rate springs & Bilsteins were a fantastic addition, better cornering, a little dropped, but not too harsh or bumping out on stuff. We changed the twin servos to a much smaller single dual servo unit which works beautifully.
A few years later we needed a test engine for a newly reproduced oil pump, rather than rebuilding our touring’s own engine we had an ask about to see what nice blocks were about. The workshop found a good used tii block, albeit bored out to 92mm, with an Alpina 300º cam and bigger valves in the head. So, not through choice – more luck of the draw, it looked like we were going to get a rather more perky engine for Bongo!
We’d heard about Jenvey and their heritage throttle bodies and really what could be more perfect for the 2100cc engine than a pair of the 45mm ones?! Of course, going from single carb to EFI did involve a fair lot of alterations, a touring tii tank with pick up unit for feed and return, coil packs, trigger wheel & sensor, Emerald ECU, much wiring & pipework.
Once the engine was reconditioned the Jaymic Workshop did a fine job of the EFI installation. We got it back in midwinter for running in and then it was rolling road time for tweaking. Weirdly it came out pretty much the same as my dads old supercharged Agave touring around 174bhp at the flywheel. We still have the standard cast manifold which will get replaced by a four branch when we find the ultimate manifold answer for RHD 02s and when funds allow.
Above; Munich HQ for the Bavaria Tour
We have since added a Quaife diff to make the most of the power. We treated ourselves to some brand new Recaro seats for some long road trips, as the old E12 ones needed work. It did a top job getting down to Provence for the tour in 2019 and all the way back, with only the brakes getting a tad warm on some downhills – being in Norfolk most of the time it’s not something we encounter much (the brakes were still regular 02 spec despite the extra engine!)
We have always tried to use it as an everyday car as I believe cars are to be driven, first and foremost, which along with being ungaraged most of the time does not help keep the bodywork in tip top shape!
Above – Pete chilling in the 02.
So, all in all we were very happy with all the modifications/upgrades/comforts on our wolf in sheep’s clothing. However, in early 2022 on a trip out Bongo got reversed into which was ultimately not a bad thing as we realized the true extent of how badly rusted the front panel was, so it was time, his 50th year would be the time to get him to the Jaymic Workshop to get fully de-rusted, solid & resprayed. As with any restoration things were a bit worse than first imagined. The firewall was half colander and the rear inner wheel housings were quite shocking. He’s now had floor panels, reinforced inner sills, outer sills, sill end panels, front wings, front panel, rear inner wheel housings & bonnet. At long last he now has tii brakes too.
With shiny new paint he needed new shoes and a set of ATS wheels came up trumps which the old but still good Eco Continentals fitted over fine. The lovely, but tiny and tatty, Momo GP steering wheel has been replaced with a nice Moto-Lita 15” leather rim. An old, but rather less cracked, tii dash and new tii clock went in, along with a full set of new carpets made out of all the 10 year collection of scraps and ends of rolls. Most of the trim has been reused where possible to try and keep Bongo the same car we know & love.
I was pleased with the repairs and reconditioning I did on the twin headlamp grilles considering how dull and cracked they were.
So, now he’s back home where he belongs looking absolutely awesome and I look forward to many more trips and adventures in years to come, I promise to make space in the garage from now on!
2000 touring 1972, taiga green metallic.
2002tii shortened block bored out to 2100cc with E24 pistons,
ported & polished cylinder head, oversized Schrick valves & 300 degree Alpina cam
Emerald M3D engine management
Fuel supply converted to tii touring spec including tii touring fuel tank.
Jenvey 45mm heritage throttle bodies.
Higher cooling rate radiator & electric fan
Standard cast manifold and Larini stainless steel exhaust system
2002tii strut legs, calipers, discs and pads
Single dual circuit remote servo
6 x 13 ATS classic wheels with Eco Continentals
E21 5 speed overdrive gearbox
Eibach progressive rate springs & Bilstein comfort shocks.
Recaro Classic LX seats
2002tii dash with tii clock
Moto-Lita 15” leather rim sports steering wheel
Grey-Black fleck German loop pile carpet and green checker Cocomats
Twin headlamps with LED outers
Rear middle brake light
Above; Future 02 driver? We hope so ;o)