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I was living in Los Angeles for 8 months without a car, a friend who was tired of carting me around offered the 30 year old car that had been sitting in his garage unmoved for 2 years. It was supposed to be a temporary car, until I mustered the funds to get a 'real' car. It started right up and sang. It was love at first 'fahrt'. I zoomed around SUV dominated Los Angeles freeways, took corners at 80mph and fell in love. The body wasn't in great shape, lots of rust, but the engine; oh the engine was beautiful. I didn't maintain it, because of its temporary status. After a year, it died. I went out the next day and found another. If you can get your hands on one, even if the body doesn't look so hot. I betcha the engine is still beautiful.
~ ~ In the early 1960’s the BMW company faced a bleak future, full of doom, gloom, and obscurity. There had been no real innovation since the end of the Second World War, and they had little or no market penetration outside of their native Germany. ~ ~ The BMW 2002 was the car that changed all this and was instrumental in establishing BMW as a leading force in the international car market. ~ ~ The 2002 made its first appearance on the world stage in 1966, labelled as the 1602. Then the engine capacity was increased, first to 1766cc, and eventually to 1990cc for the final 2002 engine. The 2002 as such was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1969, but didn’t hit the U.K. showrooms until 1971. ~ ~ I worked as a salesman for a BMW main dealer in High Wycombe, Bucks, in the early 1970’s, and it was here that I was introduced to the 2002, and here also that my “love affair” with “Beamers” began. The first company vehicle I was given for personal use was a 2002. It was an absolute “flying machine” of a car, far ahead of anything else in its class, and with flair and style to spare. The car had mechanical fuel injection, which generated some 130bhp. What this meant in layman’s terms was a rare sporting saloon, capable of speeds up to 120mph, and a 0 to 60mph time of under nine seconds. It burst onto a staid, stale U.K. motor market, breathing fire and brimstone over roads full of run of the mill and painfully slow British cars. ~ ~ The “ultimate” 2002 performance machine appeared in 1974. This was the awesome 2002 Turbo, which upped the power output to 170bhp. This pushed the car to its absolute limits, not only in terms of speed (150mph +) but to keep the car stable and safe on wet British roads. It could complete the 60mph dash in less than six seconds, which put it on a par with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. I have almost orgasmic memories of this m odel. I vividly recall the breath-taking exhilaration of once “flooring” the 2002 Turbo on a steep upward gradient. The tyres quite literally smoked, such was the acceleration, as it leapt forward like a racehorse from the stalls. ~ ~ The last 2002 rolled of the German production lines in 1976, to be replaced by the highly successful (but more staid) 3 Series, but this little gem of a car lives on in the memories of thousands of motorists. Even to the present day, there are many 2002 enthusiast clubs, and good examples of the model can still be sought out and found.