Anyone who knows a bit of history about the BMW is aware that the ’02’ lineup of cars was one which helped the company grow to what it has become today…and by 02 I don’t mean the year 2002, but their 1960’s-70’s cars whose names ended in ’02’. Most famous of all of these is undoubtedly the 2002, whose sporty handling and understated lines made it popular with enthusiasts of the time and even now, especially the considerably faster turbo model.
My dad actually owned a white 1973 2002, which came with genuine sheepskin seat covers and an aftermarket sunroof. That car was actually the first vehicle I ever went it (even though it lacked rear seatbelts), and in many ways it can be seen as the root of my car obsession; even my pedal go-kart I used for pedalling round the garden had to be called a BMW, and the handmade toy garage which I had (and still do) was plastered in the blue-and-white propeller badge.
The closest I ever got to driving the Beemer was sitting in its itchy front seat and pretending to steer. We actually owned the car until 2006, but whilst it still ran it sat mostly unused on the concrete parking space at the rear of our garden (next to another white German classic sports car…which I will talk about another time). Rust ate away at the cars body, made more apparent by the solid white paintwork-in fact even the chrome on the alloys had mostly peeled away leaving the car in a sorry state.
BMW replaced the 2002 with the ever-popular 3 Series in 1975, and when I was younger I longed for ours to be replaced with anything! To me it was just a rusting eye sore, but to my dad it must have been a reminder of a more carefree time, and something to focus on for the future when me and my brother moved out (although quite why he needed 3 car projects I don’t know). When he died and we got rid of the car I was not really involved with the decision making process…I think he had tried to find a buyer for it but in the end we were happy to see it taken off of our hands. I can’t say that I would have ever wanted to keep the 2002 and fix it up myself, but I look back now and think it is a real shame that it never reached its full potential…we don’t even have any pictures besides ones of it in the background of baby shots.
I am sure that one day I will own my own BMW, but whilst its something I look forward to I still doubt that it will have anywhere near the impact as the first BMW I sat in.