Mike’s BMW 2002: Personal History
Mike’s love for his BMW 2002 began as a child. When he was 12, his father owned an auto body repair shop and one of his clients was a company which race-tuned BMW’s. The owner of the company owned two E10’s which were; turbo charged, fully ‘decked out’ with Alpina Flares, roll bars, custom paint job and interior. These ‘street legal monsters’ imprinted on him a love for BMW’s from an early age, the 2002 in particular.
Mike’s 2002 is a 1976 automatic. Based on the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and some research, he found that there were only 98 other specific automatic models made, and his very own 2002 was one of the last. Mike explained how he spent a few years on the look out for a 2002, but for one reason or another, previous deals fell through. In 2007 however, he found out that his mechanic was thinking of selling his 2002, and after some persuasion, Mike later bought that 2002 for £3,500. Since then, Mike has kept the classic mostly ‘stock’, with a few minor (and changeable) modifications. He chooses to drive his 2002 as his daily drive because he wants to and not because he has to, as he owns a Porsche 914 too, which he is also restoring.
In Mike’s own words; “It’s not in perfect condition, most of the body is in primer and the interior needs redoing, but I am an enthusiast of the car so I love driving it every day.” Mike also told us that once he has fully restored his Porsche 914, he will begin to fully restore his 2002 so it will be “a brand new 1976 with a 2014/15 BMW Le Mans coat of paint. After both have been fully restored Mike wants to drive both vehicles on a constant rotation.
When asked if he would recommend his classic BMW’s to others, Mike said his 2002 “is a true labour of love” and is not for the faint of heart. He would only recommend it to another enthusiast, who has the means and patience to keep it running. Referring back to how he purchased his 2002 for £3,500, since purchasing the classic in 2002, he has spent an additional £12000 -£15000 to keep it running.
Mike plans to ‘keep the car until the very end’ as he has always wanted one and unless he is forced to sell it, he said the car will stay in the family.
Mike’s Dream Garage
Mike’s dream garage would consist of an e9 (1973-74) and an e3 (1972-73) but he says that is a long way off. When Mike was 16, his father gave him a budget and said to get any car you want with that money. “There was a woman in town who was selling her fathers 74 e9 for just £9,000 which at the time which was a cheap price”, explained Mike, however the woman sold it to the next guy after Mike. This would’ve been a really cool first car I wouldn’t have been mature enough to properly maintain the car as it would have needed.”
When asked if he would ever enter his BMW 2002 into any classic car shows or competitions, Mike explained how he would choose not to exhibit or compete his cars because he wants to drive them, and he follows the ‘Jay Leno principle’ of restore 90% and drive them to 70%. Also because Mike is a perfectionist, and he would never be satisfied with the results, ending up building concourse quality cars, which would conflict t comply with his love of driving his BMW 2002.