This classic 2002 in Scottsdale, Arizona has a great story, one of past loves, fate, and of cars which really do find their perfect owners.
Tom told me how he first discovered his fondness of 2002’s. July of 1969, working at a dealership, learning about imports, he met his first 02. Totally besotted by a beautiful Chamonix, he knew he had to have one. By 1970 Tom had acquired himself a new Atlantik, with a sunroof and Blaupunkt Frankfort radio.
“The fact that in 1970 none of my friends had ever heard of BMW. That I could out corner, out perform most of the cars on the street was a revelation. Five years later, I sold my Atlantik in 1974, took the money and traveled through S. America for a year. After returning home, I saw her on the street in a swanky part of town. It was like seeing your ex with some jerk in a fancy restaurant laughing it up without you. It just killed me. I swore that some day I’d get another one. From that day on and for thirty-some years, I would have dreams about her, wondering where I had parked it and what good shape she was in. When I purchased “Baby II”, the dreams stopped.
I told my wife when we married I would get another ’02. By 2001, the hunt was on. Then, one night I took Roundel to bed with me and while I turned to the For Sale section, I thought, “will today be the day”? And boom, there it was, a 1970 Atlantik, in original condition with 18,500 miles on the clock. I jumped out of bed and began emailing the owner. He was the second owner, living in Oregon, selling the car to capitalize a new business. The first owner was a professor at University of Wisconsin and had purchased it new in Boston. It sat in his garage in Madison for thirty years, being driven sparingly until his wife wondered why she was parking outside in the Wisconsin snow, while this car was inside. The only person I trusted to look at the car was my old college buddy, a BMW works mechanic, who, by some miracle lived only fifty miles away. He blessed it and I bought it. It was like hitting a bullet with a bullet.”
How do you decide if you are keeping your 02 stock? I have been corrected a few more times than I would like to admit as I learn all the little details of each year and model of this bimmer. Part of me loves the pureness and class of those kept stock. Another part of me celebrates the personality and charm of the 2002’s which have been modified to uniquely fit their owners driving style and taste. The bones are there and they are good.
“I have a set of period correct MiniLite wheels I put on for my own edification, from time to time. I took off the noisy exhaust and refitted with an original. BMW’s aren’t “noisy”. I replaced the Sach’s shocks with Bilstein’s and replaced as much of the old rubber bushings as possible. The car had never been properly buffed out and I put a “concours” shine on it. And, aside from the Amco shift knob, it’s “as delivered”. I know, because I had a new one delivered to me. BTW, it’s one month younger than the original “Baby”.”
Tom shared the Hemmings Sports and Exotic article Babied Blau on this 1970 02 of his, published in the 2012 issue. I assume it was written because of his trophy at the BMW sponsored Hilton Head Concours event. My favorite part of this cars story is Tom’s recollection of this event.
“But, the best part was after I was awarded my trophy, I had to drive past a line of BMW race cars. All of the owners stood and clapped for my little ’02 as I drove by.”
“Pretty much all of the significant privately owned BMW’s were there as well as an immense factory contribution from Munich. I met Bobby Rahal who had an ’02 and we reminisced about how we’d drag muscle cars into tight corners and never see them again. I received a runner up trophy in the “post war” period, one of two. The president of BWM N.A. was one of my judges.”
As these posts continue you will begin to see a few questions I ask owners repeated. This one I find to bring about the most interesting responses,
Has owning this BMW changed you in some way?
Tom responded with the following: “It’s been a real joy to me, being able to recapture my youth in such a spectacular way. Though I have far more powerful sports and track cars, its impossible for me to be any happier than when I’m tooling around in my 2002 with it’s 110 bhp 1996 cc single Solex.”
And, if you have the same curiousity as I do about the future of these cars… Tom feels his Atlantik should probably be donated to BMW (that would be a very generous thing to do), he does joke (but inside I think he is quite serious) that he wants to be buried in it; just release the handbrake and push. The love is deep.
Thanks for visiting and enjoy the drive,
Clementine and friends.