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  • Writer's picturePaul Wegweiser

I have a new 2002 "barn find" project!

A 1969 2002 that's been stored in a rough old garage for over 25 years!

Let the madness begin!

It all started with this photo in December of 2018

The above photo was posted on social media six months ago, and I immediately contacted the seller, to see what kind of potential this car might hold. The seller's late father was the original owner and I'm told that the car was brought in from Europe as a USA spec car when his father was in the military there in 1970. The son lived in North Carolina, although the car was parked right in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania - a mere 35 minutes from my home.

So... you know...I HAD to go look at it!

Over the next few months the seller and I worked around weather and other "life plans" and eventually he made the trip up north to deal with his father's old BMW. We finally met in May and upon prying open the nearly collapsing overhead doors of the pitch black garage, I was greeted with this sight. The garage may have been the darkest, nastiest garage I've seen in years. It was hard to discern details on the car, but the basic visual information was all there for me to do a quick assessment. Was the car Bristol and repainted Polaris silver? (perhaps using that infamously poor metallic technology of the era?) I could see the original paint had survived remarkably well in the engine bay, so I was satisfied that I was about to score a BMW 2002 in one of the more unusual colors. That completely sealed it!

Because I'm admittedly a little wacky in the head brains... to me, this looked GOOD!

First off... the bad:

The rocker panels and fenders were toast. As was the rear deck lid. Wheel arches had some holes, too...but the lack of body filler and paintwork made this an "honest" car. What I saw...was going to be exactly what I got. No surprises.

The good stuff:

Decent rear shock towers, nearly pristine frame rails and floors, and the car was complete and unmolested by anything but mice and the mere ravages of time. Fenders unbolt...rockers can be replaced ($111.00 each plus some welding.) and I'm sure I can find a nice clean lid for the trunk eventually. The price was right, and I stopped asking questions. I figured when I got it home, I could dig deeper and uncover some of this car's mysteries. Somehow the hood was absolutely original and pristine. Perhaps storing them upside down somehow imbues magical "anti-oxidation" mojo upon them.

With a little help from my friends

With the local help of a fellow bonkers enthusiast, we dragged it into the sunlight after freeing up the brakes and installing some temporary wheels and tires. We had to get it prepped for the 35 mile ride home on a trailer the following weekend. Preparations included making sure none of the 250lbs of parts stashed inside the car would blow out the windows or seed the interstate en route. Second, was installing the hood and preserving what would turn out to be remarkably decent original paint. As I discovered later, the odd (almost metallic) yellowing of the sides of the car was due to some 30-40 year old clearcoat that had been applied by a misguided but well meaning painter / shop.

The car sees daylight!

For the first time in over 25 years, we pulled the car out into the sun.

Gorgeous, right? That's what I thought, too!

Now that the car is safely in my posession, I can start the cleaning and full-on assessment it so desperately needs.

Subscribe to this blog and tune in for future installments of this project throughout the coming weeks. Things WILL get very interesting. As I create a "needs" list for the project, I'll be sharing price and availability information for the oh-so-many parts it will require to get it back on the road. Things will get filthy, smelly, greasy, and thoroughly disgusting...because that's how these projects always begin. The magic happens as new life and heartfelt love is brought back to old, neglected beauty. That's what it's all about. Sometimes the trip is more fun and interesting than the destination. Let's hope so!

Need restoration or repair parts?

E mail us:

Or call my mobile direct line: 412 585 2067.

I speak 2002... constantly.


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