2002 Memories From Before Birth

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We couldn’t even count how many 2002s were on the lawn at Legends of the Autobahn and in the Festorics corral during the 2018 Monterey Car Week. But easier to count might have been how many owned-since-new 2002s were there.

Tom Jones drove one such car to both Legends and Festorics. “My parents bought the Tii in February 1972—before I arrived—but I definitely remember it being our main family car well into the nineties,” Tom explained. “It was the car Mom took us to school in, the car we took on most road trips, the car that got my parents interested in joining the car club.”

This early production 1972 2002 Tii has been in the family since they purchased it from Weatherford BMW in Berkeley. The dealer had just taken delivery the day before and the Joneses ended up signing papers that day. “Mom and my older sister took the bus back to the dealer and then drove the Tii home,” Tom learned years ago.

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The 2002 Tii trunk is deceptively accommodating. Photo courtesy of Tom Jones.

Tom’s memories of the car span a wide range of activities. “When I was a Boy Scout, I used to love it when Dad was chosen to drive on our backpacking trips,” he remembered. “Other parents, the ones with Volvo wagons, Jeep Cherokees, massive American wagons and such, would inevitably see the backpacks piled at the back of the Tii and offer to carry some in their cars, Dad and I said thanks, but they’d all fit, and they did, every time. There were a few complaints from some of the boys when my dad enjoyed the twisty roads—never dangerous, just enthusiastic—like when the two boys in the back seat were asleep and Dad took a corner pretty well. The boys were flopping from one side to the other, waking up in the process.”

The BMW CCA has helped generate some excellent memories, too. “My parents, Iva and Richard, joined the BMW CCA a little before participating in the 1977 O’Fest in Santa Clara, CA, when I was about two,” Tom recalled. “My mom and sister, Gwen, drove the Tii out to the 1984 O’Fest in Boston, meeting my dad as he flew out. Then Mom and Gwen drove it out to Orlando in 1986, meeting my dad and me at the airport there.”

Tom estimates they’ve attended a total of ten Oktoberfest events with the Tii, along with many local Golden Gate chapter events like driving schools and autocrosses. But it’s the Legends of the Autobahn and Festorics events that he has enjoyed consistently since their inception.

DSC_1231-Tom-300x200  “Except for one year, I haven’t missed a Legends and I couldn’t count on my fingers and toes how many times I’ve gone to Festorics at the track, but not always with the Tii” Tom remembered. “But when we heard that O’Fest was going to be in Monterey in ‘16 as well as BMW celebrating 100 years as part of Monterey Car Week, Dad asked me to help him put the Tii back together in time to take it. In the mid-nineties, with more than 200,000 miles, it had become faded and the car wasn’t used as much. In 2004, Dad decided to have the car repainted. A couple of weeks later the car was painted and back in Dad’s garage, but we never put it back together. My career, his retirement, time and whatever else gets in the way of progress…got in the way, until then.

“That was an amazing year but after missing last year due to travel to Oregon, it was great to be back this year, especially with my parents’ Tii!” Tom said with pride. “Two of my other favorite 2002s from Monterey Car Week were Andrew McGowan’s wonderfully period accessorized ’68 Chamonix 1600 and then Max’s 2002. The range of Colorado orange, in original patina as exemplified by Max’s 2002, and the partially restored look of my parents’ original-owner Tii was indeed wonderful to see together.”

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Mostly stock and mostly modified: Max Thomas’ “Crusty” on the left and Tom Jones’ Tii on the right.

Max Thomas felt the same way. “Festorics and Legends were incredible,” Max exclaimed. “It was not only cool to see all the differences between stock and modified cars, but also the completely contrasting life stories of each car. You had cars like Tom’s family’s Tii they’d cherished since new and then others like mine that had passed through three to four owners before being abandoned for twenty years before making its comeback.

“This is what makes the 02 community so cool,” Max continued. “Ratty rehab project or Concours car—everybody appreciates everyone else’s cars!”

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Art Gabriel’s engine-swapped 02 he’s also owned since new…since 1973.

Max’s summary is spot-on. Art Gabriel, another 02 owner at Legends and Festorics who has owned his car since new, appreciates all the Joneses have experienced with their Tii. “I didn’t know what I was getting into when I bought my 2002 back in 1973,” Art recalled. “It was like becoming part of an extended family. Meeting another original owner of an 02 at Legends and Festorics was special. Comparing stories was one of the highlights of my weekend. I know my car will never leave my family—my son has sworn me to as much. The cars are great but it’s the people driving them that make them special.”

Tom calls the car “lovingly maintained” rather than restored. “It has some new Recaro seats, some engine and transmission work (including a new crate M10 ’73-’74 Tii engine from 1984), some interior work and some mismatched paint from some minor scrapes, but underneath it all, it’s simply been well-maintained.” It might help that Tom’s day job is wrenching on BMWs at Casey Motorsports in Petaluma, CA, a good drive away from his home in Vacaville.

DSC_1230-Tom-300x198  Other highlights that make the car somewhat unique—as if being in the same family almost 50 years since new wasn’t unique enough—is that the car is apparently the seventh production Tii in the US and more apparent on the outside, its Anco bumper overrider bars—a dealer-installed option it came with from Weatherford. It also came with an ANSA exhaust and Shelby/Ansen slotted alloy wheels but now rides on similarly-sized Chromodora CD40 wheels.

DSC_1232-Tom-300x200  The Joneses are certainly a BMW family. They’ve owned a 1967 1600 that Iva used to autocross on her way to winning the Ladies Class one year while Richard won Class C one year. Other cars include an 1800Ti and then a 1800 TiSA they bought in 1989 and then a 2003 325i Touring, among others. Not only does Tom work at a BMW shop, but he’s also a lifetime member of the BMW CCA. We’re pretty sure we’ll see the Joneses at future club events and future Monterey Car Weeks, and most likely with their 1972 2002 Tii.

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