If you’re staring at a BMW 2002ti, you’re either in Europe or you’ve found one of the few that has been imported into the United States. Or you’re Andy Maloy standing in your garage looking at your 1971 Colorado Orange example. Or you were between Andy’s Seattle home and Monterey and saw Andy motoring down and back to Monterey Car Week more than 2,200 miles—or, as the odometer indicated, 3,600 kilometers—to Legends Of The Autobahn, the BMW CCA Festorics, and other Car Week events.
That’s a lot of driving, especially for a fairly rare car. “This was my second Legends, with the first being in 2016,” Andy recalls. “I really enjoyed 2016, but didn’t drive down that year. I wanted to drive this year for several reasons. First was the 50-year anniversary of the 2002; I thought a 2002ti should be there, since it was a very important car in the 2002 development history. I also wanted to take a long drive in my car before I take the car apart this winter for some minor rust repair and an engine rebuild, so this was the perfect excuse.”
And his wasn’t the only ti! “This year’s Legends was the first time I have seen two ti’s at the same event, so that was really cool to me,” Andy says. “The other car was one of the Canadian imports, so it was very interesting seeing the differences between the cars. Mine was manufactured in February 1971 and registered in Spain, where it stayed from 1974 until I bought it and imported it in 2014.”
Andy is no stranger to the 2002 model or to older BMWs, for that matter. Although he has owned this ti for four years, it’s the third 2002 he has owned. “I’ve had 2002s since the late 1980s, and have also owned an E9 for about six years,” he says. “For me, the 2002ti has always been the ultimate 2002. Most of the performance innovations typically attributed to the 2002tii originated with the 2002ti—the boxed trailing arms, bigger brakes, bigger struts, brake booster, etc. They were successfully raced in the ETCC by Dieter Quester in 1968 and 1969. The 2002ti also uses the pre-’71 body style, which I prefer for its simplicity.
“It’s a non-North America car, so it has the cool stuff like the chrome trim under the dash. Plus, I love sidedrafts, and in particular, am a big fan of the Solex PHHs—I think the castings and aesthetics are beautiful, and they’re very responsive and sound great. But they are a real pain to get set up correctly. There are very few 2002ti’s in the U.S. and Canada—although some were imported into Canada, some say only 50, others say more—so it took me years to find a good one for sale in Europe.”
While he loves the aesthetics of the car, Andy says he most likes driving it. “I really like the QR steering box; it just fits me really well,” he says, certainly indicating why the drive from Seattle was such a great experience. “I have completely rebuilt the suspension, including all new bushings—OEM rubber except for the sway-bar links—and all of the steering components, including the steering box, strut bearings, etc. I didn’t do anything to the car that can’t be easily reversed, but the somewhat standard modifications to the suspension—Bilstein HDs, H&R springs, ST sway bars—sure help. I have rebuilt all of the brake and clutch hydraulics. The car came with DCOEs when I bought it, but I found the original PHHs under the back seat and rebuilt those. This winter, I am returning the engine to original specs, including the proper 9.3:1 pistons. I did get a BMW large-journal 300-degree cam installed in a 121TI head, with larger valves, but that will be the only deviation from stock— and the 300 cam was available as an option in 1971.”
Andy definitely knows his 2002s—another reason he enjoyed Legends Of The Autobahn, the Festorics, and Monterey Car Week so much. “Legends is great, and it was nice to see green grass instead of the brown grass of 2016,” he says, recalling the drought-ravaged lawn at generally beautiful Nicklaus Golf Club Monterey. “I think the 2018 highlights for me were just talking to all of the other car folks. I always learn some useful and interesting stuff talking to people there and looking at all of the other cars. I love seeing all the cool mods people do to their cars, particularly 2002s, and then seeing another ti there, too, this year. I also really enjoy checking out the Mercedes and Audis.”
It would have been a long drive even just for the fun at Legends. “For me, the races are the main draw to Monterey; that whole spectacle is just fantastic,” Andy explains. “I spend most of my time there. I think the CCA did a really great job with their Turn Five hospitality, and having some cars inside the tent was cool. I also attended a couple of auction previews; I think those are a pretty great opportunities to spend as much time as you want checking out some incredible cars.”
Andy made a complete trip out the journey to Monterey, which speaks to the surprising versatility people enjoy with their 2002s. “The car ran great,” Andy says—perhaps more proud than relieved. “I took a bit of an indirect route down, through Crater Lake, then down to Eureka where I visited my nephew, and down 101 the rest of the way. Other than the persistent heavy smoke from the area fires, it was a great drive—3,600 kilometers round-trip! The only issue was a charging problem that I chased to a bad alternator ground, which was an easy fix. I did fiddle with the carb sync before I headed back, as they were starting to get a little out of whack.”
Andy first joined the BMW CCA in the late 1980s. With this recent 2,200-mile trip in his 2002ti as evidence, it’s no surprise to hear him say, “I like the CCA’s focus on driving, particularly safe driving, and their continued support of older cars.” He continues, “I think that support was eroding, understandably as most members don’t have old cars, but lately I have seen a real effort to refocus on the heritage, including with my local Puget Sound Chapter. Roundel is great, too, and my local chapter usually has at least a couple of events per year that I really enjoy, like tours of local vintage race car restoration facilities.”
With such a unique and rare car as his Colorado Orange 2002ti, and the improvements he’s planning to make to it, with any luck, we’ll see Andy down at Monterey Car Week again soon and in the meantime, the lucky folks up around the Puget Sound chapter can appreciate it!—Kyle van Hoften