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That One Thing: 1974 BMW 2002

By Lotuff Leather

BMW is one of the most well-known automakers today, but how did this German manufacturer rise to recognition in the USA? The answer lies in the BMW 2002. This model was released in 1968, and immediately snapped up attention from the American public as a result of its surprisingly dynamic capabilities. The ’02 had a small, sports-car-like silhouette yet was powerful and functional, attracting hordes of buyers on the lookout for a pragmatic vehicle that lacked nothing in style: something that previously didn’t exist. 

Fast forward a few years, and BMW was now a respected and recognizable name not only in America, but throughout the world. Though the 2002 only remained in production for a short eleven years, towards the tail end it was able to squeeze in one last hurrah with the 1974 model’s updates. The taillights, upholstery, bumpers, and instrument panels were all modernized, and the steering wheel was made smaller for a more visually appealing and ergonomic driving experience; overall, they were mainly aesthetic changes that reflected BMW’s desire to keep up with the times without sacrificing performance. 

I personally like this 1974 model because it’s just so classic-looking. Its boxy, square shape is something that’s appealing to me in a car, as it’s able to seem sporty without being over-the-top or pretentious in any way. To me, that’s exactly what BMW was trying to achieve with the 2002, and so even though this range is no longer being produced, its creators might be happy to know their design is still appreciated for its original intents years down the road.  

All photos from BMWBlog's coverage of Clarion Build's project car