RESERVE LOWERED -1973 BMW 2002 Baur Convertible


• Very rare – believed to be one of only 94 UK RHD cars
• Low mileage
• Very original
• Recently commissioned after 15 year lay up
• Could be enjoyed as is or further restored

The Background

Widely credited as the car that saved BMW in the late Sixties, the 2002 was a product of the ‘large engine in a small car’ way of thinking applied to the 1602 with the brand’s 2 litre engine inserted into the car that was designed and named for a 1.6 litre engine. 

Its success rescued the company from near bankruptcy and helped to establish the brand in the US. The coachbuilder Baur had been producing convertible BMW’s since the 1930’s and manufactured full convertible versions of both the 1602 and 2002 before adopting the safer ‘Targa-style’ approach that we see here. However, as Porsche holds the copyright on the name ‘Targa’, it adopted the slightly clunky name of ‘Top Cabriolet’.

Naming aside, it’s a very practical arrangement which allows for multiple configurations with a central hard top that stows in the boot and a folding rear canvas section, making it very much a car for all seasons. It’s also super rare, with only 94 thought to have been sold in the UK and fewer than half that number believed to be still on the roads today. 

Combining this practicality with the premium feel and keen driveability of a 2002, it’s a truly versatile classic.

The History

The current owner is a lifelong BMW fan and has a small collection spanning different eras. He had always lusted after a 2002 and this one caught his eye last year. 

Laid up for 15 years due to the previous owner’s ill health under a layer of wax, it was recommissioned by the renowned BMW specialist NCB Autokraft. This process included the fitment of a new gearbox but otherwise the car is completely unrestored and totally original.

Since acquiring the car, he’s enjoyed some trips out, including to Caffeine and Machine, but some health issues of his own mean that he’s much more at home driving his other cars which are automatics and so has made the reluctant decision to let this one go.

The Paperwork

The car is accompanied by a complete set of owner’s manuals in their original plastic wallet and a selection of memorabilia including a BMW Club newsletter and old MOT’s.

The V5 is present and the MOT expires on 31 May 2022.

BMW 2002 Baur-125.jpg 1.21 MB

The Interior

Finished in half leather with dog-tooth patterned cloth inserts, the cabin is a model of simplicity and clarity, a trait which was carried on with later BMW’s. The upholstery shows very little sign of wear and the front seats fold forward with a smoothly oiled and well-weighted feeling that belies the quality of the engineering that went into these cars. 

Everything here is completely original, including the radio, which means that it does bear some patina but there is a definite charm to seeing it all unmolested. There are a couple of cracks to the dashboard and the centre console is not firmly secured but while the latter should be easily addressable, neither detract from the period appeal. 

The boot is tidy and stows the hard top roof very snugly across the top. There are some brown marks to the paintwork on the arches but this is a remnant of the wax in which the car was coated when put into storage. The roof panel itself is a little faded and bobbly on the outside but the headlining inside is clean and well-preserved.

The rear canvas section is also faded and the window a little milky but reasonable rearward visibility remains. Taking the roof off and on is simplicity in itself: the roof panel slides in at the rear and is held firm by a pair of levers on the front header rail. The canvas section simply folds up and is held in place by a pair of clips. Both mechanisms remain in full working order.

BMW 2002 Baur-042.jpg 1.09 MB

The Exterior 

Everywhere you look on this car, there are intriguing design details. From the shark nosed front end, through the elegantly styled wheels, to the distinctive rear light clusters, it’s a delight to behold.

When the car was put away for storage, there were clearly strenuous efforts to preserve it. The paintwork was covered with a layer of wax and the underside was fully sealed. To a large degree this has paid dividends and the underside looks to be very solid. 

The bodywork is also largely well-preserved and, while there is some bubbling to the driver’s side rear wing which is shown in the pictures, and a little cracking behind the BMW badge on the bonnet, it’s remarkably good for an unrestored car. The chrome work is also in generally good condition, even if some of the trim is a little in need of re-securing in some places.

One thing that wasn’t addressed prior to storage was the dent in the nearside front wing. While it looks like it could be pulled out, it’s been retained as part of the car’s story. There is also a small dent in the passenger side door but that is much less noticeable. Otherwise, the panels all appear straight and true and the paint retains a decent shine.

The wheels are the original items and bear tyres with a good level of tread. One item to note is that the driver’s door has dropped a little on its hinges which is why it looks a little out of alignment in some of the photographs. This will be rectified prior to the sale.

BMW 2002 Baur-026.jpg 1.66 MB

The Mechanics 

Under the front-hinged bonnet, there’s more evidence of the brown residue left by the protective wax but also a motor looking in fine fettle and with a number of parts such as the distributor cap looking suitably fresh following the recommissioning work. All of the original labelling is also still intact and there is fresh soundproofing on the underside of the bonnet.

It starts first time every time and, although the unassisted steering is a little heavy at parking speeds, it frees up at speed. The new gearbox operates very well and makes the car easy to punt along. While not fast per se by modern standards, it’s plenty quick enough to keep up with modern traffic and feels very together with no untoward noises. The brakes pull the car up smartly and in a straight line.

The Appeal

The Baur 2002 is rare, versatile and a cracking piece of design. With so many options for arranging the roof, there’s plenty of potential to enjoy it all year round.

This low mileage example majors on originality but there are options for the next owner: it’s eminently usable as-is but equally might benefit from some light restoration work. Either way, it’s a delightful classic that has the potential to entertain for many years to come.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1973
  • Make BMW
  • Model 2002
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 53,124 Miles
  • Engine size 1990
  • Location Warwickshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
25 bids
  • sa•••• £18,000 06/12/21
  • sa•••• £17,750 06/12/21
  • gr•••• £17,500 06/12/21
  • sa•••• £17,250 06/12/21
  • gr•••• £17,000 06/12/21
  • sa•••• £16,750 06/12/21
  • gr•••• £16,500 06/12/21
  • sa•••• £16,250 06/12/21
  • st•••• £16,000 06/12/21
  • sa•••• £15,750 06/12/21

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