The BMW 1600 was an evolution of the Neue Klasse collection, receiving revamped styling from Georg Bertram and Manfred Rennen in-house at BMW within the mid-Nineteen Sixties.
The brand new design was to be shorter and cheaper than the sedans it was based mostly on and would proceed being bought via the complete 02 collection manufacturing run. These easier, lighter automobiles acquired barely enlarged M10 inline-four engines over time, shifting up from the preliminary 1,573cc to a turbocharged 1,990cc energy plant of their most potent specification by 1973.
That is no 2002 Turbo, although. The automobile I drove a pair weekends in the past – owned by my good friend Darius – is supplied with the usual 2.0-liter mill paired with a 4-speed handbook gearbox.
It’s a really sluggish automobile by as we speak’s requirements, and even in 1974 when this instance was bought new 99 horsepower wasn’t actually a lot to put in writing dwelling about.
No actual modifications have been made both; the automobile nonetheless has its manufacturing unit single Weber carburetor, pretty unsupportive bucket seats, squishy inventory springs, tiny 13-inch wheels, and tires with thick sidewalls. The one factor Darius has executed past routine upkeep is set up polyurethane suspension bushings.
But, wheeling round on this previous machine was a lot extra enjoyable than I imagined it may very well be.
Merely put, BMW chassis are good, even ones designed 50 years in the past. Now, in 2022 — amidst the deep sea of insanely modified automobiles, uncontrolled wait instances for high quality components, attention-seeking social media builds, and skyrocketing costs on classic automobiles — that is your pleasant reminder that typically much less is extra. Traditional automobile possession doesn’t want to interrupt your pockets, and there’s a lot pleasure to be present in a easy automobile like a inventory BMW 02.
The suspension is compliant and person pleasant, the open differential ensures you may’t make a expensive mistake in an unfamiliar automobile — though a limited-slip unit can be good — and the engine was surprisingly responsive round 4,000rpm. Sliding round within the cabin with the home windows down makes you are feeling such as you’re going a lot quicker than you actually are.
Nonetheless, the smooth automobile was extremely comfy because it briskly made its manner over the undulating surfaces on California’s slim backroads and winding highways.
It’s a traditional automobile you could reside with, a automobile you could get groceries in, a automobile you could tackle a street journey, and a automobile you may fireplace up at evening to blow off some steam in your favourite street.
Darius has executed precisely this throughout his time with the automobile, however along with his first child on the way in which it’s time for the 2002 to maneuver on. “I simply can’t be that dad with 4 venture automobiles and a new child little one.”
Not that the 2002 is a venture, however you get the purpose. Darius is a accountable man, and if I used to be even a hair much less accountable than I’m, the 2002 would already be mine. Oh nicely – as a substitute, it’s going up on Carry a Trailer quickly.
Godspeed, little 2002.