The Car Everyone Loves

There’s something special about any older car. Classics are full of universally appealing character; enthusiasts and ‘normal’ folk alike will always have a certain make or model that speaks to them on some level.

Memories of their childhood, their first time driving, high school days sneaking off and getting up to no good. Whatever the case, all older cars appeal to someone. And this month I’ve personally been focusing on American classics by spending time here in Reno at Hot August Nights as well as stopping by the Shelby club’s 43rd annual national convention.

I know American cars aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think there is one vintage model from across the pond that everyone likes. I’m talking about the BMW 02 Series.


I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone talking badly about these cars. Yes, they’re slow and they tend to leak, but any car more than a few decades old is going to require special attention. But there’s something so charming about this chassis.

In this case, Dennis’ 1968 model 1600 has been serving him for daily driving duties for over a year now. This is his only car. Describing the BMW and why it appeals to him, he says it’s the beautiful body lines. As he’s an architect, it makes sense that the car appeals to Dennis.


Being completely stock, minus the non-factory front seats, every trip in the 1600 is an experience, albeit a very underpowered one. But there’s something about driving an older analog car that’s indescribably appealing. As Ben recently described, simple (and slow) cars are often the most rewarding to drive.


And while Dennis has been looking for a more practical replacement — perhaps an E46 — he just hasn’t quite gotten around to it yet. I totally understand why, too, as 50 is looking really great on this BMW. It’s a car that can do a bit of everything and manages to make the mundane meaningful.

A trip to work or the grocery store is always special in this car, and it always looks good doing it. I dare you to look this cute machine in the face and say you don’t like it. Yes, I knew it. You love it, and we all do.

Long live the 02 series.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto



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Tah-Lii Jackson

I too love it’s cute looks. Vintage cars that are simple are such a dream. I could imagine driving that without a care in the world.


they turn heads even while rusting away. Very cool little cars


The '02 is a car for car's sake, without the divisive partisanship that goes with other cool, older cars. Politics and social beliefs are inextricably linked to our older Camaros and Volvos, but not so much to the '02. I think we love it partly for what it is, and partly for bringing us together.


I wish you were right, I heard a Yank mechanic say about one, I think late series 2 something "I never fixed cars for men that wore turttlenecks" (I think that he hasn't ever dealt with an engine without pushrods and has no idea of what to do, but he uttered the barb anyway).


something along the lines "I never fixed cars for men that wore turttlenecks" (I think that he hasn't ever dealt with an engine without pushrods and has no idea of what to do, but he uttered the barb anyway).


A bmw 2002, everyone likes? Can’t say I do, cheap looking little box. They look like Russian Ladas


You'll love it later, trust me


I suppose that if you aren't looking carefully, it's "another old, tall car on skinny tires with round headlights." The Lada you're referring to would be the VAZ-2101, which is basically a Fiat 124, the European Car of the Year for 1967.

One man's "cheap" is another man's unpretentious.


Yes VAZ 2101 Zhiguli/Fiat 124 Berlina is the car of the same charm, being small, simple and so perfect in it's frillsless boxy design. Well it is not expensive but it is classy vintage car which you can afford and focus on quality of works while restoring it and on tools but not on earning money just for ruined but sill expensive chassis. e10 and 2101 are full of potential for plenty of different solutions.


Nice little, classic car! Interior is sweet! Saw a bright, yellow one a month ago here in New Jersey and he was "cruising" on Route 78 near Pennsylvania. Keep enjoying your classic!


"Being completely stock, minus the non-factory front seats,"

...And minus the aftermarket radio head unit and center console speaker...


Yes, you are right. I was thinking more suspension, wheels, engine, drivetrain, power, feel, experience.


My brother and I like to judge cars by the amount of "mini effect" they have. We've always felt a classic mini was the ultimate car that everyone loved- it doesn't matter if you're a hyper car person, truck person, small car person or not even an automotive enthusiast at all, everyone seems to always smile at the site of a classic mini. I agree that the BMW 02 cars have lots of mini effect. One would look great sitting in my garage next to my '74 Toyota Hilux that also has a lot of mini effect.... hmm...


Also a Citroën 2CV has this effect. People smile, they nod, they look at it with eyes full of memory's... And yes, they are slow and small, when it rains they tend to leak and the bodywork is thinner then the hair on a baldmans head. But they are soooo funny.


this is the first time I saw this car. But yes Trevor. It appeals to a person like no other.


Perfect little bond between man and his steed , will be very difficult to let go of using it.


Really, really wish I'd bought one of these 5-10 years ago when they were very affordable. Prices in the UK are steadily climbing pretty quickly for this vintage of BMW.

Colin Fairbairn

I appreciate you all featuring older cars but as someone that has owned and driven daily a 74 2002 for the past decade, I have a few clarifications.

1) These cars do not "tend to leak." Properly cared for, they do not.
2) There is nothing "analog" about these cars. They are mechanical. Big difference!


cute looking car, i love the center radio setup