Second Chance: An M3-Powered BMW 2002

Magnus Granberg’s road to classic BMW ownership was written years before he could even drive.

As a youngster, he watched – and no doubt helped – his father work on the various BMW projects that continually inhabited his family’s garage in Sweden. When it finally came time for Magnus to sit and pass his driver license test in 1995, having a project of his own was pretty much the only priority.


It was Magnus’s father who found the car for sale – a 1970 BMW 2002 that was well-used and rusty, which meant it was cheap. In other words, the perfect start point for a BMW-mad father and son project.

Over the next while, Magnus and his father brought the BMW back to life, overhauling mechanical components and repairing the bodywork. In its freshly-restored state, Magnus happily drove the car until 2002, when he decided he’d be better off with an all-wheel drive winter car. The BMW was sold and an Audi quickly filled the garage void.

Although he could now navigate the snow-laden roads around Vadstena, Östergötland County with ease, Magnus instantly regretted selling the classic BMW.


If you’ve ever been in a similar position, you’ll know how Magnus probably felt – especially now that classics from the ’70s and ’80s have become so sought after. But eight years after he sold his 2002, he chanced upon it while searching Blocket (the Swedish equivalent of eBay) for a new car. Magnus had the opportunity to buy to his beloved BMW back, and he didn’t mess around getting the deal done.

It wasn’t all roses though; between the time he originally sold it and 2010 when he got it back, the BMW had spent most of its time outside in the elements, and had crash damage to boot. A lot of work was was needed to bring it back up to the standard it once was, but Magnus was fully dedicated to the cause.

Along the way, new wheels were fitted and the engine bay was tidied up, and once again Magnus could enjoy the fruits of his labor.


in 2019, Magnus decided to enter the 2002 in a car show called Bimmers Of Sweden, an event where his restoration efforts were rewarded with an honorary award. It was at this point that Magnus decided he’d return the following year and show the car without a hood. Serious modifications were now on the cards, and we’ll get to those in just a second after we’ve talked about the exterior upgrades, of which less are definitely more.


From the moment Magnus decided he was essentially going to restomod his BMW, the car’s iconic lines were off limits. Given the shape of the 2002, it would be a hard task to integrate modern aesthetics in a subtle way, and to be honest, I don’t think that thought even crossed Magnus’s mind. He did the right thing, keeping it clean and timeless by fitting genuine 2002 Turbo fender flares and front air dam.


In the paint and wheel department, Magnus took a more contemporary approach but still kept things in the family – the car was resprayed BMW 354 Titan Silver and the wheels are Alpina items. The latter were built by CR Custom Wheels, who took them out to 17×8.5-inch for the front fitment and 17×9.5-inch for the rear, before Magnus had them shod in Nankang AR1 semi-slick rubber.


If money was no object, Magnus would have had an E30 M3’s S14 engine in the 2002’s bay quick-smart, but that dream ultimately gave way to a more accessible S54B32 from an E46 M3.

You might be wondering if a 3.2L inline-six could even fit in the 2002, and initially this was Magnus’s main concern too. As you can see, it’s entirely possible, but it was big job that required major work to the firewall.

Magnus had previous experience with engine swaps, but nothing of this scale. It was certainly a first for Sweden, but perhaps even the world?


With 338hp on offer from factory the S54B32
 would have been powerful enough in standard form, but the engine in Magnus’s car has had some work. Inside, there’s Wiseco forged pistons
, Pauter forged rods and a balanced crankshaft, while ancillary upgrades under-hood include a modified OEM intake manifold, custom-made velocity stacks, Nuke Performance fuel rail and 790cc injectors, Radium tanks and a DO88

 aluminum race radiator. It’s all beautifully presented in the bay too.


One of the coolest aspects is the exhaust, where Magnus has adapted a BMW 1M system to fit – after raising the trunk floor – but added an outlet that bypasses the rear muffler altogether to really let the straight-six sing.


With the M3 engine in play and all tuned through MaxxECU management, the driveline needed an upgrade too. Here you’ll find a ZF BMW 535d gearbox (which necessitated the the floor and transmission tunnel to be extensively modified) a Tenaci flywheel and clutch, and an E36 M3 differential.


The suspension too has been thoroughly overhauled with Öhlins R&T coilovers featuring Millway Motorsport top mounts, modified BMW 2002tii arms
 and Sellholm Tuning anti-roll bars. In the brake department you’ll find 
Tenaci 6-piston calipers and 320mm rotors up front, and out back Tenaci 280mm rotors and a 
hydraulic handbrake


The interior space is a real mix of old and new. Magnus refurbished the dashboard, door panels and roof liner (the latter trimmed black), then added Recaro BMW Performance seats, BMW M seat belts, Auto Meter gauges, a modified E46 M3 OBP pedal box, custom mats and a custom-aged Momo steering wheel. He also built a new leather-trimmed center console which houses a tablet screen.


Magnus’s BMW attracted a lot of attention from passersby as Alen photographed it. Most who commented were of an older generation, and said that they had owned or at least driven one (BMW built 800,000 2002s after all), and/or the 2002 is on their dream car list. It’s hard to not want one after learning everything about Magnus’s creation.


Earlier in this story I said that Magnus had set out to rebuild his 2002 over the course of a year, so he could show it at the 2020 running of Bimmers Of Sweden. Due to Covid that event was postponed, giving Magnus a little longer than 12 months to complete the project, but that’s exactly what he did. Many a late night was spent working on the car, and Magnus said he couldn’t have done it without the help of his father and his friends.

It’s been a year since the ‘M02′ was completed, and while Magnus is now spending his 2021 summer enjoying it, he’s already sizing up his next project. This time it will something a little louder, brighter and potentially Italian. Whatever Magnus builds, I’m sure it’ll be a fine garage mate for his very cool BMW 2002.

Brad Lord
Instagram: speedhunters_brad

Photos by Alen Haseta
Instagram: hazetaa

1970 BMW 2002

Engine: BMW E46 M3 S54B32, Wiseco forged pistons
, Pauter forged rods, balanced crankshaft, Nuke Performance 790cc injectors, modified intake manifold, custom-made velocity stacks, 
modified BMW 1M exhaust system with extra cutout
, MaxxECU engine management system, do88

 aluminum race radiator, modified firewall

 ZF BMW 535d transmission, custom shifter mount, modified transmission tunnel, Tenaci flywheel, Tenaci twin-plate clutch, BMW M3 E36.

Suspension/Brakes: Öhlins R&T coilovers with Millway Motorsport top mounts, modified BMW 2002tii arms
, Sellholm Tuning anti-roll bars, 
Tenaci 6-piston front calipers, Tenaci 320mm front rotors, Tenaci 280mm rear rotors, 
hydraulic handbrake
 Top bearings: Bearings from

 Custom modified Alpina wheels by CR Custom Wheels, 17×8.5-inch front, 17×9.5-inch rear, 
Nankang AR1 tires 215/40R17 front, 235/40R17


Exterior: Genuine BMW 2002 turbo fender flares & front air dam, BMW 354 Titan Silver paint

Interior: Recaro BMW Performance seats, BMW M seat belts, repainted door panels, custom leather-trimmed center console, LCD screen for ECU, Auto Meter gauges
, aged Momo steering wheel, modified OBP adjustable E46 pedal box, custom mats

Magnus Thanks: Klara Hall, Torgny Granberg, Dennis Andersson, Fredrik Ström, Peter Fransson, Andreas Friberg, Figge Ohlsson, Fredrik Edholm, Björn Svensson



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With that M02 comp badge i thought it was hinting to an M2 comp engine (or even an M3/4 comp). Anyway, the parts fitted to this 2002 cost a fortune even with all the DIY stuff included; those seats alone will cost you a kidney. Props to Magnus and all the guys who helped him the end result in astonishing; I realy envy you bother (in a positive way for sure).


dream car, sound must be breathtaking... greetings from Germany ;-)


This is devastatingly beautiful! How much power is it making after the engine work?


343hp, 270whp which is more then enough after getting a ridealong. Terrifying car at high speeds (but in a good way)!


"One of the coolest aspects is the exhaust, where Magnus has adapted a BMW 1M system to fit – after raising the trunk floor – but added an outlet that bypasses the rear muffler altogether to really let the straight-six sing."

Of course a video or sound clip would have helped.


Considering the weight of the car, even a stock M3 engine will make this car fly.
Any 0-60 figure?

For the record, this is cleanest 2002 build I have ever seen.


No official times but he said that its faster than a stock one


I will have to comeback to you on that one! You can always ask him on IG though if I forget.


what about the 0- max, i think thats more important than the 0-60.


I think this has to be my dream 2002 build
Just a perfect blend of modern performance and classic feel


My God that 2002 is so clean and the S54 suits it so well too


Wow! Amazing little car! Done up thru and thru. How do wheels that big fit on his car? What is the offset and it has that much clearance under the wheel wells? Amazing! Fantastic work! Fantastic restore! Glad he got his dream car back. That'll teach him


Goodness gracious me that is wonderful. Although I can't help wonder what an S65 V8 would be like in that. Slightly lighter and shorter than the S54. Straight 6 probably suits the car better though.

Antonio Olympio Filho

My God ! perfect 2002.


"Magnus instantly regretted selling the classic BMW."

I know that feeling well. I regretted selling my 1969 2002. I couldn't afford the body work it desperately needed though mechanically it was still great. It was sold to a British backpacker who had purchased it for his uncle to restore in the UK. He got to drive it around Western Australia for a few months before shipping it over for his uncle to restore. Every time I heard it's exhaust note while he drove it around my neighborhood I felt a deep pang of regret.


Solid read. Cheers Brad.


No doubt I praise his creativity in building a custom made one of a kind 2002 but the question I always ask custom car builders is: how much money was planned versus how much they ended up spending and in the end is it worth it. Example: If this ends up costing the same as the new M2 then to me the logical choice would be to buy the latter one. Faster, quicker, safer (all the safety techs , airbags etc), handles better, more refined quieter and has factory warranty.


Personally, I find that if you are passionate about the car, you don't focus on the costs. I usually regret not doing something the way I envisioned more than the dollar amount spent.


I always preferred more modern BMW's over the classics but OMG this car is so cool. This car is very clean and well done and I really like it. This article has broadened my view and now I like both classic and modern.


Actually, there is another sweish 2002 that was finished like 10ys ago that has a S50 in it - so ok, may be the first with an S54 but the S50 is the same physical size...just sayin'... Never the less, cool car!


You got a link? Would love to see that!


No the best build-thread in the history of man kind. There were youtube clips - but they seem to be gone.... But it's a 2002 with a S50. First post made 2015 and by then it was already built since a couple of y's!


Awesome, Thanks!


Car, model, the way it's modified, engine, location, pictures... Everything = PERFECTION in my book.
I found myself scrolling through the pictures, holding my breath.


Wow! This must be one of the best looking 02s ever! Good job. Congratulations to all involved.


Nice build, should be fun to drive. But cant get over the diesel gearbox, stock m3's are good, lighter, easy shifts at hight rev and way better ratios.
Eaven the new N series engines have better and at least as strong boxes.
Also we are swapint this type of pedalboxes becouse of exesive flex in the frame.

Vince Taliaferro

Wow everything was done so respectfully to the legacy of the car and BMW, well done.


No one commenting on the tire installed backwards in the lead pic? Nice car, but how do you build to that level w/o knowing how to mount a directional tire? It literally took be a 1/4 of a second to see.