BMW 2002 Club – Florida Suncoast’s Vintage Car Collector Breakfast Group
While BMW’s are on every corner these days, this was not true in the early 1970’s in the United States. However the enthusiasm was there even from the beginning. When a BMW 2002 driver would spot another one coming the other way the headlights would flash and fists would pump as they passed each other, partly because they were the only two drivers on the road that knew what a BMW was at this time. A common refrain from the ladies when seeing a 2002 for the first time back then was “Cute Cars – What is it?” They did not know what it was, but they knew it was not their father’s car and they liked it. The irony is this refrain is still used when I pull up to a new BMW X5 today in my vintage 2002, most still do not know it is a BMW. You have to remember that in the early seventies most cars on the road were large and had big V8 engines. When an older business friend of mine rode along with me in my first 2002 on the highways of North Georgia years ago, I was just shifting from third gear to fourth when he noticed the speedometer read 90 mph. This prompted him to ask “Just what kind of car is this” with a wrinkled forehead. He remarked after the ride that he was amazed that a car slightly larger than a VW bug with only a four cylinder engine could be that much fun to drive.
Unlike today’s BMW’s with computer controls, proximity sensors and power features everywhere, the BMW 2002 is a basic car with roll up windows, no power steering or breaks – in short a car built for fun and sport, not comfort and luxury. For most 2002 enthusiasts, it is not only a fun car to drive but one you can work on yourself. While like any car over 40 years old, some parts are getting harder to find, however the fact that the car was always raced (then and now), a cottage industry has developed to support the car far beyond its expiration date. Many 2002 owners have personalized/customized their cars while others prefer as close to the original factory configuration.
If you are having a bad day and need a good laugh, try taking your BMW 2002 into a local BMW dealer for service – a comical but impossible task. With no computer and sporting carburetors, most BMW dealers have no solutions for you other than to sell you parts. It is this reason more than others that have forced BMW 2002 owners to seek out other owners with knowledge of the cars for guidance and knowledge of where to find spare parts or how to make repairs themselves. This has spawned Vintage BMW car clubs all over the US.
The BMW 2002 Breakfast Club is just such a group, with experience maintaining and restoring the cars, with numerous sources for hard to find parts or alternatives. As new enthusiasts discover the joy of owning a BMW 2002 or long time owners of the car continue to struggle to keep them running, the BMW 2002 Breakfast Club provides solutions and years of experience. The club meets on the third Saturday morning of each month at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater. This is the same date as the DuPont Cars & Coffee and just down the street from their headquarters. The club is open to anyone with a BMW 2002 or interest in owning one. If you are interesting in joining the group feel free to contact Edd Wiemar to be added to the invitation email list or contact myself, Frank Mann or you can ask about the club at any of our monthly BMW CCA meeting as well.