Amazing 2002 BMW Restomod Visits Jay Leno’s Garage

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Have you heard the story of how the 2002 BMW came to life – almost as interesting as the story behind the 3 Series Touring (E30). Here’s a very short version of the story – two of the company’s top executives at the time both installed the 2.0-liter engine in their 1600-2 for personal use. Once they realized that they were both making the same modifications, they prepared a proposal to the BMW board of directors and asked them to build a factory 1600-2 with a 2.0 liter engine. The rest, as they say, is history.

To this day, the 2002 remains one of BMW’s most iconic models. The predecessor to the 3 Series as we know it today, this model was renowned for its sporty road behavior and perfect weight balance that is synonymous with modern BMW vehicles. It’s no surprise that many BMW fans loved 2002 and its price on the vintage car market skyrocketed. We love to see people restore their 2002s to factory condition or even give them a well-deserved upgrade.

This is exactly the story of Dorian Hicklin who recently visited Jay Leno’s Garage in his beautiful orange 1973 BMW. Hicklin bought the car from a friend and began a thorough restoration before modifying the car into a cleaner, cafe racer style. (I know it’s a motorcycle term). The body remains mostly stock but the front bumper is missing and there’s less trim than the stock 2002.

After Hicklin takes off the hood, this is where the gem of this vehicle hides. A heavily modified 2.0-liter (or a little bigger) four cylinder engine sitting there with two Webber carburetors. The car has not been dynoed but its owner says it is likely to produce around 150 to 160 horsepower (110 to 118 kilowatts) in its current state. The five-speed manual transmission of the 3 Series sends power to the front wheels.

The interior is absolutely fantastic too. It retains the basic design of the original car but adds some really nice touches, such as a bucket seat with fabric insert, drill pedal, drill gear shifter, and more. Hicklin wanted to make the car race one day so it would be equipped with a full roll cage and other features needed for motorsport.


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