Oliver Grimme’s love affair with cars began at the age of 15 when he, along with some good friends, made the trip from their home in Allgäu, Bavaria, Germany to the Wörthersee Festival. He spent much of the following year looking for the perfect car, wanting a BMW 2002 like his father had driven during the 1970s. Through the father of one of his friends he learned of a lady who owned his desired Bimmer and was willing to sell it, but once they made the trip to look at the car they realised it was far from perfect. It had been sitting for an extended period of time and was extremely rusty. His friend, deciding that there was simply too much work that needed to be done, gave Oliver the opportunity to purchase the neglected 2002. He jumped at the chance and became the proud owner of his 1973 BMW 2002tii just a week before his 17th birthday.
When Oliver got the car home three weeks later he set to work on it at once. The first item he bought for the car that would start it on its journey into the beauty that we see today was a 40mm Weber carburetor for the 2002’s ailing engine. Over the next year Oliver exercised great patience while building the BMW back to its former glory. Deciding that he would like to create something for the track he built the car to be as uncompromising and rigid as possible. Of course, living every day with a race car as his daily driver became a little difficult and he decided to purchase an E46 M3 to take over daily duties. The 2002 went into his garage, waiting as project cars often have to, for Oliver’s love for it to be rekindled.
That’s exactly what happened when, in 2015, Oliver purchased a set of H&R deep coilovers which are just about the lowest aftermarket ones available. He drove the 2002 for a year with the super-low static setup before deciding to mount the car on airbags, complete with an AccuAir e-Level controller system. Clearly from the quality of the components he chooses to install on his cars, Oliver is not a man to do things by half. That knowledge makes it all the more impressive that the vast majority of the work we see on this beautiful example of the rightfully legendary 2002 has been performed by its owner. Aside from things like the paint job and airbag install/setup, which he knew were better left to the professionals, this 2002 is the result of one man’s passion and patience for the car he loves.
Oliver admits that he didn’t plan on modifying the 2002 quite as much as he has ended up doing when he bought it. As can often happen with builds like this, thousands of hours spent examining and aiming for perfection in minute details created a steady stream of ideas on how to make it a little better, a little faster, a little more perfect. As it sits now, the car uses the original 2.0 litre inline-4 but makes more power than it did when it rolled off the production line thanks to the aforementioned 40mm Weber carburetor, an aftermarket camshaft and exhaust header allowing the engine to breathe easier. A tasteful set of BBS wheels complete the sleek black exterior of the car.
Oliver’s 2002 is the product of years of work and careful planning. The result is a car that can do it all. He hasn’t gone DTM crazy with huge wings and aero parts, but this is not his father’s 2002 either. The air suspension gives the car all the stance it needs without sacrificing any of its practicality like the extremely low static suspension undoubtedly did. This is truly a car for the modern generation that retains all the nods to history that will keep the BMW purists (at least mostly) happy. It’s tasteful and excellently realised; a testament to hard work, planning and patience. Youngsters take note: this is how you modify a classic!
Follow Oliver on Instagram – @olli_grimme
Photo – Mike Crawat Photpgraphy