Ten years ago, the coincidence would bring the car novice and his BMW 2002 together. In fact, Kile wasn’t too deep in the matter of classic cars, but without a doubt, the connection turned into an ongoing passion.
“To be honest”, Kile says in the beginning‚ “I wasn’t specifically searching for the 2002. It sort of found me. I was so attracted to the design and the simplicity of the car that I just had to have it. I had to learn something about it.” By that way his interest was born for the elegant BMW coupes of the 1960s and 70s. Like an obsessive he started to acquire information by way of books, manuals and engaging with the local and online community.
Through this research, the legendary history of the BMW 2002 surfaced. Photographs of the the European and international rally sports of the past century like the Rally Sweden, East African Safari and the well known Rallye Monte Carlo all depicted grainy scenes with 2002’s. Each car unique, modified or seemingly stock all had their own story. The touring cars and sport sedans out of Bavaria were simply built for this kind of rigorous competition. From manufacturers, professionals and privateers, BMW was the discerning choice for the motorsport driver.
This Pastellblau BMW was produced in July of 1974 and like most 2002s of this era, it was imported into the US through the former BMW dealer Max Hoffmann of New York. But this was only a small break for the further travel to California, where the first owner was awaiting the brand new car. To Kile’s luck there weren’t too many owners sliding over the drivers seat. With high mileage and a lot of wear, he knew that this was a drivers car. And as the third owner, he was happy about the overall fair condition and completeness of the 02.
“This particular car is nothing special”, Kile stressed. From his perspective, it doesn’t have a VIN associated to historical pedigree. It’s not a Ti, or a Tii, or a Touring and it certainly doesn’t have the purists preference of round taillights. Rather, it’s a simple US-spec BMW 2002 in modest trim, in a modest color.
But nearly 45 years later, this cars life looks a little different. And out of the humble cloak, this 2002 becomes an attractive purpose-built car through Kile’s own hands. His inspiration for the look and driving style of the BMW was taken by the privateer rally cars out of the 70s. Although a constant work-in-progress, and with plenty of work left to do, the car is taking shape as if it was owned by a private rally driver without the luxuries of sponsors and loud livery. For that reason, Kile attaches importance of period-inspired modifications. Each detail, from the removable roof rack, the spare tire and leather straps, down to the RePa safety belts and Nardi wheel are all inspired by the cars of the era.
Of course there’s a lot of old school performance in the 02 as well. The previous owner already installed a Getrag 245 5-speed transmission, and Kile carried out further modifications over the years. A few modest highlights are Bilstein and H&R suspension, a 284 camshaft, 45DCOE Weber carburetor, headers and an Ansa exhaust. Further changes will include high compression pistons and a lighter flywheel. He also removed the side marker lights, removed the lower knee trim and swapped the US-spec bumpers for the European short version. Most noticeably is the exchange from stock 13“ wheels to the much desired 5.5×14“ Neue Klasse wheels. Of course, there are many more details on the car that we can’t list here.
After all these years, Kile isn’t tired of the car. In fact, its the contrary. He is still learning and discovering a lot about the BMW. While gaining a deeper love and confidence for the little 02 he is constantly evolving its look and driving experience. Because our Californian swore to drive the car forever, we will definitely be seeing a lot more of him and his Pastellblau BMW.
Note, all of these wonderful photos were taken by Kile using an analog camera also out of the 1970s. Kile is a talented film photographer and we are pleased to have him share his photographs and his car with us. Please have a closer look on his amazing work down in the link… Servus
Story Daniel Schaefer, Photos Kile Brekke @Megan Kondrasky
Kile Brekke Social Media @pastel_blau @notthisinstant
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