If you are a car nut you know of the ever growing trend that is early morning, monthly gatherings centered around prettied up cars and overpriced beverages. Cars and Coffee, at least in this neck of the woods, has me wanting a bit more variety. The same cars, same atmosphere, same mediocre coffee. The only reason I manage to get out of bed on time is the hope that something amazing shows up.
Every now and then you just know something special is going to happen though. This overcast day had something very special indeed. Before me sat one of the most quintessentially striking cars with one of the most fabled motors perfectly placed underneath its strut tower bracing. This is what we come for. It makes me yearn for a story, pore over it’s ingenuity.
A car like this bucks tradition. Not only in the obvious ways of reimagining an iconic car of an equally prestigious marque, but also the traditions of Cars and Coffee. This 2002 was not polished to perfection, the fenders had dirt and mud from the hard driving it has obviously seen. The motor, while stunning in its own right, was not covered in glossy treatments and the carbon fiber intake plenum was more function than form with structurally oriented weaves and hand laid seams.
This perfect matrimony of Bavarian engineering actually falls directly in line with how the 2002 came into existence in 1971. The 2002 was a direct result of two employees who both had the same idea separately, that the 02 series BMW’s needed a bit more punch. Thus after swapping in 2.0L engines into their originally 1.6 powered 1602’s they realized the idea was good enough to pitch. Shortly after, the 2002 was born, and an entirely new bar was set for performance.
The E30 M3 is heralded as one of the absolute best driver’s cars ever; Like ever, ever. Besides its sublime roadholding power and its storied chassis that gives you every ounce of feedback you could wish for, the powerplant used in the the E30 M3 is as cutting edge as anything produced in the 80’s can be and is a mechanical symphony for the ages. What better engine to put in the BMW that started it all than the venerable S14?
From the Ronal’s to the window vinyl to the race-bred S14, this special car sculpted of steel and aluminum embodies what so many lack. The cars at Cars and Coffee don’t often have any soul to them anymore. They’re so trussed up and manicured that they can’t afford to have any character that isn’t painted on with broad strokes. This blending of two eras is not done in attempts to impress anyone, it is done to make a better car. Something more enjoyable, more capable, and most importantly, what the owner envisioned.
Next time you have the urge to detail your car the night before, go for a drive instead. I bet that’s what this 2002 is doing.