2002

Features

Olli Grimme's 2002tii

Photography by Olli Grimme @olli_grimme

Like many of us, Olli has always been interested in cars, bikes, and basically anything with an engine since he was young. When he was 6 years old he got his first motocross bike. His love for BMW’s started because of his dad. Since Olli was born his dad has always owned a BMW, including an E21, E34, 2 E39’s, E92 and today owns an F10 M5.

This 2002 is actually Olli’s first car. He heard about the car from a friend who found it. Originally two of Olli’s friends wanted to buy the car and rebuild it. After seeing the car’s condition however, they decided it was going to be too much work for him and bailed on the idea. So Olli went to check out the car himself and although it needed a lot of work, he saw the potential it had. Olli bought the 02 for 650 euros from a middle-aged woman one week before his 17th birthday.

As expected there was a lot of rust, so they took the car completely apart, sandblasted it, had all of the rust treated, and welded in new sheets. This restoration process took about a year to complete. The car was then painted in RAL 9005 Deep Black. At this point in its life, the car was built for Hillclimb Races with a Wiechers roll cage, Sparco seats, and 15 x 8.5" BBS RM’s; later with 13 x 8" ATS Cup wheels.

Then he went a different direction with the car. The car was slammed on coilovers and received a set of 16 x 8" / 9" BBS RS – 2" lip in the front and 2.5" lip in the rear.

After driving on the coilovers for a year; having 1.5" of ground clearance and going through two bumpers, he decided that needed to change.

He decided to make the switch to airride. So he went with dumped bags and an Accuair E-Level controller with height sensors on each wheel. The controller was installed in the ashtray so it could be hidden away if desired. They also added an iLevel module so he could control it from his phone.

The BBS RS setup was executed perfectly so the wheels would be fitted when the car was aired out. After enjoying them for awhile he wanted to push his setup a little further. He went with centerlock BBS E50’s in 16 x 9.5” / 10”. In order to fit the E50 rears the rear flares had to be modified. He ended up adding an extra inch to the original flares.

The rest of the exterior upgrades are from a 2002 Turbo model. It also has a carbon fiber spoiler on the trunk. The rear of the car is an early model with “Roundie” taillights, but the front is actually a later model. Another cool detail is the Italian turn signals (clear lens and orange background, as opposed to the original completely orange signals) – it’s a simple, but classy touch that you don’t see as often. Since the original hood latches were not that great, motorsport quick release pins were added.

Olli has built one of my personal favorite 2002’s. It has tons of style with motorsport inspired modifications. Even though the low/stance setup kind of defeats the motorsport purpose it’s quite enjoyable to look at. And after hearing his/its story, it makes me appreciate the car even more.


Events

MPACT 2019

Features

Sobieslaw Zasada 2002ti Tribute

Photography by Matt Petrie @crosshair_nightmare

The World Rally Championship is the modern benchmark for staged, all-terrain competition. It’s predecessor, however, the European Rally Championship, predates that by two decades. Since 1953, the ERC took place across the continent, pushing the limits of manufacturers and drivers from all over the world. One of those drivers, Sobieslaw Zasada, brought three championship titles home to Poland starting in 1966. Each of the three championships had their own significances, but the last was a multifaceted victory for driver and manufacturer.

In 1967, he was awarded with both the ERC title as well as being honored with the prestigious commemoration of “Poland’s Sportsman of the Year”. No stranger to podiums or championships, he won dozens of other tournaments and races all over Europe throughout the mid to late 60’s. A few years later in 1971, despite an alleged sabotage during one of the rally stages, Sobieslaw won his third and final ERC championship. Not only did this complete the hat trick of ERC titles for Sobieslaw, but the significance was important for BMW as well since it was their first and only ERC title.

While this is not the original 1971 championship title car, this 2002 was built by a Polish motorsports enthusiast named Piotr in 2012 as a tribute to the legend’s final title year. When the time came to restore his 2002, building a conventional street car was out of the question. Instead, he set out to alter the restoration into a performance-oriented, track-ready 2002. He spec’d out the commission for both the chassis and drivetrain to be based on the 1971 championship winning 2002ti. In paying homage to the Polish racing legend, he also earned a Polish National Historic Motorsports Pass upon its completion.

The engine was completely rebuilt from the bottom up using new BMW pistons (9:5 compression), Schrick 292 cam, Ireland Engineering hardened valve springs, and Weber 45 side draft carbs. The car was fitted with an E21 five speed transmission and 40% locking differential, which leads out to 13x8 Compomotive wheels stuffed under the flares. Gaz Shocks coil overs and full polyurethane bushings throughout the chassis tighten up car. The steering is much more responsive and the snappiness in rear can easily kick out if those Avon tires aren’t warmed up properly.

Of course, we can’t talk about stiffening the chassis and not mention the OMP homologated full roll cage. The interior also houses the matching OMP Legend sport seat pair. A Terratrip Classic 202 Halda tripmeter is fixed above the center console, but in true, vintage rally fashion, a cage mounted lamp and pen holder over the dash provides the navigator with the resources needed to guide the driver through the stages.

Piotr sourced the correct Alpina pig cheek flare kit for the project and he told me “the wide body is my favorite part of the car . Stickers or not, I love the appearance, but installing it proved to be one of the most difficult tasks of the project.” It took the body shop a few attempts to get it perfect, but the perseverance paid off.

During the build he had briefly seen Sobieslaw a handful of times, but it wasn’t until after he completed the car that he had a formal sit-down with the rally driver. It was there that Piotr revealed to Sobieslaw that he had built a spec tribute car to his former championship BMW some decades ago. Delighted, Zasada, said laughingly, “nice BMW, looks very much like mine.” Reminiscing on his championship car with a clean revision before him, he signed the hood and dashboard before they parted ways. Piotr went on to participate in rally events as soon as the car was completed until 2017.

Fast forward a couple of years later, where a customer of AutoCouture Motoring in New Jersey was on the hunt for a 2002. For months she had searched for all types of 2002’s across the spectrum. From ratty, original project cars to fully built race cars, nothing was ruled out. She test drove a few different examples and then this car popped up on ‘BaT.’ Winning the closing bid when the electronic hammer came down, she had Piotr’s tribute rally car purchased and shipped from Poland to the states. As soon as it arrived, she had Sports Car Restoration in Connecticut prep it to make sure it was ready to hit the streets of the greater tri state area. The car then briefly made a stop at AutoCouture where we buttoned up a few extra maintenance items while she dropped in to show us her latest acquisition. Even in a shop overflowing with modern M cars, Mclarens and GT Porsches of different varieties, the Polish rally car was a fan favorite by the majority of the customers who came in for those few days.

That is just the effect this car has on people. The color combination and aggressive stance is enough to attract people old and young. Piotr said that his favorite part of this car are the wide arches and for the right reason. The appearance and sound match the car’s performance in perfect harmony. Even while I was shooting this set, as remote as this location was, people still approached me to get a closer look and discuss the details around it. That is exactly what the current owner is looking forward to the most. She is embracing this car as a driver, but more importantly she loves passing on the history and what this car represents.