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Jay Leno Says This Is The Perfect BMW 2002 Restomod

The legendary Bimmer comes packing an M3 engine.

Jay Leno’s Garage series has put the spotlight on all sorts of weird and wonderful cars over the years, including some of the most influential cars that are often overlooked today. Take the fabled BMW 2002. Before the 3-Series, it was the 2002 that brought performance sedans to the mainstream and put BMW on the map in America. It was fast and fun to drive, as well as affordable which meant it was easy to modify. For BMW enthusiasts, this modified 2002 featured in the latest episode is a match made in heaven.

Marc Norris from Bavarian Workshop built this 2002 around ten years ago for a customer. It started life as a standard 1976 BMW 2002, but virtually every part has been tastefully modified using BMW parts. Beefy fender flares from a 2002 Turbo were fitted to house larger wheels taken from an E30 M3, giving the boxy car a much more aggressive look.

The engine was also swapped with a 2.3-liter S14 four-cylinder from a 1989 E30 M3 producing around 230-horsepower, which is twice as powerful as the 2002’s original engine. It’s mated to a five-speed manual transmission taken from the M3, replacing the four-speed of the original. No 0-60 mph times were provided, but we imagine it to be blisteringly quick since it only weighs 2,200 lbs. It also handles better than the original car which is no mean feat, thanks to improved suspension. Inside, the original dashboard has been preserved to retain the 2002’s retro look, but the seats were taken from a E21 320i and covered in nappa leather like a modern BMW.

The steering wheel was sourced from an Alpina and covered in new leather and branded with a BMW badge. Leno protests that this might be the perfect BMW 2002 restomod. We’re inclined to agree with him. This is one of the most unique and beautiful examples of one of the most seminal cars in BMW’s performance history we’ve ever seen.

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