1973 BMW 2002 noisy restoration at Jay Leno’s Garage
The BMW 2002 is the ancestor of all modern BMW performance cars, but there is always room for improvement. Dorian Hicklin elegantly redesigned this 1973 example and recently brought it to Jay Leno’s Garage.
After working with other car owners, Leno suggested that Hicklin visit after seeing his car. With that vibrant orange paint, it’s hard to miss. The car was previously owned by a friend of Hicklin’s, who let it rot over the years.
1973 BMW 2002 restored in Jay Leno’s Garage
After the car purchase agreement, Hicklin proceeded to rebuild the entire body and chassis for a bakery. But he doesn’t leave it 100% stock. The front bumper has been removed for a cleaner look and the car will be lower thanks to the aftermarket adjustable suspension.
The 2.0-liter inline-4 was bored, receiving new carburetors, more aggressive camshafts, heavy lifting springs and valves, and an Alpina exhaust system. Hicklin tells Leno he doesn’t want to go too crazy with the modifications, but still estimates power between 150 and 160 hp (the car wasn’t tested when this video was shot). That’s a healthy increase over the stock version’s roughly 100 horsepower.
And while 2002 left the factory with a 4-speed manual transmission, Hicklin switched to a 5-speed manual and a limited-slip rear differential from the later BMW 320 E21. The brakes are from the E12 5-Series.
Hicklin has no plans to keep the finished 2002 limited to public roads. He built it to meet the rules of the Classic Automobile Racing Association (VARA), meaning it has a fire suppression system, coil cage, fuel cell mounted in the trunk, seats and seat belts available. ready for the race. While 2002 will see some track days, Hicklin says he also left the suspension in place for comfortable driving on the road.
Although the interior is quite nice, it is not without style. Some of the special touches include plaid seats, drilled gearshift knobs, and a dashboard derived from a BMW 3.0 CSL.
Watch the full video for more details on this well-executed refactoring and to hear the humming of the tuned inline-4 as Leno and Hicklin meander around the streets of Los Angeles.