Meet the Red Baron

For years now, my wife is getting teased by our friends for once showing an over-appreciation for a wine called 'Red Baron' (it is an okay wine, but going to a party with 6 bottles!?). So when I was looking for an apt name for this Verona-red BMW 2002 which I originally built for her, one name came to mind...

For years now, my wife is getting teased by our friends for once showing an over-appreciation for a wine called 'Red Baron' (it is an okay wine, but going to a party with 6 bottles!?). So when I was looking for an apt name for this Verona-red BMW 2002 which I originally built for her, one name came to mind...

I wanted to build a classic for my wife as a day driver and always had a soft spot for the beautiful 02 series: my dad had one and as a young spotty 18-year old I got to drive it - and I felt like a king.

There is so much scope to upgrade these cars: Turbo body kit, S14 engine out of the E30 M3, 5-speed overdrive transmission, sport's suspension, et cetera - and still keep the classic looks that pulled BMW back from the brink of extinction.

I picked up a 1972 survivor in Victoria. She was a matching-numbers, original Australian delivered car in the correct colours that she left the factory with, so I decided not to give her my normal treatment and do more of a classic restoration.

I usually stay away from classic restorations, I like to give the cars I build the benefit of the modern advancements in automotive technology. But some things are worth preserving. For example, I would never restomod a matching-numbers Corvette like Doris, the FBD 1958. These beauties deserve to be restored to their original glory. After all, there are plenty of non-original cars to do that to.

So the "Red Baron" project was conceived: original spec with just a few minor additions like the 5-speed, some decent lowered springs and Bilstein shocks and a few engine tweaks.

The journey

How did it go?

Click on the photos to read further

The engine

2 liter M10 engine with a home-made turbo kit!

2 liter M10 engine with a home-made turbo kit!

Bodywork

The biggest part of the project was getting the bodywork right

The biggest part of the project was getting the bodywork right

Interior

Although simple, the interior is challenging as many parts are no longer available.

Although simple, the interior is challenging as many parts are no longer available.

Reconstruction

The reveal...