An Old Chassis With Aggressive Suspension Is a Riot if You’re Up for It

March 24 Feature Photo: Round lights, can't lose.

Who doesn’t love a 2002? It’s the quintessential classy-little-car. This particular one rides on stiff KW suspension and aggressive tires. It’s work to drive, but you’ll never forget it.

  • Car(s): 1973 BMW 2002
  • Location: Angeles National Forest
  • Photog: Andrew P. Collins (me).
  • Camera: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

I got to take this ’73 for a spin a few months ago when I pulled it out of The Motoring Club‘s loaner fleet. You can actually rent it on Turo yourself next time you’re in LA; I booked a few days as soon as my friends at the Club finished fixing it up because, come on, who wouldn’t want to?

The car’s pretty modest on power; it’s still running a humble carbureted four-cylinder engine. But the coilover shocks combined with manual steering and sticky tires make it extremely responsive and direct in your hands. When there’s minimal assistance in a steering system, the wheel does tend to have a lot of resistance against your turning-motion. But it’s also very easy to put the car exactly where you want it. You’ve driven a go-cart, right? Same deal.

I think about the day I spent in the mountains with this car all the time. It was noisy, busy, and stiff… exhausting to drive, really. But it was also impossible to think about anything other than keeping the car under control while I was hustling it up and down the hill.

Andrew P. Collins

Andrew P. CollinsAndrew’s the Editor-In-Chief of Car Bibles and an experienced writer, amateur mechanic, and off-road expedition guide with just a little racing experience. He’s particularly fond of tuner cars and old trucks. Contact the author here.