Featured: I Drove a BMW 2002 and Found God

I Drove a BMW 2002 and Found God

By Adam Kaslikowski
May 20, 2013
23 comments

Today is the kind of day I moved to California for. Virgin blue skies overhead, a salty hint of the ocean pervades a full mile inland, and the fresh sunlight clashes against the chrome of my newly acquired vintage BMW. I’m enjoying this stereotypically beautiful day carving through mountain roads in my 1970 BMW 2002, and I want this moment to continue forever. As an offering to the sun gods, I blip the throttle and invoke all the spits and snarls of Vesuvius as I bear down on a blind mountain corner at a truly laughable rate.

Some people believe that I have an addiction to this kind of speed—an insatiable defect that propels me to push a machine’s limits. Truth be told, I do enjoy speed and its ensuing rush, but is not the velocity itself that I desire. It is silence.

I have the kind of brain that never stops churning. My mind is constantly grappling with about three completely disparate thoughts all clamoring for a solution. Silencing this Greek chorus within my skull is the only way I find mental peace. Some pray or meditate to achieve this effect, many other people smoke drugs or drink alcohol. Myself, I choose burning hydrocarbons at a rapid pace on an alter of asphalt.

Together the 2002 and I climb and crest the undulating black snake of tarmac and defy the reaching weeds and brush. Pushing and pushing, I seek all this ancient BMW has to offer. Either I am going to win, or inertia is. The California mountain roads like Mulholland and Topanga are famous for a reason; these roads are flat and smooth, the scenery breathtaking, and the local constabulary noticeable by their absence. Taking a vintage steed like this into the California canyons is one of life’s great pleasures. Here is where I become one with my machine; here is where we truly get to know each other—biblically speaking.

These old BMWs are more a visceral kind of machine. Unlike modern cars, the fight has not yet gone out of them. They participate and give, not just comply. They engage you in a two-way conversation of pedal inputs and vibrating steering. Like any vintage cars, running an ancient 2002 is like having a passionate but ultimately self-destructive lover. You may spend the rest of your life with a stable Corolla, but you will never forget that summer you spent with the exotic German exchange student. And selfish lover that I am, it is the curves that I am most interested in exploring.

Racing along in this vehicle that needs me as much as I need it, I feel those ancillary thoughts slink away into their dark corners. My mind stops trying to solve a quadratic equation and rethinking my lunch choice at the same time. It ceases nagging me over my poor financial decisions and non-existent social life. Slowly but surely these hectic thoughts fade away from three, to two, until inexorably I’m left with: Just. This. Moment. And now I’ve found it. For these minutes and miles I am nowhere but right here, blissful. Hurtling this collection of metal and glass at foolish speeds along an unsuitably narrow road, I have found God.

Stabbing vengefully at the throttle now, I’m hell-bent on taming this canyon road. Elevation changes come with every curve, and every signpost tells me I’m leaving LA more and more behind. This little BMW is a righteous steed, and it is propelling me away from civilization with extreme prejudice. My new silver 2002 has done its job, taking me both physically and mentally away from my worries. It is only right that I repay it by being a pilot worthy of her talents. My German sweetheart and I, we’re going to go as far as the mountain roads will take us.

Tags 2002/ BMW/ German
Join the Conversation
Related

Leave a Reply

23 Comments on "I Drove a BMW 2002 and Found God"

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
David Supple
David Supple

Loved my bright orange 72 ’02 – had it upgraded to twin choke carbs and it flew, scared the pants off most people in it with it’s 165 section tyre antics. Alas it rusted away to an eBay trailer pickup 🙁

Bharat
Bharat

“German exchange student”- Loved it and more.
weeds and “Bush” not Brush.
Beautifully expressed!

Bharat
Bharat

Oh no sorry.. “Weeds and Brush” it is.

Mike Moore
Mike Moore

Great story.
You wrote “on an alter of asphalt”. You meant “altar”.

Aurel Vicentiu
Aurel Vicentiu

Perfect.
The car. Photos. Text. Soul…
Own one,proud to say, i know the feeling, really.
!!!
Respect,
Aurel

stefan b
stefan b

thanks for the write-up! It’s inspiring. I just scored a 68 roundie, with the same Polaris colorway, and I’m really looking forward to having a similar experience.

mats mordal
mats mordal

Do you know what the color code for the polaris color is. I need it for my own bmw 1602 project

Brian Garrity
Brian Garrity

Hey Mr. Kaslikowski,

I came across this article after it was re-published within the “new” Petrolicious site and wanted to let you know that I absolutely loved it! And that I sincerely hope that, one day, my overburdened and overworked brain and I can someday experience and write about a similar kind of therapy (albeit in a Classic Mini or Old School Bug).

Hope all has been well since you submitted this impressive article!

Best,
Brian

Francois Guignard
Francois Guignard

I’m sorry but can you be more pompous? You mention lacking a social life… I wonder why…

Sandy Ganz
Sandy Ganz

Written like the author has taken a lesson from the many Road & Track page padding reviews. In fact seems like only a few buzz words were missing, tarmac, bumpstick, etc. I saw Jesus on Mullholland, it was in a V12 Aston Martin, also once on a Tortilla.

Please disregard if this was an early April fools joke.

Brandon Herrera
Brandon Herrera

Awesome read

76ohtwo
76ohtwo

I love this car and read this article about once a year whenever it comes up. My 2002 gives me the same kind of joy.

On a side note, I NEED those wheels…. what kind are they?

Shawn Bokaie
Shawn Bokaie

They’re perfect!

Nicolas Moss
Nicolas Moss

Great prose and great pictures. Who gets the photo credit?

Elaine Ewe
Elaine Ewe

Hi Adam Kaslikowski,

Stumbled upon this article and am awed by the way it is beautifully written and captured on photos. Would like to feature one of your photos on the BMW Malaysia page, of which I am an admin, and thus, would like your permission to do so – with credit, of course. You may check out the page here: https://www.facebook.com/BMW.Malaysia

Hope to hear from you soon.

Cyclone101
Cyclone101

Adam,

Great reading, there are many 02 owners reading this and nodding in approval. Thanks

Leucea Alexandru
Leucea Alexandru

Great article, the car looks fantastic. I heard the handling on this baby is unbelievable, it’s like cornering on rails.

JohnBarlow
JohnBarlow

What an awesome article. One to go down in BMW history I am sure………Beautiful.

HSW
HSW

Great writing. Now excuse me. I need to go visit the alter.

Eddie Relvas
Eddie Relvas

A truly well-written piece, and probably one of the most accurate descriptions of a petrolhead’s need for motion. Congratulations! Most of us have found the same haven, be it through a German, Italian, American, British or any other companion on (usually) four wheels, so I think we can all relate.

Adam Hurlburt
Adam Hurlburt

Beautifully written, and something every true car enthusiast can relate to. Fantastic piece. And that 02 is a looker. Well done!

Ryan Hoyle
Ryan Hoyle

Wow, what a great article. I wish I could get my hands on a 2002, and one in such great shape too. It’s beautiful.

wpDiscuz