Reader Submissions: This BMW 2002 Is The Culmination Of A 20 Year Love Affair

This BMW 2002 Is The Culmination Of A 20 Year Love Affair

By Performance Technic
September 27, 2016
19 comments

Photography by Courtney Cutchen

Think back to the first time you saw your car. This may not be a car you own now, or even owned in the past. You may never own it. Rather, this is a car that you saw for the first time, and said to yourself, “I will have one of those some day”. Whether it was the mesmerizing slope of body lines, the mechanical harmony that resonated from an engine bay, or simply a well thought out interior; this was a car that captivated you. This sensation is rather similar to what happened in Lisa’s mind when she saw her first BMW 2002.

Lisa’s love affair with the 02 dates back more than 20 years. “I got my first 02 with my own hard earned, part time money, working as a receptionist at a real estate office,” she explained. “At 17, I bought my first 2002 from an original owner.” Describing her experience as “love at first sight,” she makes it very clear that there was never a doubt in her mind that the BMW 2002 was her car. So much so, that early on she was dubbed the “02 Princess” by Michel Potheau, cofounder of the BMWCCA. Since her first car, she has owned BMWs that fall across the map, from an E30 M3, a Bavaria, an E36 M3, and even two other 2002s.

Tesoro, as she has lovingly named the Schwarz 02, is a one of a kind, truly timeless take on the chassis. Lisa credits much of her inspiration for the build to her desire to be different. To create a 2002 completely unique to anything else in the community was important in the car’s build process. However, before Tesoro became what he is today, Lisa had to start somewhere.

“I found Tesoro at the Brisbane 2002 swap and show in 2014,” she told us. She spoke of a classic BMW that appeared “tired,” but nevertheless, a car that she saw massive potential in. The 02, which back then was coated in factory Fjord, was her way to return to her roots in the chassis. After picking up the car to enjoy in its original state, Lisa had an unfortunate run in with a failed clutch master cylinder. As she waited for the tow truck, which would typically be a beacon of salvation, she was met with even more disappointment. Upon arrival, the truck actually reversed into the 02, damaging the front grilles and nose panel area. As one can imagine, this wasn’t a setback Lisa had planned for.

Taking to Facebook to write about her experience, Lisa was met with support from her community. Thanks to the sharing nature of social media, SoCal local Le Tran of 2002GarageWerks caught wind of Lisa’s mishap. This is the point at which Tesoro’s build began.

The saying goes: “Tesoro was not built in a day.” Or at least, we think it’s something like that. The 02 was in this restoration period for more than two and a half years. During this time, the true beauty of Lisa’s aspirations came to life.

Tesoro is just as wonderful on the inside as the outside. Outfitted with plush leather throughout, the interior sits as an incredible combination of classic and custom. With alcantara inserts on both the front Recaros and the rear E24 seats, a perfect hint of modernism lines the cabin. In vintage motorsport fashion, the seats are also dotted with stainless steel grommets, those of which are similar to the old competition seats. The seats are corralled by custom (and of course, matching) door panels, all of which were upholstered by Franzini Brothers in San Rafael.

Other unique accents can be found inside, such as a custom engraved, weighted shift knob, boasting Tesoro’s name below a BMW roundel. A Monterey Rolex Reunion plate is found on the center console, commemorating BMW’s 100th Birthday celebration this year. The Reunion was a debut of sorts for the car, so Lisa felt the plate to be a significant addition to her interior.

Seeing as it’s only getting more difficult to obtain parts for vintage BMWs, we were impressed to hear that Lisa was able to source many NOS / NLA pieces for Tesoro. Of these parts, she is most proud of the Hirschmann jewel tip antenna, the Italian turn signals, and a crack free, original Euro dash. All of these little yet important details are what make Tesoro as a whole such a well rounded build. Looking at the car, it’s obvious to see that not only was there extensive thought put into the planning, but also, a lot of love.

On the performance and mechanical side of things, the car maintains a signature 2002GarageWerks package. Its fresh M10 is topped by a 38/38 Weber carb setup. The polished valve cover shines prominently at the center of the engine bay, and plays nicely with CAD plated hood hinge joints. This CAD aesthetic follows the car all the way around, even ending up in the trunk. Additionally, Tesoro is supported by specially sorted Ireland Engineering coilovers, finished by beautiful, custom BBS RMs–to the credit of Paul Ehrlich.  

All parts and numbers aside, the car as a whole is what makes Lisa happy. This is most evident when you listen to the way she talks about her beloved build. It’s one experience to read about it, but something even more to hear the elation in her voice when she explains the car’s story.

“Tesoro in Latin translates to ‘treasure,’” she noted. Quite honestly, no name could be more suiting for this build. During our shoot, Lisa talked about how the little 02 is her “forever car,” and that this is the first car she has ever undergone such an extensive restoration with. She continued, “Most people will say, ‘Your car is too nice to drive!’ I say, ‘It was meant to be driven.’”

Lisa is a great example of someone who is truly passionate about her hobbies. In fact, this hobby has transcended rather as a complete lifestyle for her. Tesoro is what her dreams look like, embodied in a classic BMW. The average relationship between a person and a vehicle is often seen as a “point A to point B” scenario, but for Lisa, Tesoro is a labor of love. The car is much more than just a car.

Now that Tesoro is finally out of his restorative slumber, you can be certain that Lisa will be seen all over the Bay Area; behind the wheel of her treasure.

Note: this story originally appeared on performancetechnic.com. Special thanks to Performance Technic and Courtney Cutchen for allowing us to share this story.

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19 Comments on "This BMW 2002 Is The Culmination Of A 20 Year Love Affair"

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Harald Morten Utness
Harald Morten Utness

This must be the most beautiful classic BMW I’ve ever seen. I’m stunned, and full of Admiration for the Care and Passion devoted to this Car.

goggles_Paissano
goggles_Paissano
“Think back to the first time you saw your car. This may not be a car you own now, or even owned in the past. You may never own it. Rather, this is a car that you saw for the first time, and said to yourself, “I will have one of those some day”. Thats how it was for me when at 10 yrs old I saw my an Alfa Romeo 1750GTV in a neighbours driveway. One day I would have one. Well 35 years later I bought and restored a 1750 which will soon go for a complete refresh… Read more »
petroljunky
petroljunky

Got to check out Tesoro at Laguna Seca a couple months back, what a beauty!

If you need me I will be on makemodelsearch.com fighting everyone else for the next schwarz oh for sale. 🙂

John Reilly
John Reilly
Wow! Singer 2002. Like everyone else here I’ve seen my fair share of 02’s and had one once upon a time (and thousands of dollars ago). I’ve seen Bone stock to restomod cool to “what were they thinking!” Tesoro’s interior is stunning, from the black carpets that look factory (2016 factory not 1971) to the console. I’ve seen a lot of things done with the console but this is Pro. The seats are gorgeous, a nice design balance between the old style and recaros which can sometimes look out of place. A nice balance in black and chrome ( props… Read more »
Slaven
Slaven

Wonderful car. Elegant and clean with a lot of brilliant details that make it a true ‘Tesoro.’
To me that interior if pure monochrome art.

Legends are frequently made by catastrophic events and abrupt endings.
Instead I hope that you will make a lot of wonderful memories with Tesoro and put some patina on it in decades to come.

Wes Flack
Wes Flack

Inspirational work, Lisa!

Anthony Guglielmi
Anthony Guglielmi

Followed your work on the FAQ, happy you got some extra online recognition outside the BMW world. Well deserved praise!

enjoy Tesoro

Xxx Xxxx
Xxx Xxxx
Beautiful job & congratulations. Just a few things I might have missed. What year did this car start out? Is this a work in progress or are you on to the next? I hope it’s a work in progress for the gorgeous original style seats but in leather. I too pause for over doing it. To each his/her own I guess. My wish is that people would stop polishing everything in their path. My involvement in the aircraft community has me shedding a tear as people acquire beautiful vintage warplanes and then polish them into submission of their own vision.… Read more »
Pedro Macedo
Pedro Macedo

Drop-dead gorgeous build. Looks flawless. Congratulations on making your dream come true, Lisa!

And yes, “Tesoro” has all it takes to get the legend status. Despite what some sad little people say.

christian mortinger
christian mortinger

What a beauty!

Vic
Vic

Goodness, that car seems perfect.

Brian Benefield
Brian Benefield

I followed the build via Lisa’s blog and had a chance to see the car at Legends of the Autobahn in August. The restoration seems to have been really well executed and done precisely to her taste. Everyone should be so fortune to live their dream. Well done, Lisa!

Lorrence Kwan
Lorrence Kwan

What a beauty! How much did you spend restoring your treasure?

02princess
02princess

PS: I also drive my car A LOT … in heels.. 😉

Mayank Gupta
Mayank Gupta

Lovely car, Lisa! BTW, don’t mind guitar slinger. That’s how he spends his time.

02princess
02princess
Thank you Paul Steel! As you know, this was not an easy task for me as the chassis was stripped to bare metal and everything on the car was revived to brand new… everything from the nuts and bolts – to the interior – to the drive train – to the engine… Tesoro breathes new life… and I’m so proud of the way my dream became a reality. 😉 Thank you Odequesne! I appreciate the compliment! And to you Mr. Guitar Slinger… Maybe to you TESORO not a legend… but how many girls do you know who would save up… Read more »
Paul Steel
Paul Steel

I followed 02 princess Lisa’s build from the start, I got my own Swartz 02 not long before this build started, Tesoro is a credit to its owner and the skilled craft man that re-built it. Wonderful.

odequesne
odequesne

this car is becoming a legend. in all fairness!

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

1) This is a ‘resto – mod ‘ not a restoration
2) But ohh what a mighty resto – mod it is
3) If I was only to pass judgment on the description rather than the photos I would of said too much bling .. too little substance … but then … I’d be wrong as the photos so well show
4) But a ‘ legend ‘ ? Come on son . Thats stretching things way too far . Stunning and worthy of note yes . Legendary though ? Not hardly .

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