This 2002Tii Touring Racer Prowls The Hilly Streets Of San Francisco
Photography by Ted Gushue
One of the greatest things about Instagram is that when you geotag a photo in a new town, it becomes pretty easy for anyone who follows you to quickly see where you are. Recently I was in San Francisco for a weekend adventure and spent time snapping around and tagging willy nilly. A few hours after arriving, I get a direct message from a guy who runs an Instagram account named @ValveandPiston and he asks if I want to go for a rip around in his 2002 Touring. Of course I did. Little did I know he would be showing up in this orange beast.
Ted Gushue: Tell me the story of your 1973 BMW 2002tii Touring S14 Swap.
Hootie: So it started in Germany obviously. It was built by a guy named Andreas Einzig, which you can read all over the side of the car. He used it as a hill climb car. It transitioned into a generic racer. It was brought over by a importer in San Jose by the name of Jan, magnificent guy. It was sold to a collector down in LA and I picked it up from him, just under a year ago.
TG: What’s been done to it?
Hootie: It’s a completely Frankenstein’s Monster car. It’s basically just the shell of a 2002 Tii Touring, but then everything else has been modified. It has an S14 engine, 2.3 S14 engine mated to a Euro M3 transmission, dogleg, 5 speed, and then rear subframes being completely customized; up front there are X5 discs with M5 calipers, rear 7 series discs with E34 calipers… E23 hubs, 2002 Turbo, oil cooler. Basically, anything on the care that could’ve been modified has been modified.
TG: What’s the drive like?
Hootie: It’s absolutely pure. There’s no anti-lock brakes, there’s no power steering. It’s not fast in a straight line, but if you take it on some roads with curves, it’s one of the best driving cars I’ve ever been in.
TG: What’s the response when you take it to a BMW meet?
Hootie: If there are any children around, it’s their favorite car. I feel like I’m inspiring little kids like myself like I was inspired back in the day every time I take it there.
TG: Very cool. What do you plan to do with the car?
Hootie: I don’t really want to make any further heavy modifications. If I were to do anything, I would put a parallel bar for the cage in the back and hook up some proper 4 point harnesses, maybe change the exhaust a little bit, so it isn’t quite as loud and not spitting fumes into the cabin. Other than that, I will never touch the suspension.
TG: Could you conceivably race the car?
Hootie: Probably not in any particular class without some significant changes. Actually, the first guy that imported, Jan, used to take it to Laguna Seca fairly frequently, at least a few times. If you want to race it, that’s its natural habitat.
TG: Very cool. Any stickers on there stand out to you? There’s some pretty nutty ones on there.
Hootie: Yeah. There’s actually a story. One time, I was driving the car up in Marin where we went today and I parked it, and this woman came up to me who was German and started reading off what every sticker meant to me, or what every sticker was translated into English, which was a great experience. Some random woman who’s not passionate about cars at all, but saw this thing and then it inspired a conversation.
It’s not one sticker that really sticks out. The combination of them all give this truly retro feel to the car and the opportunity for conversations like that is really most of the benefit.
TG: I love the one that says “Zuletz Ist Schiße”
Hootie: Last Is Shit.