Car owners can be very fussy about who gets to lay their hands on their prized possessions. This is especially true when it comes to cars that can be considered historic or classic.
Car clubs have members that are specialists in this field however there are also mechanical outlets that share the passion and have the means, and the ability, to do a light refresh or a ground up restoration.
Andrew Brien is the owner and director of specialist BMW workshop SouthernBM. With a team of experienced and qualified mechanical specialists able to turn their hand to anything BMW, one owner brought their somewhat tired 2002 Tii in for a solid refresh.
The brief, says Andrew, was not to perform a complete restoration but to bring this lovely machine back to what it would have looked like, fresh from the showroom floor.
The series itself was known as the “02” series and first released in the mid 1960s. By a happy coincidence, with two key BMW personnel installing a 2.0L engine into their “1602”, a proposal was put forward, and approved, to make this a standard offering.
Key to the factory appearance of this project, says Andrew, was understanding just what their client wanted. Part of this overall refreshment process involved the identity of the 2002 visually. This covers the horizontal external lines, the rubber and alloy door strips, and reconditioning the front and rear chromed steel bumpers.
Inside, says Andrew, was a bigger job to complete and the work involved certainly paid off. The seats were completely retrimmed in leather and inside the seats new padding was put in. The floor carpets were renewed and the dashboard materials were also renewed. The steering wheel was cleaned and new material used here also.
Attention to detail are three words SouthernBM swear by, and they were applied to the instrument cluster. These were thoroughly checked, the inside of the cluster now looks brand new, and fits the client’s brief perfectly.
Audiowise, Retrosound supplied the head unit. This looks as if it was the original item but now features FM and MP3 playback.
The proverbial fine tooth comb was also used on the 2002 Tii’s mechanicals, says Andrew. This started with the beautiful wheels originally fitted being repainted with new tyres now wrapping them. The suspension components were all checked and new bushes, such as castor and sway bar, fitted in each corner. Track and tie rod assemblies were fitted as new replacements.
New bearings and seals, says Andrew, were also fitted at each corner. New shockies were fitted as well, and by ensuring that the replacements were as close as possible to the original factory specification, this 2002 Tii should drive as if it was delivered brand new.
For extra corrosion protection, the subframe at both ends was powder-coated after being sandblasted, and nuts & bolts have been plated. This also adds a little extra to the aesthetics and complements the professionally applied powder-coating.
Up front and the heartbeat of the 2002 Tii wasn’t ignored. The fuel pump has been completely rebuilt, the injectors were cleaned and overhauled, and a cold start system, says Andrew, was restored. He notes that they were prone to failure in original form so this will fix that known problem. The engine was left untouched; that is to say no performance enhancing parts were added. The transmission is also stock.
The driving wheels have new drive shafts, seals, and shock absorbers also, and again, says Andrew, brings the 2002 Tii back to what it would have been like to drive on delivery day.
Thanks to SouthernBM’s partnership with ATE Brakes and ATE Classic in Germany, sourcing original specification parts for the braking system, including the booster, calipers, and seals bring the 2002 Tii’s stopping ability closer to 21st century safety levels. New brake lines and hoses from ATE were sourced and fitted.
The final step was to give this classic machine, originally built in 1974, a thorough exterior clean and polish, with the end result a gleaming silver 2002 Tii looking as if it hadn’t seen a road in its life.
What the process highlights is how thorough and understanding SouthernBM have of what it takes to fulfill the sometimes exacting and demanding requirements of their clients. There is no doubt at all that the care they took in this makeover is equally applied to every car that rolls into their workshops.
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One of (if not THE most) professional outfits I’ve dealt with - in the auto industry or otherwise. Needless to say, all work was carried out as promised and to an impeccable standard. Thank you Sean and team - you’ve renewed my faith in the auto business!
My first dealing with Southern BM was a pleasant one. I had some springs and shocks installed and Sean was a delight to deal with. Knowledgeable, helpful and offered solutions when not everything went to plan. I would happily recommend them.
I have used many mechanics over the years for the many different types of vehicles in our company fleet and southern BM is one of the very few workshops I can highly recommend. Andrew and his team are also really passionate about their work and it shows.
Took my e60 there, Jimmy was an absolute pleasure to deal with, very honest, explained everything in detail, and provided some great recommendations due to my individual circumstance. Can not recommend highly enough.
Ordered an oil cooler thermostat yesterday, it’s in my hands today, VIC to WA. Unreal service!