How to get build info on a 2002 from BMW

How to get build info on a 2002 from BMW

Many times we are asked how you can find out more information on the original construction date of your car and paint color.

The BAD NEWS:

  • They can’t give you specifics as far as options.

The GOOD NEWS:

  • BMW Mobile Tradition provides free of charge the information on your car via e-mail. They can tell you day of build, day of shipment to final country  destination and the original color.  You’ll know then your car’s birthday!

Click this link to send an e-mail to BMW AG and ensure your 7 digit VIN is included in the email.

The normal response time is one week.

USA Model 2002tii VINs


In 1983 BMW did a VIN survey of production cars. The following are the USA VIN for 2002tii’s.

If your car doesn’t begin with 276 or 278, it’s not a 2002tii originally.

The very first USA spec 2002tii

This title sounds like I am getting ready to describe an old locomotive, but I am going to relate the history and sale of the first Tii certified by the EPA for sale in the U.S, “Ol’ 177.”

BMW began building the 02 version of the Tii in April 1971 and promptly made efforts to produce a U.S. certified version. In order to obtain U.S. EPA approval, some fairly minimal testing and changes were necessary, but a test vehicle had to be supplied to the EPA labs in Ann Arbor Michigan for testing. In late April, BMW pulled a European model off the line to be the certification vehicle. This Tii was VIN 2700177, a very basic Chamonix white version with minimum equipment, built April 20,1971. The minor compliance changes were made and the car underwent some minimum road testing and was then flown to the U.S. for delivery to the Ann Arbor labs. The test were completed promptly at the EPA labs and BMW started building US models only 20 days after pulling 177 off the line.

After the tests were run, the car sat at Erhard BMW in Ann Arbor for a year and BMW AG basically forgot about it. One of the EPA Engineers (Peter Hutchins decided he wanted to buy it and BMW AG sold it to him on June 29, 1972. It is noted in the archives that the car was sold directly without going through Hoffman, the official importer. In the years that followed, Peter put a radio in 177, did some rallying and drove it on a random basis. In 1981, with some encouragement from BMWCCA, Peter started the The Register and asked for volunteers in the Roundel to join help create the new special interest group. I still have a copy of the original organization letter from Peter, with assignments and declaring that the register was open for business. I was a member of the original crew and was in charge of technical questions and “fixes”.

Now let’s run the calendar ahead to September, 2000. I received a call from Peter saying that he wanted to sell 177 and asked for my assistance in doing so. At that time, 177 had been stored for several years and had run up about 49k miles. Everything was still original, but it needed some brake work and general maintenance. It had minor dings and only minor rusting, despite spending many years in a rust prone climate. I started marketing the car for him and made an initial approach to Mobile Tradition, the Zentrum at Spartanburg and BMW NA, but they were not interested.

When we started talking with private buyers, Peter made a decision that made a sale more difficult. He had another Tii that was partially dismantled, so he decided to sell both cars as a package for $15k. He had a couple of lookers but the package deal turned them off. A fellow here in Houston inspected the car and made an offer on 177 only, but estimated it would take about $1,000 to do a general fix-up & clean up plus freight to Houston so he passed. Peter finally sold 177 (only) to a collector in Livonia Michigan for $10k, which is the estimate I had given him at the start.

The first production Tii, VIN 2760001 is still in existence and is located in California.

This story was originally published in Vol. 8, No. 1 (August 2001) of the TII Register Newsletter by Bob Murphy.

NADA increases 2002tii 3x value since 2002

NADA increases 2002tii 3x value since 2002

The BMW 2002tii has been steadily increasing in value for the last several years. About 6 years ago during the year 2002, there was renewed interest in 2002’s in general due to the calendar year at that time. BMW made several splashy headlines in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today proclaiming “…inside every 2002 BMW is a BMW 2002”.

The NADA rated the 2002tii at that time around $12,000 for high retail.

In February 2008, updates of the NADA site (www.nada.com) shows the old high price for BMW 2002tii is now at that mark for the lowest amount – low retail value.

The high value of $31,900 represents a nearly 3x value increase over the last six years. This is good news for current owners who hung on or bought their cars since 2002!

Hemmings Motor News has the BMW 2002 on the cover and a great article by Richard Lentinello. The author readily comments that the 2002 is perhaps the “ultimate cult car” because people buy them just to drive them. Few of us would disagree with that statement.

Here’s a rundown of what NADA states for the car values, and I’ve added their current price for the 2002tii. The prices were the same regardless of year.

Historically, the 1972 and 1973 models bring 10-20% pricing premium for the aesthetics of those models with round tail lights and skinny metal bumpers over the 1974 USA models.

NADA PRICING (2/2008)

$12,150 – Low Retail Value

This vehicle would be in mechanically functional condition, needing only minor reconditioning. The exterior paint, trim, and interior would show normal wear, needing only minor reconditioning. May also be a deteriorated restoration or a very poor amateur restoration. Most usable “as-is”.

Some of the vehicles in this publication could be considered “Daily Drivers” and are not valued as a classic vehicle. When determining a value for a daily driver, it is recommended that the subscriber use the low retail value.

Note: This value does not represent a “parts car”.

$17,800 – Average Retail Value

This vehicle would be in good condition overall. It could be an older restoration or a well-maintained original vehicle. Completely operable. The exterior paint, trim, and mechanics are presentable and serviceable inside and out. A “20-footer”.

$31,900 – High Retail Value

This vehicle would be in excellent condition overall. It could be a completely restored or an extremely well maintained original vehicle showing very minimal wear. The exterior paint, trim, and mechanics are not in need of reconditioning. The interior would be in excellent condition.

Note: This value does not represent a “100 Point” or “# 1” vehicle *.

* “100 Point” or “# 1” vehicle is not driven. It would generally be in a museum or transported in an enclosed trailer to concourse judging and car shows. This type of car would be stored in a climate-regulated facility.

The Tii of the Future ?

BMW is poised to launch the new 130i and 135i for USA customers in the 2nd Quarter of 2008. All the advertising BMW is doing would lend you to believe it is the second coming of the Tii. They have even shown a Tii concept model of the 135i as a teaser for things to come. Some speculation is that BMW perceives the Tii has a renewed brand value they can leverage to sell new cars. On paper, and by many auto press reviews, the 135i has all the stuff packaged up right for the first time in a long time.

It’s the kind of car that would tend to make us 20th century BMW fans think about becoming 21st century BMW owners for the first time.