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1976 BMW 2002 Ceylon


Classic Velocity


Finally, after years of work-related cancellations and botched logistics, I make it to the BMW 2002 Mid America event. It is held each year in picturesque Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and has been happening for 19 years!  Several good friends over the years including founder Bo Black, chief instigator Mike Pugh, and writer Mike Self, have attempted to get me there, and I have tried. In this case, a combination of business and personal landed me within striking distance, with the car. We would not be denied again.


Doing hours of interstate with the car made me nervous, but it was flawless in the engine department. However, between the lack of upholstery and the wind noise, it is fatiguing. It was happy to jump onto route 23 and enjoy the twisty Ozark mountain roads. The event was a blast and is covered in the main blog.

The event involves a few drives on spectacular roads, and we enjoyed good weather for the most part. The suspension at the rear needs some sorting out, so the sport springs may go on after all. There are a few more things on the todo list, but overall the car performed well.  And as a bonus, I won a set of door cards !


A Matter of Mirrors

Classic Velocity

The car had a stock driver’s side mirror with a bad base, and two holes in the passenger side. I did not have a spare passenger side mirror. What to do? After rummaging around, what I did find were some 3.0CS flag mirrors, and a set of Vitaloni mirrors. Since the Vitalonis were black, they fit the look on this “Bitsa” car, so on they went. Of course, the PO had not removed the driver side mirror to paint the car. Why !! It is just 2 screws !! Aaaarrrggh ! Despite the aesthetics, which are par for the course on this car, we can now see out of both sides.


Cars and Coffee

Classic Velocity

In a clear test for the car, it is off to a BMW dealership Cars and Coffee event. It is an hour away, with some toll road, so it will be the first sustained stint at 70-80mph. Despite its challenges at low speed, the car feels better the faster you drive it. No worries, and once warmed up, the low speed fueling is a bit better. The event was pretty good with a lot of very nice exotics and even another 2002 driven by Brian from the local club, and a lovely 628CSI Euro car. Then it was on to a VW open house event 20 minutes away. Finally, back to base at high speed. A solid test and the vehicle performed well. There is a slight exhaust smell that may be due to the trunk seal, but it bears further investigation.


Night Vision

Classic Velocity

One of the concentric circle test loops took place at dusk. It was a deliberate attempt to see how the lighting and the electrical system overall was working under load. The good news is that everything worked except for a dodgy brake light. The headlights look cool with the original warm yellowish glow, but they were not up to the modern expectation for light output. Nor were they up to moderate speeds on dark backroads. Since this car is a “Bitsa” project, I unearthed a set of halogen driving lights from the stash. They even have black stone guards. They are a far cry from the vintage Cibie lights I would like, but they were none of those in the stash. Next step was to locate a switch. No problem there, as the stash produced a stock switch that got mounted in the center console. The cool look of the headlights is now complemented upon request, by some more effective driving lights. 

As a surprise bonus, I found a few items lodged down between the bottom of the radiator, and the bottom of the front valence. They were a 10mm bolt, and a rusty 10mm deep socket !! The socket actually cleaned up nicely and got added to the toolbox.


Washing and Wiping

Classic Velocity

It is surprising how debilitating it is not to be able to see out the windshield 🤔 !! Since this car is far from original, we decided to forego the expensive stock windshield washer bottle and pump, in favor of a universal one. This in turn caused a re-routing of the wiring and hoses back to the traditional spot on the inside right fender. With that accomplished, the ancient wiper blades were replaced as well. Now we can both wash and wipe..