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1976 BMW 2002 Ceylon

Filtering by Category: Rides and Drives

Testing The Faithful

Classic Velocity

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The thermometer was reading 87 degrees, and it was 7:09am. Google maps said 45 minutes to the destination. Time to crank up the A/C. I reached over and twisted the knob that would free the vent window, and I pushed it open about halfway. No sense in putting it on maximum yet, let’s see how this works. I did the same by loosening the seat belt and reaching over to the passenger side vent. The airflow was impressive. Despite the windows already being open, the driver’s area cooled significantly. The phone said it was now 90 degrees outside and a frigid 81 degrees in the cockpit. The temperature outside continued to climb. I opened the driver side vent to max. Another impressive boost in the direction of airflow, if not the volume. Thankfully, traffic was doing 80 mph in the left lane. But not for long, as we soon went through the city center. The slowdown to 45mph was brutal. 97 degrees and humid outside, 92 degrees and humid in the car. I eyed the air conditioner controls in the center console. They had not been connected to anything for years, but for a second, I thought that turning them to the coldest position might actually do something. Anything. I could hear Alec Guinness imploring me to use the Force. But my training was apparently incomplete. I was not ready.

An interminably long 11 minutes later, we were back up to full speed, only to exit the highway and endure 3 long miles of traffic lights until the destination. Inside the restaurant, I headed immediately for the restroom., and did my best to mitigate the sweat. Then I joined 15 like-minded individuals who had commandeered two tables. Several of them bore the telltale damp-chested t-shirt of a man who had just arrived in a car without air conditioning. In fact, only a few of the cars had functioning air conditioning, but they gladly endured trips of varying lengths to get to a breakfast in the middle of July. After breakfast we went outside to look at cars and parts. The temperature had stabilized at 97 degrees. Issues were diagnosed. Advice given. Wrenches turned. All of the cars are found worthy. All are in some perpetual state of “almost finished” or “ongoing project”. But they were all driven and endured and patched up and sanded down and discussed at length in a convection oven masquerading as a parking lot. Why? Because that is what the faithful do in the middle of July on a sweltering morning in an asphalt parking lot, when they all have perfectly good climate controlled vehicles that they left at a climate controlled home.

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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.

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Off to NC

Classic Velocity

The Ceylon takes a trip to friend Mike Pugh’s place in NC for some engine work. it is seen here next to a car Mike built from parts he had laying around! Fitting inspiration for my own “Bitsa” project, although without the much more extensive parts stash.

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Awaking From Slumber

Classic Velocity

After spending an extended period of time up on jack stands, the machine needed to move locations. Initially, it would not start and showed no signs of even a click. I suspected corrosion somewhere, and began tracing with the multimeter. A few fuses were no longer making solid contact, so some sandpaper to the rescue. Same for the battery terminals, and in one case, a total break of the main wire to the ignition switch! Bingo! Even with the smoking gun, it made sense to cleanup the ground terminal on the block, and the starter. With that, the fuel pump whirred to life, and the car started almost immediately. A short drive got the oil up to temperature, before landing at a new spot. 

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Recidivism

Classic Velocity

As Ronald Reagan famously said, "Now there you go again....." And so it is that another irresistable classic and iconic 2002 finds it way into the garage. Why ? If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand. Despite never liking the big bumpers, a squarelight car was always a natural complement to the Roundie tii. In this case, one of the last of the breed from 1976. However, it needs some attention as usual. It smokes like a forest fire, needs seats, needs a pedal box, some seals, etc, etc. As Ray Charles and Norah Jones sang from the famous ballad, "Here we go again".

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