To commemorate the celebration of the 50th golden anniversary of pure driving pleasure, we salute the BMW 2002 at the Hommage and Concept Vehicles exhibition at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este – the most exclusive location for historic, rare and treasured cars.

This year we pay tribute to one of the most iconic cars in the BMW brand: the extraordinary and expertly-sculpted BMW 2002. It is the legendary compact coupé that made the brand what it is today, and some say, even revved-up the success for BMW worldwide.

Sitting sleek and suave at the top of the range, this technological front-runner of engine development is the first series-produced car that was built with turbo technology making it the pioneer of sports sedans. It gave hope to those sports-car enthusiasts who wanted to put the “fun” back in fundamental function.

A trip down memory lane

When the BMW 2002 was first launched countless moons ago, many looked forward to a practical car that was exciting to drive. With large boot space and four-seat layout, coupled with a two-litre engine and superb suspension, it was the car which everyone desired.  After World War II, this turbo-charged, swift car helped BMW stay in business (selling over 800 000 units) when many companies were forced to shut down.

Unfortunately in 1976, production of these nifty, agile cars were ceased. But, all was not lost.  The well-known BMW 3 Series was born from the same sports sedan technology and design.  Even though over forty years have passed, the BMW 3 Series sedans grew more popular and modern each year, achieving a trendy and “hip” status.

Not only did the BMW 2002 have a colourful racing history, it also won several European Touring Car Championships. In addition, tuning companies such as Schnitzer and Alpina made racing 2002’s that competed in ample races.

50 years later…

Taking inspiration from the deep blue sea, the BMW 2002 Hommage’s characteristic “shark nose” and prominent low-lying body promises you a thrilling ride like no other.

Its unique snow-plough anterior gallantly displays the wavy grille giving rise to the deep-set headlights, the familiar BMW kidney grille and chiselled cheekbone-like wheel arches. Along the shoulder is the signature chrome strip that lends the 2002 a distinct horizontal split which separated it from other cars in its heyday.

Down the sides of the car, it looks as if an artist carefully sculpted the “waist”; minimalist but clearly defined and flows into the rear end of the body.  The carved flanks gently ease your eye to the striking rear wheel arches that houses 20-inch light-alloy wheels with an almost deceptive-looking but ingenious rim.  The gold-coloured brake callipers exhibit the M logo that add just a hint of class and opulence.

The roof, bonnet and boot lid has a matt paintwork that contrasts subtly with the rest of the frame’s high-gloss coat, creating different hues of steel blue and grey that lends depth and intrigue to the statuesque 2002.  The rear is generously designed with a boot lip spoiler that brings matters to a sporting yet polished conclusion.  The 2002 on a whole is boisterous and appealing on many levels.

Keeping in line with classical tradition of BMW Hommage cars, one can only admire the innovative interpretation of this compact sports coupé.  Do you think the BMW 2002 Hommage embodies pure driving pleasure?  We would like to hear from you so let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.