Orange Crush

Marc Ghafouri’s smart restoration-modification pays homage to the 2002 Turbo while keeping this carbureted ’02 true to its origins as a charming but simple street machine.

April 6, 2010
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Simple.

That’s the word that comes to mind as I survey the interior of Marc Ghafouri’s 2002. Not simple in a bad way, simple in a good way. The dashboard provides the driver with only the most important information: oil pressure, water temperature, fuel level, engine speed and miles per hour. There’s no navigation system, no rear-view video, no lane change warning lights. The abundance of amenities (embarrassment of riches?) that characterizes a modern BMW is nowhere to be seen, and neither is it missed. A 2002 like this one provides a terrific reminder of how simple things once were, even in a relatively sophisticated vehicle like a BMW.

Of course, the interior of this particular 1972 2002 is simpler than most, having been modified by its owner on a “less is more” philosophy. In the interior, Ghafouri has stripped out most of the sound deadening material, covering the floor in dark grey carpet, and he’s replaced the stock seats with a pair of one-piece Cobra Classic buckets. The Cobras may be minimal compared to the originals, but they’re more supportive, too, not to mention grippier. So is the Alcantara that Ghafouri has lavished on the dash, headliner, door panels and a few other places, a big improvement over the less tactile trim that originally graced the 2002.

Ratty, but restorable

The interior mods are merely the start of the personalization program undertaken by Ghafouri since he bought the car nine years ago. It’s the second 2002 he’s owned since moving to the U.S. from Iran, where Ghafouri’s older brothers passed down their enthusiasm for BMWs.

“I’ve always loved them, ever since I was nine years old,” Ghafouri says. “Growing up in Iran, my four older brothers always drove ‘Deuces’ [2002s] and Alfas.”

Ghafouri didn’t get his own 2002 until 1993, by which time he was happily employed as an airline pilot in Southern California.

Also from Issue 91

  • E84 X1 xDrive20d road test
  • Buyer’s Guide: E46, E90 3 Series
  • F10 550i GT road test
  • Rolls-Royce Ghost first drive
  • Nowack R56 MINI Cooper RS
  • George Lioudis’ E36 328i
  • Shanon Essex’ E9 2800 CS
  • David Perez’ 1956 501 V8
  • F01 750Li & E92 335i xDrive road test
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