Finally, after months of searching, we found our ideal candidate to use as the starting point for our Clarion Builds project. Our entire team carefully looked over the vehicle before deciding on pulling the trigger to sign off on the car. We met the owner at a restaurant down the street from our office. While the car was foremost on our mind, our stomachs were growling so we headed inside to grab a quick bite which also gave us the perfect opportunity to get to know the seller (Peter) and go over all the details and history of the car. Another advantage to eating first was it gave us a chance to follow our 4th rule for the previous post and took some time to go over all the paperwork, and boy was there a lot of it! Peter had records going back the last 20 years.

Upon review, we noticed that there were some reoccurring repairs to the drive shaft. The car had a 5-speed swap performed well before Peter got his hands on the car and the repeated drive shaft work was a red flag that something may have been a bit off with the swap. Following lunch, we walked outside to the parking lot to check out what Peter had brought us. All in all, it was a good looking car – Well, at least for a 40 year old daily driver. The paint was faded and we could tell that it was a low end re-spray job (see the before photos), but for us, that was the least of our concerns because our restoration plan included a full teardown. We immediately noticed the wheels were from a newer model BMW. Using our flashlight and magnet (#3 from our previous post), we scoped out under the hood and all the body panels and everything seemed copasetic. Moving into the interior, we found the normal wear and tear one might expect of a car of this age. The dash was cracked, there were small tears within the headliner and back seat, and the heater fan was not working. We took the car out on the open road and put it through its paces. Not a lot of get up and go left in the old motor but we knew that would be remedied soon. Also we heard some rather strange speed sensitive noises coming from the front end and chocked those up to wheel barring. We were confident that this ’74 BMW 2002 would make for a great starting point. In the end, we negotiated the price and Peter was nice enough to deliver our newly purchased Clarion Builds project car right to our warehouse. With the easy part finally done, it’s time to get down to brass tacks!

Alyson Yarberry