Monday, December 7, 2009

Touring Update

Work continues to progress slowly but surely on the touring. Lack of funds is the main thing slowing it down, However, this was meant to be a long-term project from the start, so there is no rush.

The new trunk floor has been installed, and welding has started in other areas. Hopefully the economy will improve soon, and it can be moved along at a faster pace.

Here are the latest pics:

Patillas Meet Photos

Yes, I know. This was two months ago (October 11, 2009). Sue me.

It turned out to be a great event, way beyond our expectations. Close to 100 cars attended, and a great time was had by all. Planning has started for next year!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Call me lazy

Haven't updated this for a while, so I'm going to make an effort to get anyone reading this (if anyone does), up to date.

As I mentioned on my previous post, I attended the Bimmermeet at Road Atlanta, part of the BMW CCA Oktoberfest festivities. Had a great time there on Friday and Saturday, and even got to see my daughter Michelle drive the track for the first time! I'm posting the pics slide show for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Planning for October 11 meet in Patillas

Two members of the PR Classic Bimmer Group suggested an event for all BMW owners and went ahead and got a locale in Patillas, on the southeastern part of the island.

The date was set for October 11 and it looks like attendance will be great. We have gotten enough sponsors to be able to offer t-shirts to the first 100 owners who arrive in their BMW's, and will try to get more freebies to hand out.

I'll be posting pics here after the event.

I will also be attending the Bimmermeet at Road Atlanta on October 3. This is the last day of the BMW CCA Oktoberfest, and an invitation was extended to those of us who couldn't be there the whole week. Should be a fun day, since I have several of my mainland '02 buddies attending. We will bringing the Baur and Michelle's 635csi.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Atlanta Micro Meet on 8/14/09 and Touring Update

Met up with Jon and Zac from the Atlanta area during my trip there on the weekend of 8/14 to 8/16. We got together at a local Starbucks and chatted about old BMW's for a while. Both their '02's are quite nice, and the engine on Jon's car sounds mean.

On the touring front, not much to report. Sandblasting will begin soon, and most of the required sheet metal has been bought. As I have mentioned before, this is a long term project, which will progress as time and funds allow.

In other news, my daughter Michelle sold her E36 325i and got herself a sweet 1989 635csi. It is an automatic with Dinan engine and transmission upgrades, and looks very nice. I had a chance to drive it during this trip and got many compliments from people who thought it was mine.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Trip to Villalba on 7/26/09

On Sunday, July 26, Ipe, a 2002 owner from Villalba, invited a group of us to his town for a meet and greet and some lunch. He did a great job, and even had free t-shirts for everyone!

Total attendance was about 15 owners. Not as much as expected, but we had fun. The drives to and from there were great, and I enjoyed them in the Schwarz 2002. Temps are not an issue now, but it is running quite rich. I have to take care of that next.

We are planning our next outing for October 11 by the beach at Guardarraya in Patillas. It should be a good one.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Schwarz E21 gets new carpets

Spent the day yesterday installing a new carpet set on the Schwarz E21. This set was the first one done by Esty Anderson, who has done almost 200 sets for 2002's. She offered it to me so I could install it and give her some feedback, and I must say I was very pleased with the quality of the set and the ease with which it was installed by my son and I.

Next in line fort the car is painting the door panels, installing the console and radio and, when funds permit, reupholstering the seats.

Here are some before and after pics (click on each pi to see it full size). If you are interested in a set for your E21, you can reach Esty at

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

End of June Touring Update

Well, my daughter finally sent some pics of the touring's progress. All the rusty metal has been cut out from the rear and a new trunk floor has been ordered from BMW. Previous repairs in the rear shock towers have been removed so they can be re-done properly.

The rear valance was quite ugly, so it was cut off, and another was removed from a regular '02 to see if it can be made to fit. This '02 also donated other parts of its body, including the Hofmeister kinks.

Maybe I'll get another update soon, but I expect to travel to Atlanta in the middle of August and should have a more thorough update then.

Hopefully by the next update we will see new metal added to the car so it can start taking shape again.

It's unfortunate that the car is half an ocean away and I can't be doing any work on it. Hopefully I can be there when reassembly begins, which is the most fun part of any project.

In other news, I created a message Board in Spanish for Classic BMW owners in Puerto Rico. It has been slow to catch on since I started it a week or so ago, but hopefully it will become a great resource for Bimmerheads like me in the island.

Here's the link:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Schwarz '02 gets its head back

As you might have read on one of my posts back in April, the Schwarz '02 overheated and the diagnosis revealed that it was a cylinder head problem. It turned out to be that one of the water passages had corroded and water was seeping into the #1 piston's combustion chamber.

After removing it and bringing it to my buddy Ramon in Patillas, one thing turned into another and it couldn't be installed until the Saturday before last. The car started up pretty quickly and seems to be keeping its cool. I haven't tried it out on the road yet, but I let it idle for quite a bit with no problem.

After not starting it for a couple of months, I notice now several rattles and noises which I didn't pay much attention to before. The throwout bearing (hopefully it's the t/o bearing) rattles quite annoyingly when the clutch is engaged, and there is also an engine noise which sounds like a faint knock which I would have to investigate.

This car's engine was overhauled about 20 years ago, so it might be time to refreshen it soon. It does not use any oil, but it's idling erratically, and I would like to get a fresher cylinder head installed with a cam in order to take advantage of the Weber 38/38's higher gas flow.

All this is wishful thinking for now, since my play funds (and then some) are going towards the touring.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Vintage at the Vineyards 2009

Last weekend (May 22-24) I participated in the yearly Vintage at the Vineyards event in Dobson, NC. I drove the E21 Baur from Atlanta and back and, except for a fuel pump relay on Friday's drive, it behaved well.

This has become THE premier event for vintage BMW's in the U.S., if not the entire world. There were close to 300 cars registered, and, in addition to the exhibition at the Shelton Vineyards, there were drives through the beautiful North Carolina countryside all three days.

Here are some of the photos I took at the event:

Touring update for the end of May

Rear flares were test-fitted and it looks like they will cover all the rusty part in the quarter panels that will be cut away. Welding should start within the next week or so. It will be nice to see metal being added to the car rather than being cut off!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Work on the touring has begun!

Last weekend I took a short trip to Atlanta to see The Mitty vintage races at Road Atlanta, and to check out the work on the touring. It turns out that I spent most of the time moving my daughter's belongings to her new apartment, but that's another story for another blog.

I was able to spend a couple of hours at the race track and check out the cars. Didn't get to see any actual racing, though.

Pics can be seen here:

On the touring subject, it has been dismantled almost completely. Lots of hidden rust and much work to be done, but I am confident that it will turn out nice once all is said and done.

Here's how it looks now:

I will be traveling to Atlanta again on May 16 and will post pictures of how it has progressed then.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The sweet-running 320i

I made a 250 mile round trip in the 320i last Sunday 4/19 and returned amazed with the way it performed. No drama, no overheating and great fuel economy. Many people don't care much about E21's, but I love mine. They make great daily drivers.

This one is basically stock, except for Bilstein shocks and a Weber 32/36 carb, which replaced the troublesome fuel-injection system. This mod is a great way to solve the multiple problems that these cars get with their old FI systems.

The body is getting rusty and the paint job was never too good. The interior also needs work, but the mechanics are almost perfect. Definitely a keeper.

Here's a pic from last Sunday:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Head Problems.....

No, not me, but the Schwarz 2002....

I went to a drive/photoshoot yesterday with a group of BMW owners from the website. All went well until the drive back home from Ponce.Since traffic on the expressway was very heavy, I decided to take the coastal route. It was smooth sailing until I ran into a congestion in the Patillas beach area. The gauge started to creep upwards until it got to the red zone. To make it even worse, there was no way I could stop, since the road is a narrow one and there were cars parked in both sides for about half a mile.

When I was finally able to check it out, it was missing about 3/4 of a gallon of coolant. I had topped it off in the morning, and there were no signs of leakage, so I suspect it's the cylinder head.

I had previously noticed that the temp gauge used to go up to about 3/4 when in stop and go traffic, so I installed a new thermostat and hoses last weekend. I also flushed and bled the system in anticipation for the drive. The water pump, belts and radiator are good, so I will have to bite the bullet and remove the cylinder head.

Too bad, because there are a few good events planned for the next few weeks, and I was planning to attend a few in the car. Oh well, guess I'll have to take the ratty E21....

Here's a few pics from yesterday's event (click on each one to see it full size):

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Update (?) and some decisions to make

As of today I have no news to report on the touring. Jeff Chang, the gentleman whom Alex was going to contact regarding the body work for it, hasn't shown up to look at the car.

I guess that, if I can't get anyone in the Atlanta area to work on it soon, I might have to bite the bullet and bring it to Puerto Rico. That will not happen for at least two months, though. Opinions from readers (if any) of this blog are welcome.

I have been giving thoughts about selling the Schwarz '76 2002 to gather funds for the touring's resto. I have very mixed feelings about this, since it is like part of the family, having been with me for 18 years now. Any thoughts?

If I do keep the Schwarz car, the touring's resto will be at a much slower pace, which is not really a problem.

So, that's it for now. This Sunday, 4/12/09, I will most probably be attending a BMW photo shoot. Hopefully I'll get to have some nice pics of the Schwarz car. The following Sunday there is a meet similar to the recent one we had in Ponce. This time it will be in Hormigueros, which is at the opposite corner of the island, but I plan to make it anyway. I'll post pics and info if I do.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Touring Project

Finally saw the touring!

Last weekend I took a trip to Atlanta to finally see it in the flesh (or rather, in the metal and rust). It IS quite rusty, but it IS a tii, and a touring to boot. So, after assessing its condition, I have determined that I'm gonna take a shot at restoring it. Plans are to make it a nice driver, not a concours beauty. It will probably be a long and arduous (and expensive!) process, but I am sure the end result will be well worth it. There is nothing like driving a tii, and I still miss the Chamonix '73 I sold over 20 years ago.

There is a possibility that the welding and bodywork can be done in Atlanta. Alex from Carma told me that he has a good friend, Jeff Chang, who is a great welder and might be able to take it on. I do heve new doors, left frond fender and nose panel which came from the car, but I will still need to get the right front fender and the uber-pricey quarter panels. It also will need rockers and quite a bit of welding in the floor area.

I will post updates as I progress in this journey.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The touring arrives in Atlanta!

After a few hits and misses, the touring finally arrived in Atlanta last Thursday (3/5). My son sent me some pics, but I will have to wait until I go there to evaluate its condition and decide what will I do with it. I would love to restore, but it all depends on the extent of the rust.

If I decide to restore it, I will probably bring it to Puerto Rico, since the restoration would be a lot less costly here, even taking into account the transportation costs and the darn Puerto Rico Excise Tax.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's been almost a month!

OK, I admit it. I haven't paid much attention to this blog, with the last post being almost a month ago.

Anyway, during that time I got the E30's water pump installed, the E21 got new brake pads and clutch master/slave and I bought a new Weber 38/38 kit for the Baur. Quite a spendy month...

The touring should be on its way from Bentonville, AR to Atlanta this week, where it will be stored until I figure out what to do with it.

On a more positive note, I attended two events with the Schwarz '02. On 2/15 I went to the annual big old car show at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, and on 2/22 I went to Ponce for an informal meet with (mostly) old-skool BMW owners.

Here's a pic from the San Juan show:

The white 2002 above was for sale for (GULP!) $13K!! I would've walked home if anyone had given me $10K for mine.

Here's a pic from the gathering at La Guancha. About 40 cars assisted, including 13 '02's. It was good to see so many together, and we plan to continue meeting every six to eight weeks on different places throughout the island.

The Mintgrun car used to be mine and is now owned by Luis Carlos of Patillas, who did a great job bringing it back to a very nice condition. My '02 is the second one, and the third car (also Schwarz) is in pristine condition, and is owned by a gentleman from Mayaguez.

Well, that's it for now! I will try to update this more frequently, but can't promise anything. Thanks for reading my blog!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The 1976 2002

As promised on the first post, I will be posting some details on each of my cars as time permits.

The one I've owned the longest is the '76 2002. Bought it back in 1991 for $1500, needing bodywork. The original color was Mintgrun, but in 1992 I went forward with a color change to Schwarz black and a total restoration.

After that restoration in '92 I have constantly made changes to it. The car is by no means stock, and, at this moment has the following:

  • Eibach springs and Bilstein Sport shocks
  • 14" BBS wheels from an E30 325is and Yokohama tires
  • Weber 38/38 carb
  • tii exhaust manifold
  • tii brake booster and master cylinder
  • Delco 100 amp alternator
  • Five speed tranny conversion from a 320i
  • Recaro seats from a 320is (upholstered in '92 and again in 2008)
  • Custom-made carpet set
  • Reupholstered door panels with 2002 Luxus door pockets
  • BMW E24 steering wheel
  • Front Kamei and rear Zender spoilers
  • Rear bumper from '68-'70 2002 (no front bumper)
  • Italian-market amber/clear front turn signals
  • Hella 1000 driving lights
  • Hella H4 headlights

Here are a few pics (the Hella 1000's had not been installed when they were taken):

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Here goes nothing!

Welcome to my blog!

I will try to keep a record here of my adventures as an owner of several older BMW's. I bought my first one, a 1970 1600-2, back in 1978, and have always owned at least one since then. I currently live in Puerto Rico, but travel frequently to the US mainland, so my hobby has taken roots there also.

Our stable currently includes:

  • 1976 2002 - Bought this one in sad condition back in 1991 and did a complete restoration back in '92. Still looks decent, and I continually am doing mods to it. Hope to be able to repaint it again soon. This one is in Puerto Rico.
  • 1972 2000tii touring - I just got this one (January 2009) and it needs a total restoration. If it were a regular 2002 it might be better as a parts car, but being that it's a touring AND a tii, I will try to bring it back to life. It might be years before this happens, though. The car is currently in Arkansas.
  • 1981 Baur 320/6 - This one lives at my daughter's in Atlanta. Bought it in June 2008 and is in decent, but not concours condition. Currently getting all the mechanical work taken care of at Carma Motorsports in Atlanta (brakes, timing belt, tune up). This is a fun car to use on my frequent trips to the ATL.
  • 1982 320i - This car has been in the family for four years. Needs paint, but the mechanicals are in great condition. Used by my son as a daily driver here in Puerto Rico.
  • 1986 325 - Previously used by my daughter for college here in Puerto Rico, we sold it when she moved to Atlanta, but bought it back in 2008. It is automatic and is also a daily driver.
  • 1993 325i - This one is also automatic and is my daughter's daily driver.
I will provide info on each of the above rides as I go along on this blog. In the meantime, thanks for checking it out!