eBay Find: 1976 BMW 2002 with a Modest E36 M42 Engine

The engine swap is just the beginning of the modifications on this Bimmer.

eBay / hilldescent

We love a crazy, outlandish engine swap, but there’s also a charm to the more toned-town swaps that add just enough extra guts to a classic car to just make it more usable in everyday driving. A good example of that restraint is in this 1976 BMW 2002 for sale on eBay which, rather than some M3 engine, has an M42 inline-four under the hood.

The BMW M42 engine originally saw duty in four-cylinder variants of the E36. Specifically, the BMW 318i and 318is from 1992 to 1995. It’s a 1.8-liter, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder with a modest horsepower rating of 138 while making 129 foot-pounds of torque in stock form. In this BMW 2002, the M42 is lashed to a five-speed manual transmission.

While the new engine is a big change, there are plenty of other differences between this car and a stock 2002. This Frankenstein has seats from a Honda Prelude, a front spoiler from a Volkswagen MK1 GTI, and side mirrors from a Porsche 914. That’s an awful lot of different brands crammed into one vehicle. Other modifications include “2002” graphics painted on the hood, Legacy gauges, the battery moved to the trunk, and KYB shocks.

Seasoned BMW enthusiasts will recognize that this car also has the wrong taillights. The 2002 switched from round to square-ish taillights starting in 1973. The owner of this BMW swapped them out for the more old-school round taillights, which we believe was the right move.

As of this writing, this car has 27 bids with the current bid at $3,050. Part of the reason it’s so cheap is the fact that it has no title. To see how this thing drives, check out the video below.