Marc Norris, owner of the Bavarian Workshop in Southern California, recently built a lucky customer their very own BMW "M2" by combining the chassis of an iconic mid-1970s BMW 2002 with BMW's celebrated race-bred S14 engine from a late-1980s BMW E30 M3.

Dropping the high-revving 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood wasn't an issue, but Norris was forced to make a custom cradle for the transmission and new drive shafts so everything would fit. While the crew was in there, they boxed the chassis for additional strength and upgraded the suspension with custom coil-overs at all four corners. Wilwood brakes and Alpina wheels complete the mechanical package. The interior features Recaro buckets, stolen from an early-1980s E21 320i, and plenty of perforated Nappa leather.

Norris says the 200-horsepower screamer drives like an early M3, but the lighter platform is about a second quicker in the sprint to 60 miles per hour – figure just over five seconds.

This stunning restoration is a one-of-a-kind project, but Bavarian Workshop can build you one too. As owner Norris says with a smile, "...no problem, all it takes is money." Yeah, lots of it. Watch for yourself below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      sloturbo
      • 2 Years Ago
      120k + is a bit much for a 2002, but it's still pretty cool.
      th0mb0ne
      • 2 Years Ago
      Man, if only you could buy setup from BMW. So amazing.
      Go2Fast
      • 2 Years Ago
      I appreciate the work...but an M5 starts at $90,000 plus "a spare car" for the cost of the build? that's insane.
        Nowuries
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Go2Fast
        You took the words out of my mouth... the cost of auto maintenance and body work has gone beyond excessive IMHO. The net result, I believe, will be a resurgence of home mechanics purchasing classics that were easier to maintain, since the cost of ownership of a new vehicle is becoming unmanageable.
        DGreenbaum
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Go2Fast
        I had trouble with the way he phrased that too, but I believe he meant to say that you can have this car plus another for the price of a new m5, which doesn\'t say much except that it is somewhere less than $90k. Great car. Love it.
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      lovely
      breakfastburrito
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love the car. Despise the snobbery. $120,000 for that swap is just ridiculous. The hardest part was a custom transmission cradle? No wonder he got fired 50 times. That swap should not cost more than $20k.
      hp
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lots of work and skill went into it. I don't think it looks good though. The front is unattractive.
      RWD
      • 2 Years Ago
      With all that money, I for sure would have started with an early round-taillight car. That would make all the difference in the world, to me anyway. Awesome nonetheless!
        jonnybimmer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RWD
        Agreed, that is the only thing I would have done differently. Still a great car though.
      john
      • 2 Years Ago
      Beautiful. Nothing else to say really.
      stevenh
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't get the point, why not save the money and just have the original M3 than having this bathtub looking car with lousy ergonomics, worm and roller steering and a far from stiff body compared to todays cars. if you upgraded that M3 in what he did with the 2002 you would still end up with a superior car than this one of a kind
        jonnybimmer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stevenh
        "Why mod a 2002 with E30 M3 guts?" Because those two cars don't look the same. 2002 has a more classic organic style to it while the E30 has a more blocky, chiseled style to it. You may think that an upgraded E30 M3 is "superior" to a 2002, but those who prefer the older gen's looks will never agree to that. There's more to a car than just performance. Never underestimate the importance of a car's styling.
        wrxfrk16
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stevenh
        Because the 2002 is very iconic amongst the BMW's. Those who love them really love them, and in some ways they were arguably better cars than the original 3 series they were sold alongside for a brief period. At the end of the day, yeah they just spent a lot of money to make a mildly quick car a bit quicker. But that's not the point. If it was purely about money, why even have the E30 M3? Why have anything sporting at all? Being a car enthusiast isn't about financial sensibility, it's really the total opposite. We drain our bank accounts to make our cars worse ninety nine percent of the time. But it's a passion, and that's what this is, someone passionate about making a very special 2002.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is a sweet ride. I would have gone with skinnier rubber to avoid flares, but I love it!
      vroooomy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would rather see this w/ m3 guts https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR7kCkG_hQOSb9aaipd8Xk8_1WA_5NTQ18Jc8GBHIdxD798Kiq5qA
      Hedo D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wouldn\'t this be a cool car if BMW decided to re-issue it? It\'s much cooler than a 1-series and any 2-series that is coming out.
        Teleny411
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hedo D
        It's the BMW I covet... They can keep all of today's lard buckets! This M2 is my idea of a car.
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