I have mixed emotions when it comes to stuffing an engine bay with a motor from another marque. I wouldn’t put a Chevy LS6 lump in my Cobra replica, but I might put one in my BMW 528e. I’d think twice before using my largest and most viscious shoehorn to cram a Porsche 911 mill into a Corvair. Shoot me if I put Ford 5.0-liter in my vintage Ferrari.
I have no great love for BMW’s M10 four-cylinder despite it being 2/3 of one of my favorite engines, the M30 6-cylinder. So if I found myself with an attractive but structurally marginal 1969 BMW 2002 shell and the guts of a Honda S2000, I might cobble something together like this, available out of Portland on Craigslist for $6000.00.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Yes, it has rust, not only in the rear shock towers but also in the rocker panels. The Agave green paint is just okay, says the seller. And the transmission tunnel has been modified so the heater box – included but not installed – will probably never, ever fit properly. Ditto the carpet that doesn’t come with the car anyway.
More interesting, the car sports not only the S2000 engine but also the 6-speed manual and, get this, a fully-functional S2000 gauge cluster! This may be the only 2002 with a Check Engine Light. Through the miracles of black magic, even the fuel gauge works.
Other goodies include stainless steel brake lines and a Wilwood brake master, as well as Euro front and rear lights. The Neuspeed springs have been cut, which is odd, and they wrap around stock springs and struts. Both bumpers are included, but only the rear is currently installed. Sadly, the wicked-cool wheels don’t come with the car.
I admit I’m somewhat infatuated with the idea of putting a 9000-rpm screaming sewing machine in an otherwide unremarkable 2002. Given the lightness of a 2002, this engine would make this little car scoot. While I personally wouldn’t build such a beast, I’m probably stupid enough to buy someone else’s
disaster of an abandoned project more-or-less fully assembled car. If the coachwork isn’t totally junk you could probably just preserve the car, rather than dive into a wallet-melting restoration.
And when that Check Engine Light does come on, because it will, you can just drive over to the Honda dealer. Piece of cake.