The Story ....... There is always a story behind a car like this!

 

So, you see one day I was driving my 1985 Alfa Romeo GTV-6 which was a real nice car. The only time in my life that I was in the right place at the right time to get a really good deal on a car. See the Alfa Page for more info about this, but I digress.

I was driving the Alfa on a nice spring day when I stopped at an intersection. Unfortunately the kid in the pick up truck behind me did not stop. This made the Alfa several inches shorter than it was supposed to be, and  the rest is history as they say, since the car was not worth repairing due to the extent of the body damage.

After fighting with the insurance company for well over a year, I finally got a respectable settlement on the value of the car. I set the money aside and was casually looking for something interesting.

Meanwhile, this car had been somewhat of an urban legend in the area. Everyone seemed to know about it, but no one knew it's whereabouts or what happened to it. The person who was originally responsible for its conception and construction was a guy by the name of Lanny Lanoue, who at one time owned a race shop called Berkshire Racing Green, in Monterey, MA.

Lanny was (and is) a bit of character to say the least. One day he just got tired of being in the car business, and decided he wanted to work on airplanes instead. He closed the shop and sold all the equipment. He had been trying to sell the car and what little inventory of BMW parts that he had left, but was unsuccessful as he wanted way too much money for the car and stuff.

Fast forward about six or seven years. I finally met Lanny one day (I had known of his existence, but did not know him personally, or his whereabouts until this time) when he came into the parts store where I was working one winter when I was in between jobs. I learned that he still had the car and the price had come down to something that was actually reasonable.

I went and looked at it about a week later. Remember I had never seen the car until now, I only knew of that it existed. We came to an agreement and I bought it.

Now, remember that I said Lanny was a character, and that the car had been sitting for at least six years or more. For the most part he did a pretty nice job building the car, but never really finished it, as many problems became apparent as soon as I started going through it. The electrical system was a disaster area. The brakes were frozen, the wheels badly corroded from sitting in a damp basement, the tires were not round, many of the custom VDO gauges did not work correctly, the heater fan and heater control cables were frozen, well you get the idea. The car was far from being anything that you could drive more than 10 miles from home for fear of breaking down on the side of the road, nor was it to pleasant to drive because so much stuff did not work correctly.

After sorting all this stuff out and getting everything working correctly, I discovered many other problems. The clutch could not handle the power of the engine and would slip if you tried to get the power down coming out of a corner. This car had the 1600 6 bolt crank with the smaller clutch to reduce the rotating mass. Add to this an all aluminum flywheel, and the fact that aluminum does not make a good friction surface and you have a slipping clutch.

For better or worse, one of the first times I drove the car any distance, the accelerator linkage stuck wide open, and the flywheel bolts came loose. Out came the transmission, and the clutch assembly was sent to Centerforce. They machined the flywheel to accept a steel contact surface, rebuilt the pressure plate and upped the clamping force, rebuilt the clutch disc with their carbon-kevlar friction material, and balanced the whole ass'y.

Not long after this fiasco, and after re-engineering the throttle linkage, the timing chain guide rail decided to let go. So off came the timing cover and new chains, sprockets, and guides were installed.

Next, the engine mounts somehow came lose, and the engine went forward and the fan took out the radiator. Well the car ran warm anyway, so in went a high capacity cooling system from the Metric Mechanic and new motor mounts.

In the course of two or three months I was able to get the car sorted out, and everything working correctly. The car was actually pretty reliable at this point.

I owned the car for about seven years. The last two or three years that I owned it I found I was not driving it all that much, opting instead to drive my Alfa Spider, which I actually bought at about the same time as the 2002. But that is another long story.

About a year ago, I came across a 1985 Ferrari 308 GTSi QV. (Read the Story about that) The only reason I called on the ad was because the car was black with a black interior. Well being a glutton for punishment and having a thing for Italian cars, I couldn't resist. The used car dealer that had the Ferrari had a friend who runs a BMW shop called Concord Motorsport in Concord, NH. Well Mike at Concord Motorsport really liked the 2002 and we were able to make a deal where I effectively traded the 2002 for the Ferrari.

And that is the story behind this car and how I wound up with it. Last I knew, as of Febreaury, 2001 - It is still owned by Mike at Concord Motorsport, and it is for sale again. You can find out more about it by following the link below to Concord Motorsport.

 

Concord Motorsport

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