Not the V8 You Were Expecting: BMW 2002 with a Buick 215

1967 BMW 2002

I’ve made my personal fascination with the Buick/Olds aluminum 215ci V8 known here on many occasions. Aside from gracing some of GM’s most awesome evolutionary dead ends of the early 60s, it lived on in one form or continent or another 40 years. That said, this swap constitutes new and unprecedentedly awesome ground. You from the pictures and title know we’re talking aluminum 215 in a 2002, but hit the jump for the details that seal the deal.

All too often we come across swaps that seem good in concept, but the execution lacks massively. Specifically, over-carbureted American lumps backed up by three speed autos in proper sporting cars. Not the case here, as the seller’s equipped the dainty 3.5L Buick motor with four downdraft Webbers on a custom manifold, then backed it up with a five speed T5.

Thankfully, the seller hasn’t gone crazy with appearance modifications, keeping stock bumpers, mesh wheels and a relatively mild widebody kit. The widebody’s probably the most disappointing aspect, but it’s probably worth it for the extra tire width it affords. We wish there were a few more pictures of the interior, given the what the seller says is in there:

…times are tough and I no longer have the space to store her nor the money to finish her. This is to date the cleanest car of its kind I have ever seen. The collection of parts on this car took me years to track down one by one and now are nearly impossible to find. The shell is a 1967 1600, the engine is a all aluminum 215 ci Buick V8 from a 1961 Buick Special. Its got (4) downdraft webber 2 barrels plus custom intake manifolds that have been ported/polished/flow tested, a center force clutch, all aluminum t5 transmission from a 1985 Camaro Irock Z, custom driveline, custom one off stainless powdercoated dual exhaust, posi rear differential, all wheel disk brakes(giant) hurst airheart, boge adjustable struts, recaro seats, momo steering wheel, custom padded role cage, deep sump oil pan plus remote filters, completely custom cooling system, marshall ampulex headlights, all wiring has been completely redone head to toe, battery relocated to the trunk, brand new door panels and window regulators and more. Anyone who knows these cars can tell by looking at the pictures that no expense was spared on this car it just never got finished due to a change in my priorities at the time.

While there’s not doubt a ton of money’s been sunk into this kickass hybrid, the $30,000 Buy-it-now suggests it may do a few laps of the eBay-go-round before supply and demand intersect.
1967 BMW 1600 with Buick 215 V8 – eBay Motors

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    1. discontinuuity Avatar

      Flyin' Miata makes a Chevrolet LS V8 conversion kit:
      <img src=""&gt;

      1. RevPiper Avatar

        Common sense tells me both engine choices would likely destroy the balance of this car. I just want a empty parking lot and five minutes.

  1. TX_Stig Avatar

    That is a fantastic piece of work. Normally I am rather against V8 BMW swaps, but this just seems odd enough to be right. Of course I wish that it were either less finished, of he was more desperate to get rid of his project.

    1. Beater_DeLuxe Avatar

      I'm usually skeptical of BMWs without inline engines, even if they came that way from the factory. But this period correct aluminum V8 oddball gets a pass. Dead sexy… no nikasil either!

  2. Beer_Rover Avatar

    I'm not sure how good those unfiltered velocity stacks will affect the lifespan of the BOP 215, but they sure are prettier than the S.U.' s on a Costello V8 MGB
    <img src=""&gt;

    1. Lotte Avatar

      Now that is a good-looking motor! Can't believe how much the molded plastic bumper ruins the look.
      As an aside, if I'd have to own one car for the rest of my life I think I'd be choosing between a couple of British V8s.

      1. Syrax Avatar

        But then it would never be for the rest of your life.

        1. Lotte Avatar


      1. discontinuuity Avatar

        That's an LS1 BTW

    2. CptSevere Avatar

      I've always thought a V8 is a bit much in an MGB. I used to have a Jeep with the despised Iron Duke, and did a little research on that slug, and this is what it has the potential to become. Put one of these in a B, and you might have something.

  3. BrianTheHoon Avatar

    What? No guibo?
    (Thank God!)

  4. Syrax Avatar

    The weight bias should be… interesting.

    1. BrianTheHoon Avatar

      It's probably not that bad. The 215s had aluminum blocks, no?

    2. Mad_Science Avatar

      An M10 weighs about 300lbs (beefy iron block, aluminum head)
      BOP 215 weighs about 350lbs (all aluminum)

  5. Paul_y Avatar

    I approve, because it's weird enough to be interesting, but well-thought-out enough to be driveable. It's not cheap, but you probably couldn't build it for that price, either.

  6. Mr_Biggles Avatar

    Fantastic. I love 2002's and this seems like kind of a nice fitting swap if you're going to bastardize one. However I'm a bit unclear on what still needs to be done given how long that list of goodies is and how nice it looks in the pictures.

  7. Black Steelies Avatar

    Not my choice of car and not my choice of powerplant but I'll be damned if I didn't want to make that car my own.

  8. Maymar Avatar

    I could buy it just to look at that engine and those velocity trumpets. But then I couldn't drive it. I might have to take off the hood so I can multi-task.

  9. tenbeers Avatar

    "The widebody’s probably the most disappointing aspect"
    Correction, sir. Box flares make everything more awesome!

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      I will take a stance firmly and decidedly on the fence. While my love of box flares knows no bounds, this is a bit of a weak interpretation of the genre, and leaves me feeling a bit cold on it. I can't quite put my finger on why, but something about it feels half-assed.

    2. cmdrfire Avatar

      Indeed, I agree; at least it's not grotesquely swollen wheelarches like on most "performance" vehicles today.

  10. lilwillie Avatar

    Must refrain from clicking ebay ad…must refrain from clicking ebay ad.
    I really like the package. Nice install and the oddity of a 215 makes the car a interesting conversation piece. I doubt the car would tear up the strip or track but it sure would be fun to tinker on and watch people scratch their heads trying to figure it all out.