When one of my good friends and fellow B Sedan racer, Keith Lippiatt, approached me to discuss a livery change for his vintage BMW 2002 race car (#83), I was quick to share design ideas for a build that I was considering for myself. Regarding body work changes, we looked at 02's that had boxed flares, turbo flares and pig cheek flares. Like me, Keith wanted something period correct while being aesthetically beautiful to look at while on the track or in the paddock. After sharing some photos of a certain Alpina that caught my eye a long time ago, the green/black 1600-02 Alpina that Peter Meyer campaigned in the early 1970's, the fender flare decision was easy - we had to go with the pig cheeks (I actually have the Minichamps model on the shelf of my home office bookcase).
The difficult part of the design was determining the correct color of green. Fortunately, I was able to reach out to two vintage BMW experts, Tom Jones and Rey Rivera, for guidance. In the end, we concluded it was Turf Green with a Colorado Orange nose trim on the front passenger side. The black hood will have a satin finish from the hood to the rear trunk lid. In addition to hiring Ken Blasko of Vintage BMW racing to complete the livery change, Ken is building a new twin carb motor, close ratio steering box, adjustable rear suspension and is upgrading the braking system. We will be covering this car in person at Sonoma and Laguna Seca later this month along with the Eibach/Hot Wheels BMW 2002 race car.
A little history on #83: It was built in 1970 and converted to an SCCA Improved Touring race car around 1990 along with half dozen ITB cars built during the early 90's by Tom Cleave, owner of Autobahn Rennsport, Marina Del Rey, CA. Initially, the car was the owner's backup car, but in the late 90's he raced the car as #19 at Buttonwillow, Willow Springs, California Speedway, Fontana, and Laguna Seca winning dozens of races and setting class lap records. In 1997 the car was sold to Vincent Reynard who raced it in SCCA as #27 through 2001. He won about a half dozen races and set a couple of lap records himself.
Tom Cleave purchased the car back in 2002 after totaling his car and campaigned it as #19. He raced this car in every SCCA Cal Club regional race from 2002 through 2005. The car won the Regional Race Championships in 2004 (winning every race) and 2005. In 2006 and 2007 the car was put in storage due to the owner's health issues. Tom Cleave returned to racing to win the last three races in 2007 and the Improved Touring B Championship in 2008. By the end of 2008, the car was put into storage as the class had dwindled from 25+ cars to 5 or 6!
It wasn’t until early March 2015 that Keith Lippiatt purchased the car. From March through May 2015 the car went through a ground-up restoration by Tom Cleave (original owner) and Ken Blasko (BMW Vintage Racing) preparing it for VARA and SVRA vintage racing. Since completion, Lippiatt has raced about 16 races in #83 with VARA at Button Willow and Willow Springs; SVRA Historic Motorsports Festival at Sonoma (2016 & 2017); Rolex Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion (2016) and Monterey Laguna Seca Spring Classic (2017).
Tom Cleave racing the #19 2002 thru 2008
Into storage in 2008
#19 pulled from storage in 2015 and sold to Keith Lippiatt
Racecar undergoes ground up restoration
May 2015 - #83 is ready to race
Add some BMW M series stripes
The Application of Pig Cheeks and paint