There’s a wise old saying that warns not to propose marriage to a woman until you’ve met her mother. What if potential MIL is out of the country for an extended period, and you’re in a hurry? You could do what I did in 1977: look in the garage to see what she drives. There I found a BMW 2002 stashed securely away. And it wasn’t an automatic either. It’s all I needed to know: “Stephanie, will you marry me?” If the 1979 Firebird Trans Am was a living dinosaur, than what was the little mammalian creature scurrying about underfoot that would eventually take its place, and revolutionize the performance car segment? The answer is indisputably the BMW 2002. In the US, the original Honda Civic revolutionized the small car, and the 1976 Accord was the most influential modern car, defining the ubiquitous FWD configuration and capabilities for their respective classes. And the little boxy BMW joins them on the podium, creating and defining a class that has largely replaced the muscle cars of yore. And in the process, it no less than vaulted its maker from relative obscurity to the top of the premium car segment? Who in 1966 would have thunk that would happen? Absolutely nobody. BMW was jus...