1982 BMW 323i Baur

1982 BMW 323i Baur
Memorial Day 2010 First Drive 1982 323i BMW Baur Lapisblau M20 5 speed #4154 of 4595 made. The car was imported to California by Dietel Enterprises. I have since changed the wheels, installed the clear turn signal lenses, and I am in the process of installing a new cabriolet roof. I have to do something about those bumpers, too. :) I love this car! To see one of the reasons why, check my post "Score One For the Good Guys" on 6/26/2011.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Baur Odyssey Part I: Alaska to Pasadena CA for Bimmerfest 2010

The Epic 7,000 Mile Journey of Jeff the Intrepid and his Faithful Baur

Readers of this blog, as well as members of the E21 bimmerforums, may well be aware that we have a budding movie star in our midst. Bimmerforums member alaskabimmer (a k a Jeff the Intrepid) performed as an extra in an upcoming movie set for release in February 2012 called THE BIG MIRACLE. It stars John Kasinsky, of The Office, and Drew Barrymore, among others. It was filmed on location in Alaska, and Jeff's Baur also played a role as an extra in several scenes. It is a period movie set in the 1980's, apparently chronicling a real event in which some whales were rescued. I am not privy to the details of the movie, and that, frankly, is beyond our scope here at Baurspotting. We are interested in the Baur!

Jeff has done a great job of keeping us posted on his movie activities in several threads in bimmerforums over the past couple of years, and I will post the links so you can follow his story.

Here is a link to Jeff's thread on the movie:

But what you may not know is that this is not Jeff's first claim to fame. There is a great story that needs to be told about one of his previous exploits: a 7,000 mile round trip Odyssey in his Baur from Anchorage, Alaska to Bimmerfest 2010 in Pasadena California!

In conjunction with Jeff's movie debut this week, BAURSPOTTING will be doing a feature story on Jeff 's (alaskabimmer) fantastic trip to attend Bimmerfest 2010. I think you will agree that it is indeed an amazing story. 3,500 miles one way!

Stay tuned.... it is in the works, and we are labeling it as: A Coming Attraction! ;)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

St. Caswell/Smith’s Day Speech

Thoughts on the Annual dinner meeting with Bill Caswell and Sam Smith:
Photo courtesy of Peter Rossato

St. Caswell/Smith’s Day Speech*
used with permission of William Shakespeare
(Well, it's not like he could say 'No'. )
clr gif*Any resemblance between the following and Shakespeare's St Crispin's Day Speech from HENRY V is purely..... well.... intentional!  ;)  I have no illusions that I could top what is arguably the greatest speech in the English Language, but.... I thought it simply needed a bit of ... tweaking.


Wiley. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men and women in New England
That do no work to-day!

Johnson. What’s she that wishes so?
My cousin Wiley? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to dine, we are enow
To do our Chapter loss; and if to live,
The fewer men and women, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man or woman more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man or woman from New England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Wiley, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this dinner,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not dine in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to dine with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Caswell/Smith.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home through the raging snowstorm,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Caswell/Smith.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Caswell/Smith.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his door prize,
And say “This prize I had on Caswell/Smith’s day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What eats he consumed that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Wiley the Out-going President, Johnson the In-coming President, Jerri Wiley the Mistress of Ceremonies, Antrim and Rich, Hurczyn and Centrella, Rossato and Ortoli-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Caswell/Smith shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters;
For he to-day that shares his meal with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in New England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That dined with us upon Saint Caswell/Smith's Day.



Bill Caswell and Sam Smith at the CT Valley Chapter Annual Dinner January 21, 2012: Part I

Here was the view from my front porch at 9am on 1/21/2012, while we anxiously awaited word on whether the BMWCCA Connecticut Valley Chapter Annual Dinner Meeting, featuring Guest Speakers Bill Caswell and Sam Smith, would go on as planned.  The prediction was for up to 7 inches of snow before ending in the late afternoon. 
9am Snowing 1/21/2012

The dinner was being held at the Grand Oak Villa in Oakville, CT, a distance of some 70 miles from here.  What made things even worse, is that I own TWO BMW 325ix's.... and BOTH are currently out of commission!  Day um!  The 1989 325ix lost its transmission on Thanksgiving Day, and I just picked up a 1991 325ix 5 speed with a bad transfer case!  I bought it knowing the transfer case was bad, and my plan is to end up with at least one 5 speeed ix!  But, since it just arrived a week ago----and because I am NOT Bill Caswell!---- I havent gotten to the project yet.  What a perfect way to arrive at a Bill Caswell event:  driving a 5 speed 325ix 70 miles in a 7 inch snowstorm!  But, alas, it was not meant to be.  So, my son, Brian and I, made the trek rather ignominiously in my my wife's VW Passat 4 Motion Turbo Wagon.  My other son, Andrew, drove down from the northwestern corner of CT in his AWD Subaru Impreza.  Another interesting coincidence, but we will get to that later. 
Anyway, we all arrived safely by the 6 o'clock start of the cocktail hour, despite the weather and road conditions.  Here are some pics taken during the cocktail hour by Brian, when we approached Bill C. to request that he autograph my helmet, dedicating it to my first grandson, three month old Abe.  I had purchased the helmet in 2010 to use in my birthday adventure that year:  a Holeshot Drag Race Competition at Waterford Speed Bowl in my carbureted 1977 E21 320i!  Bill was most accomodating for the autograph, and offered to sign it with a silver Sharpie that he thought he had in his bag, since all I had was a dark sharpie on a dark blue helmet.  He asked for a little while to locate the pen, and 'dont worry, I will be back to sign it."

Sure enough, about an hour later, Bill appeared at our table to sign the helmet, apologizing because he didnt have the pen in his bag after all. He very naturally just pulled up a chair, sat down, signed the helmet, and proceeded, beer in hand, to share stories about himself, Jeremy Renner (the actor scheduled to play Bill Caswell in the upcoming movie), the impending movie, his cars, and other plans he has in the works!  As natural as could be, btw. The guy is just bursting with energy and enthusiasm, friendly, funny.... a fascinating character.  We enjoyed this little chat immensely!

Stay tuned....more to come!!

Pics above courtesy of Andrew and Brian Schuch.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Damn The Torpedoes! Full Steam Ahead! Bill Caswell and Sam Smith!

The Connecticut Valley Chapter (CVC) of the BMWCCA is holding its annual dinner meeting tonight.  Featured Guest Speakers are noted Rally Driver Bill Caswell (above right) and journalist Sam Smith (Roundel columnist, among other credits, above left). I have invited my two sons to join me at the dinner.

Here's the catch: the dinner is 70 miles away for my son, Brian, and I, and about a 40 mile drive from another direction for my son, Andrew. It is now about 9am, the dinner starts at 6pm tonight, and it is snowing like crazy! We are predicted to get up to 7 inches of the white stuff before it ends later this afternoon.


Well, we have been really looking forward to this for about a month now. Should a little ..... Ummm .... inclement weather disrupt our plans? Not bloody likely! Here's why.

Bill Caswell became something of an Internet sensation with the publication of this article, recounting his adventures at the 'Mexico round of the World Rally Championship in a 1991 BMW 318i that he found on Craigslist."  The article was written by Sam Smith. 

That's right, Bill and Sam are the same two guys that will be the guest speakers tonight!   Wait, there's more:
Caswell is currently preparing an ix to run at Sno-Drift 2012.  The video above shows him driving a 1991 318i at the Rally America Sno-Drift 2010. 


For more info on Bill Caswell;

So... what is a little snow when it comes to having the opportunity to meet these two guys up close and personal!!! 

Damn the torpedoes!  :)

Stay tuned!  I will try to do some updates to our snow adventure later today and tonight!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Hits Keep Coming! New Baur In Las Vegas!

Another NEW baur!

Thanks to our friend, Amir Kadric in Las Vegas it appears we have a NEW Baur, not listed in the Baur registry!

Here is his email tonight:
"hey so i was over at the SIN CITY BMW (Las Vegas, NV) and finally had a chance to take some pics of the baur. here they are sorry that they are not that good. He is in the Process of restoring it and once he catches up with everything it will look amazing."

Thanks, Amir!

Brace yourselves, folks.... here come da pics!

A new Baur find, and what looks like a great little shop!  Muchas gracias to Amir for taking the time to track this down and send it to us! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mission Accomplished: FOUR US TC1 Baurs Together!!!!

We did it!  We have been wondering if we could get THREE TC1 Baurs together in one venue.  I can now report to you that we have reached, and actually EXCEEDED that goal!

Well, ok, technically, WE didnt do it.  RYNE did it!  He is now the proud owner of FOUR Baurs!  Wow. Congratulations, Ryne!

Ryne, of course, is 1rdmanahan1 from Texas in bimmerforums, where he is making quite a splash with his black Baur. You may recall this thread:
If you haven't seen that thread..... GO NOW!  Do not pass go, do not collect $200!  Check it out!
OK, so here is his first Baur, He has no Baur number plate on this car, and we are working on trying to track down some information on it. We used a Vin Decoder to find the following:
Chassis number 7455752
Vehicle code 1831
Series E21
Model 323i
Body type saloon
Catalog model ECE
Production date 1981 / 11
Engine M20
Transmission Manual
Steering Left
Catalyzer NONE

Any help in identifying this car is most welcome!
"Hello Tom 
Chassis number 7455752 is Baur number A003670-13
 Uwe "

Woo Hoo!  Big thank you to Uwe at the Baur Registry! :urtheman
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Ryne himself gave me a little background a while back in an email... and I have excerpted it here:
"I’ve been an e21 BAUR fan since 1983 when my friend’s father imported him a 1982 323i BAUR (black) for his first car.  He later sold it to a mutual friend of ours and I purchased it in 1992.  I recently modified the car with a 1998 M Z3 S50B32 motor, six-speed SMG transmission (converted to manual) and differential, VAC Motorsports / JRZ Suspension (front and rear), aluminum fuel cell, 2010 M6 rear bumper cover (modified to fit), 3-piece Gotti wheels (staggered 7.5”x15” and 10”x15”) 1998 M6 front and rear Recaro seats and a few other modifications."
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1/13/2012 8pm Just found this pic and I had to add it here.

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What? You are still here??? Check out that thread!!! It is amazing!  Then come back here for the rest of the story!

Also check out this new blog covering this project:

Here is his SECOND Baur, #A000496-01, a project that he purchased out of Georgia, and is working on (with plans similar to the above, btw):

 It also has an Alpina badge number 3-054.  Not sure what to make of this.  This has been discussed numerous times in bimmerforums.  The issue of an authentic "Alpina Baur' continues to generate some controversy.  The consensus seems to be that Alpina in Buchloe never did an E21 Baur.  However, there were several Alpina dealers, notably "Garage du Bac' in France, among others, that may have added Alpina features to a number of Baurs.  Directly obtaining records from Alpina can be .... problematic.  Stay tuned on this.

Here are a couple of pics from the International Baur Registry of this same car, #496:

Here is his THIRD Baur #4486, which he recently purchased from Florida:

More on this Baur:

OK, that is THREE down.....  one to go.....

I received this email message from Ryne tonight:
"I just received the green Baur from Palm Desert, CA.  Baur number: A00601-01."

Wow!  Hats off to Ryne!  Four Baurs!   Baur Lover Par Excellence!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Million Dollar BMW ... and the Baur Connection


If I understood this correctly, this million dollar BMW was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also was involved in the design of the M1.

"Italdesign Nazca C2 or Italdesign Nazca M12, as has been labeled, was a concept sports car designed in 1991. The car was penned by the famed automotive engineering company Italdesign, and by the great Giorgetto Giugiaro who was also responsible for BMW’s production M1 sports car.
The Nazca M12 was equipped with the Neuromotion FC6 engine from BMW and produced 660 horsepower. The car had a top speed of 185mph. The Italian design house also presented a race-spec version of the car called the Nazca C2 at the 1992 Tokyo Motor Show, followed by a Spyder model in 1993.
Now, one of the Nazca concepts has been put up for sale by a dealer located in the Czech Republic. The 1991 Nazca M12 features an Alpina-prepped 5.7-liter V12 engine (sourced from the 750i / 850i of the era) producing 379 horsepower."


"The M1 coupe was hand-built between 1978 and 1981 under the Motorsport division of BMW as a homologation special for sports car racing. The body was designed by Giugiaro, taking inspiration from the 1972 BMW Turbo show car. Originally, BMW commissioned Lamborghini to work out the details of the car's chassis, assemble prototypes and manufacture the vehicles, but Lamborghini's financial position meant that BMW reassumed control over the project in April 1978, after seven prototypes were built. Only 456 production M1s were built, making it one of BMW's rarest models. The spirit of the M1 lived on in the M635Csi and the first-generation M5, which shared the same (though slightly modified) engine.[3]"

"The Giugiaro-designed M1 was to be assembled by Lamborghini, but Lamborghini's poor financial situation and assembly delays caused BMW to move assembly to Baur, the German convertible builders. By the time production resumed, the homologation rules for international Group 5 racing had been changed. Since BMW had not met the required sales figures, the M1 went to the new Procar series instead. By the time BMW had sold enough cars, the M1 was no longer competitive for Group 5 racing. In 1981, David Coward and Kenper Miller won the IMSA GTO category."

So there is the Baur connection. :)

If you enjoyed this car, you may also enjoy this prototype:

TC2 Baur Pics From California

Eliot R. has sent me some new pics of his 1984 323i Baur.  His Baur # is B 42597-13.  He bought the car last year, but immediately discovered some mechanical problems.  He replaced the head gasket and did some work to repair an exhaust manifold, and here you can see the result:   a beautiful white example of the TC2 Baur!  

Congratulations, Eliot, on a fine looking car, and thank you for sharing these pics with us!