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, April 29, 2012

Last Seen Wearing: 1981 323i Chicken Saw Oregon 2007

Ok, Baurhunters.  I was surfing through r3vlimited today and I came across this Baur from September 2007.

Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find this Baur!  :)  I have attached some clues below.... it bears a remarkable resemblance to conkitchen's white Baur, which he transformed into the car that is now docjohn's in Arizona!

Stay tuned!

posted by funkmast in r3vlimited

Look at what is parked in the background!

RARE RARE - 81 323i baur - full zender kit and recaros

Feel free to cross-post to an E21 board... I dont know of any...


1981 323i Baur convertible --PROJECT CAR--

This is a very VERY rare car. It is rare to find E21 323i's, and it is rare to find E21 Baur's. To find an E21 323i Baur, is nearly unheard of.

This is a project car, and deserves to be put back on the road.
Clear title.
Will part out if no takers (would be a shame)

*Full authentic zender kit (airdam, side skirts, rear skirt)
*euro bumpers in good condition
*2.7L M20 (not hooked up)
*5 speed trans
*150k on chassis
*no diff
*15" fittipaldi reps available, comes with bottlecap wheels
*dash is cracked, recaros have been recovered (and need it again)
*top has some tears

$2000 obo
Attached Images

That can't be this car, can it?  Look at those wheels!  The quarter panel has a marker on it, and I believe conkitchen's car had square headlights, at some point.   Two white baurs in Oregon with similar wheels?   Hmmm.  :)   Quite a coincidence, at the very least!!   ;)
this car was also in Oregon, purchased by conkitchen and brought to CA, now owned by docjohn Arizona.  Here is a comment by conkitchen:
 " It came with no BAUR identification due in part to the front end having been completely replaced. The only remaining evidence of ever having been a real TC1 (non 323) was some of the euro parts, roof assembly, plus the two rivet holes for the euro spec ID tag (not baur tag) on the passenger side were evident. Otherwise, the VIN comes up as a 1979 US model. "
Further: "For all I know perhaps the roof and parts were adapted from a totaled baur onto a 320i. But when and by whom for what reason, and why not keep the BAUR tag etc...?  It is a real baur top."
Here is some other info:

Preliminary theory:  Two different white E21s were in Oregon; one was the 1981 Baur with Fittipaldi wheels.  The second car was a 1979 US Spec E21.  The first car is listed as a 1981 323i, with a 2.7L stroker (not hooked up??) and no diff.

The 1981 Baur was perhaps wrecked, and salvaged with parts from the white 1979 non-Baur US model, and the 1979 VIN was used to register it.  Look closely:  The paint on the driver's front quarter panel and driver's door does not match the paint on the rear quarter panel. 

The car has been transformed again since the above pics were taken.  Front panels were again replaced with red panels, and the rear quarter panel was repainted.  Confused yet?  :)

I want to emphasize that the above is just a theory.  It is pure speculation on my part that may have no relation to the reality of the car whatsoever.  Kind of an interesting theory, though.

Stay tuned!

Friday, April 27, 2012

1968 BMW 2002 Turn Your Hymnals to 2002–David E. Davis Jr. Blows His Mind on the Latest from BMW.

"To my way of thinking, the 2002 is one of modern civilization's all-time best ways to get somewhere sitting down. "  David E. Davis

Dedicated to TomD of bimmerforums who led me to it--------Ed. Baurspotting

This article belongs in the Pantheon of Great Car Articles

1968 BMW 2002

Turn Your Hymnals to 2002–David E. Davis Jr. Blows His Mind on the Latest from BMW.

Originally published in Car and Driver magazine in April 1968.
As I sit here, fresh from the elegant embrace of BMW's new 2002, it occurs to me that something between nine and ten million Americans are going to make a terrible mistake this year. Like dutiful little robots they will march out of their identical split-level boxes and buy the wrong kind of car. Fools, fools! Terrible, terrible, I say. Why are you blowing your money on this year's too-new-to-be-true facelift of the Continental / Countess Mara / Sprite / Sprint Status Symbol / Sting Ray / Sex Substitute / Mainliner / Belair / Newport / Overkill / Electra / Eldorado / Javelin / Toad / GTO / GTA / GTB / GTS / GTX / Reality Blaster / Variant / Park Lane / Park Ward / Ward-Heeler / XK-E / Dino / Dud car when you should be buying a BMW 2002, I ask.
Down at the club, Piggy Tremalion and Bucko Penoyer and all their twit friends buy shrieking little 2-seaters with rag tops and skinny wire wheels, unaware that somewhere, someday, some guy in a BMW 2002 is going to blow them off so bad that they'll henceforth leave every stoplight in second gear and never drive on a winding road again as long as they live.
In the suburbs, Biff Everykid and Kevin Acne and Marvin Sweatsock will press their fathers to buy HO Firebirds with tachometers mounted out near the horizon somewhere and enough power to light the city of Seattle, totally indifferent to the fact that they could fit more friends into a BMW in greater comfort and stop better and go around corners better and get about 29 times better gas mileage.
Mr. and Mrs. America will paste a "Support Your Local Police" sticker on the back bumper of their new T-Bird and run Old Glory up the radio antenna and never know that for about 2500 bucks less they could have gotten a car with more leg room, more head room, more luggage space, good brakes, decent tires, independent rear suspension, a glove box finished like the inside of an expensive overcoat and an ashtray that slides out like it was on the end of a butler's arm—not to mention a lot of other good stuff they didn't even know they could get on an automobile, like doors that fit and seats that don't make you tired when you sit in them.
So far as I'm concerned, to hell with all of 'em. If they're content to remain in the automotive dark, let them. I know about the BMW 2002, and I suspect enthusiasts will buy as many as those pink-cheeked Bavarians in their leather pants and mountain-climbing shoes would like to build and ship over here. Something between nine and ten million squares will miss out on this neat little 2-door sedan with all the cojones and brio and elan of cars twice its size and four times its price, but some ten thousand keen types will buy them in 1968, so the majority loses for once.
The 2002 is BMW's way of coping with the smog problem. They couldn't import their little 1600 TI, because their smog device won't work on its multi-carbureted engine. So they stuffed in the smooth, quiet 2-liter (single carburetor) engine from the larger 2000 sedan and—SHAZAM—instant winner!
To my way of thinking, the 2002 is one of modern civilization's all-time best ways to get somewhere sitting down. It grabs you. You sit in magnificently-adjustable seats with great, tall windows all around you. You are comfortable and you can see in every direction. You start it. Willing and un-lumpy is how it feels. No rough idle, no zappy noises to indicate that the task you propose might be anything more than child's play for all those 114 Bavarian superhorses.
Depress the clutch. Easy. Like there was no spring. Snick. First gear. Remove weight of left foot from clutch. Place weight of right foot on accelerator. The minute it starts moving, you know that Fangio and Moss and Tony Brooks and all those other big racing studs retired only because they feared that someday you'd have one of these, and when that day came, you'd be indomitable. They were right. You are indomitable.
First stoplight. I blow off aging Plymouth sedan and 6-cylinder Mustang. Not worthy of my steel. Too easy. Next time. Big old 6-banger Healey and '65 GTO. GTO can't believe I'm serious, lets me get away before he opens all the holes and comes smoking past with pain and outrage all over his stricken countenance. Nearly hits rear-end of truck in panicky attempt to reaffirm virility. Austin-Healey a different matter. Tries for all he's worth, but British engineering know-how and quality-craftsmanship not up to the job. I don't even shift fast from third to fourth, just to let him feel my utter contempt.
Nobody believes it, until I suck their headlights out. But nobody doubts it, once that nearly-silent, unobtrusive little car has disappeared down the road and around the next bend, still accelerating without a sign of the brake lights. I learn not to tangle with the kids in their big hot Mothers with the 500 horsepower engines unless I can get them into a tight place demanding agility, brakes, and the raw courage that is built into the BMW driver's seat as a no-cost extra.
What you like to look for are Triumphs and Porsches and such. Them you can slaughter, no matter how hard they try. And they always try. They really believe all that jazz about their highly-tuned, super-sophisticated sports machines, and the first couple of drubbings at the hands of the 2002 make them think they're off on a bad trip or something. But then they learn the awful truth, and they begin to hang back at traffic signals, pretending that they weren't really racing and all. Ha! Grovel, Morgan. Slink home with your tail between your legs, MG-B. Hide in the garage when you see a BMW coming. If you have to race with something, pick a sick kid on an old bicycle.
But I don't want you to get the notion that this is nothing more than a pocket street racer. The BMW 2002 may be the first car in history to successfully bridge the gap between the diametrically-opposed automotive requirements of the wildly romantic car nut, on one hand, and the hyperpragmatic people at Consumer Reports, on the other. Enthusiasts' cars invariably come off second-best in a CU evaluation, because such high-spirited steeds often tend to be all desire and no protein—more Magdalen than Mom.
CU used to like the VW a lot, back when it was being hailed as the thinking man's answer to the excesses of Detroit, but now that the Beetle has joined Chevrolet at the pinnacle of establishment-acceptance, it's falling from CU's favor. But the BMW 2002 is quite another matter. It is still obscure enough to have made no inroads at all with the right-thinking squares of the establishment. It rides like a dream. It has a surprising amount of room inside. It gets great gas mileage. It's finished, inside and out, like a Mercedes-Benz, but it doesn't cost very much. All those qualifications are designed to earn the BMW a permanent place in the Consumer hall of fame. But for the enthusiasts—at the same time, and without even stepping into a phone booth to change costume—it goes like bloody hell and handles like the original bear. No doubt about it, the BMW 2002 is bound to get Germany back into the CU charts, to borrow a phrase from the pop vernacular. 
If it wasn't already German, I'd be tempted to say it could be as American as Mom's apple pie or Rapp Brown's carbine. Not American in the same sense as the contemporary domestic car, with all its vast complexity andnouveau riche self-consciousness, but American in the sense of Thomas Edison and a-penny-saved-is-a-penny-earned and Henry Ford I (before his ego overloaded all the fuses and short-circuited his mind and conscience). The 2002 mirrors faithfully all those basic tenets of the Puritan ethic on which our Republic was supposedly based. It does everything it's supposed to do, and it does it with ingenuity, style, and verve.
In its unique ability to blend fun-and-games with no-nonsense virtue, this newest BMW also reflects another traditional American article of faith—our unshakable belief that we can find and marry a pretty girl who will expertly cook, scrub floors, change diapers, keep the books, and still be the greatest thing since the San Francisco Earthquake in bed. It's a dream to which we cling eternally, in spite of the fact that nobody can recall it ever having come true. But, as if to erase our doubts, along comes an inexpensive little machine from Bavaria that really can perform the automotive equivalent of all those diverse domestic and erotic responsibilities, and hope springs anew.
I'll be interested to see who those 10,000 owners of the 1968 BMW 2002 actually turn out to be. The twits won't buy it, because it's too sensible, too comfortable, too easy to live with. The kids won't buy it because it doesn't look like something on its way to a soft moon-landing and it doesn't have three-billion horsepower. BMW buyers will—I suspect—have to be pretty well-adjusted enthusiasts who want a good car, people with the sense of humor to enjoy its giant-killing performance and the taste to appreciate its mechanical excellence.
They will not be the kind who buy invisible middle-of-the-line 4-door sedans because that's what their friends and neighbors buy, nor will they be those pitiful men/boys who buy cars and use them as falsies for fleshing out baggy jockstraps. Good horses don't like bad riders, and it's doubtful if the 2002 will attract too many of the timid or confused fantasy-buyers. It's too real.
That last phrase is kind of a key to the whole BMW bag. It is too real. For a couple of years now, "unreal" has been a big word with the semi-literate savages of hot rodding. It's supposed to be a high compliment, but it turns out to be an unwittingly incisive comment on the whole metalflake-angel hair-Batmobile scene. LSD is a drag, not a drug, for that group. Gurus like George Barris and Ed Roth were blowing their minds on fiberglass and tuck-and-roll upholstery while the Indians still thought peyote nuts were something you put on chocolate sundaes.
Let me tell you there's nothing unreal about the 2002. Give it a coat of pearlescent orange paint and surround the pedals with lavender angel hair and it would just naturally die of shame. Like a good sheep dog, it is ill-suited for show competition, only becoming beautiful when it's doing its job. It is a devoted servant of man, delighted with its lot in life, asking only that it be treated with the respect it deserves. You can't knock that . . .
The Germans have a word for it. The German paper Auto Bild called the 2002 Flüstern Bombe which means "Whispering Bomb," and you should bear in mind that the German press speaks of bombs, whispering and otherwise, with unique authority. They, too, saw something American in the car's design concept, but only insofar as BMW had elected to stuff a larger, smoother engine into their smallest vehicle.

But that's really pure BMW, when you think about it. The current 2000 series started life in 1962 as a 1500, then it became an 1800 and finally a full two liters—going from 94 to 114 horsepower in the process. The current 1600 was introduced about a year-and-a-half ago, and BMW-ophiles everywhere began to think of that glorious day in the future when the factory would decide to put in the 2-liter engine. Well, sports fans, the glorious day has arrived, and the resulting automobile is everything the faithful could have been hoping for.
The engine cranks out 114 hp at 5800 rpm, and the way it's geared it just seems to wind forever—it'll actually turn 60 mph in second, and an easy 80 mph in third. Top speed (which doubles as cruising speed) is a shade over a hundred, and nothing in the chassis, running gear, or engine ever gives the impression that it's being worked too hard. It's like effortless, no kidding. It couldn't come down the side of a mountain any more gracefully if Gower Champion choreographed the whole trip.
Maybe the neatest part of the whole deal is the fact that the 2002 was originally proposed as a kind of second-choice, American anti-smog version of the wailing 1600 TI they were selling in Germany, but the second-choice version turns out to be better than the original. The 2002 is faster 0-60, and faster at the top end as well. Not to mention the fact that it's a whole lot smoother and quieter.
How they can do all that good stuff and then screw it up with one of those incredible Blaupunkt radios is a little hard to imagine, but that's what they did. The rule with Blaupunkt and Becker seems to be, "The Bigger and More Complicated and Expensive Our Radios Are, The Lousier The Reception." The 2002 had a lovely-looking AM/FM affair neatly slipped into its console—easily a hundred-and-fifty bucks worth of radio—and I couldn't pick up a Manhattan station from the far end of the Brooklyn Bridge. Honestly. It was maybe the dumbest radio anybody ever stuck in an automobile, like all Blaupunkt and Becker radios, yet the German car makers—for reasons unknown—continue to use them.
It's a great mystery. Motorola, Bendix, Delco, and Philco can all sell you foolproof, first-class radios for about 75 bones—the Japanese can knock one off for about 98 cents—but the best German car radio you can buy throws up its hands in despair if you expect it to pull in a station more than three-quarters of a mile away.
Fortunately, the BMW is fast enough that you can keep picking up new stations as the old ones fade away. What you really want to do in this case, though, is install a good domestic stereo tape system. Maybe a little kitchen, too. The car is nice enough that you'll probably want to spend an occasional weekend in it—especially when you're fighting with your wife, or there's nothing good on television.
A final word of advice. The crazy-mad little BMW 2002 is every bit as good as I say it is—maybe better. If the 1600 was the best $2500 sedanC/D ever tested, the 2002 is most certainly the best $2850 sedan in the whole cotton-picking world. Besides the model-number was increased by 25%, but the price increase for the larger engine only amounted to 14%, and if that ain't a fair deal . . .
Feel free to test-drive one, but please don't tell any of those ten million squares who are planning to buy something else. They deserve whatever they get. Now turn your hymnals to Number 2002 and we'll sing two choruses of Whispering Bomb . ..

Car and Driver 1968.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

1979 BMW 323i From Jalopnik: Nice Price or Crack Pipe?

Thanks to E21 bimmerforums member roverclassic for this link today!

Check this out from Jalopnik:: What do you think.... go to the site and vote!  

Jalopnik:  Nice Price or Crack Pipe?

For $4,500, Be Three, White, And E21

A palindrome is a word or phrase that reads the same both forwards and backwards - for example never odd or even. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe E21 is novel in the U.S. as its a 323i which is both even and odd as well as palindromic. The question is, which way will you go on its price?
I was shocked - SHOCKED I tell you - at all the haterade guzzled at the expense of the B-series engine and the LoCost Seven itself yesterday. Dudes and Dudettes, the MG 1800 is a solid citizen of a motor and can produce gobs of power for not all that much bank. Still, that vitamin B was seen as a pox of the house of home built and the Seven came away with a solid 65% Crack Pipe loss. Apparently that many of you equate this car's Lotus position with being bent over.
Okay, a couple of weeks back I made you all a promise that we would be taking a break from German cars. Well, today the embargo has been lifted. Can I get a halleluja? Here we have a 1979 BMW E21 Coupe, from Germany. Big whoop you might say, that generation of 3-series being - in America at least - one of the least desirable, having been the recipient of an underachieving version of BMW's M10 four cylinder. That engine, when saddled with the then new-fangled emissions controls, could only muster 100-hp back in '79.
For $4,500, Be Three, White, And E21
This car is different however. Your first clue should be the thin Snidley Wiplash mustache bumpers where you'd normally expect to find massive oxidizing rubber snood-surrounded aluminum beams. Then there's the badging - on both trunk lid and forward-canted grille - which read 323i. That extra 3 means this car sports not the M10 but the six cylinder M20, which was good for 143 ponies when Carter was in office.
The 323i was the top model back then, and as Europe typically likes to deny America its finest, one that was never offered here. According to the ad, this one was privately imported and federalized way back in 1980. Not only that but the seller claims to have all the maintenance records dating back to that year, as well as mason jars filled with his own urine and three decades worth of toenail clippings stuffed in pillowcases.
Okay, so I made up the pee and pillowcase bits, but the OCD oil change and tire rotation records are a good thing, right? Another potentially good thing is the mileage which at 125K is a Mama Bear like not too many to be worn out and not too few for everything to be shriveled up from lack of use. The exterior looks to be in pretty good shape for any number of miles, and sports a set of period-appropriate turbines. The white paint shows no obvious imperfections in the pictures, and all the trim appears intact. The only potentially questionable element outside might be that (Kamei?) airdam, but even that's open to debate.

Inside, the Recaro passenger seat seems to be in serviceable shape while the driver's throne has gone all Phantom of the Autobahn with a ill-fitting cover potentially highlighting an aria of issues. Other than that the dash looks complete although it's impossible to tell if it is free of cracks - a common problem on cars of this age - and it does have the proper accoutrements of a sport steering wheel and three-pedal footbox. Also the car sports A/C and one of those cool tits-up radio placements.

The seller says that recent maintenance items filling the car's diary include water pump ($), injectors ($$), fuel pump ($$$) and wheels and tires ($$$). That's a lot of $$$ and now it's up to you to determine if the 4500 in $s the seller is asking for this 323i is a good deal or not.
As noted earlier, the E21 never caught on the way the precedent 2002 or following E30 have, and were this the world's nicest 320i I think we'd all agree the seller is in deeper crack territory than Kevin Smith's proctologist. But this one being the grey market but fed-approved 323i raises its interest level significantly. But does it raise it enough? What do you think, is $4,500 for this 323i fair enough for you to choose Nice Price when you rise to vote, sir? Or, is that enough for you to say madam, I'm Adam, and that's Crack Pipe?
You decide!

Nice Price or Crack Pipe: 1979 BMW 323i for $4,500.
Denver Craigslist or go


Now also on Bring a Trailer (BaT)! Check out the comments!

Euro 1979 BMW 323i

This 1979 BMW 323i was gray-market imported in 1980, and has full documentation ever since. We love these 6-cylinder E21′s, and this one also has our preferred Alpina-style 15′s and a white/black combo that is better than the plethora of browns and golds that so many still wear. Find it here on Craigslist in Boulder, Colorado for $4500.
1979 BMW 323i Euro For Sale

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Please observe Bring a Trailer's commenting rules.

  1. Absolutely love these 323s. Back in the day, I had an ’80 320i, but this is the car I really wanted. This one looks really clean and the documented history is a bonus.
  2. I also had a 320i, with an aftermarket turbo kit; after a string of 2002′s. Would have loved to have a 323 back then. Nice example, with a fair price.
  3. This is a fantastic car at a fantastic price. Easy to modify handling and a perfect size that tosses around easily. I love these 323s. Mine had 88k Km on it and had double that left in it easily, even after being raced a bit.
  4. Lovely and a good price!
  5. A grey market e21 323 is a dream car of mine. No $4500 unfortunately…
  6. Matt (from Sweden)
    Now see, this is major bang for the buck when 2002 prices have gone through the roof. I don’t care what you purists say, this is a better car with a sexier engine! 25% limited slip differential helped to keep 143BHP to the ground.
    Ok, not quite as handsome as the 2002 but still a lot of car for that money. I say get ‘em now before they too go through the roof.
  7. Memories…. The second car I owned was a 320i dropped about 1-1/2″ w Foha air damn, loved that car.. I later moved out to Seattle to go commercial fishing.. When I got back from Alaska all I had on my mind was “cars”.. There was an area north of Seattle that had more used car lots than a person would know what to do with; myself included, this 10mile section of road was pure gold.. That’s where I stumbled across it, an original 79 323i 4spd, slate grey, black leather, alpina look rims, 4 bbl carb, headders.. I saw it across 4 lanes of of highway, the deal was done w the first wet road test drive, talk about 2ndarys kicking in…! $2500 in 1994, the car was absolutly the most fun I’ve ever had driving on the street.. Great price, someone snap that beauty up!!
  8. Great car for really decent money. This would be cool with a 3.5L out of E24 M6 or E28 M5…wicked! I bet it bolts up too.
  9. That just happens to be my tax refund…
  10. Matt (from Sweden)
    @Slow N Rusty,
    The Hartge H3S 335i had the 3.5 from the 635CSi so yes, it bolts right in.
  11. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an E21 in the U.S. in anything other than gold or brown. Or maroon. Wheels are great, but seeing a dual exhaust on this is jarring. I’m sure I could get used to it.
  12. Add me to the list of people who drove a slightly tuned 320i years ago but lusted for the 6-cyl. I even relocated the rear license plate.
  13. Reminds me of my 77 320 (not i). Non fuel injected–mechanically same as a 2002, euro spec car with owner’s manual in Spanish! Was originally shipped to El Salvador then imported here somehow. It was a great car. Sold many years ago for $1500
  14. Matt (from Sweden)
    Personally I’d love to get my hands on one of these:
  15. The dual exhaust is funky, but the sound is wild and distinct.
    A much better buy than a 2002.
  16. I have a 2002 right now. And an 1800TI. Seems like every mod you consider requires sacrificing a 320! (motor upgrade, 5 speed, seats, brake drums). So, how long has it been since you saw a really nice, clean 320? I think I am agreeing with Matt(from Sweden) that these are going to shoot way up in price and be hard to find a good one!…hmmm?
  17. @PBL: I could be corrected but I’m pretty sure dual exhaust was standard on the E21 323i.
    @Doug M: This is a 323i not the 320i that we were subjected to stateside.
    In the late 80s a friend of mine had a Hartge 323i and he order a distributor for it from Germany. When the distributor got here we discovered it was the wrong one. I still have that distributor. If someone wants/needs an 0237302038 PGFUD6 I have one on the shelf.
  18. Could've would've should've
    Buy it
  19. When I had my 320i I found a 323 with a fried engine in a junkyard in Austin, TX. Several hot afternoons later, my car had rear discs, a rare steering wheel and a limited-slip! Yeah, I miss that one.
  20. That exhaust looks like it was lifted from a zimmer golden spirit…
  21. Great find and not a bad price really, if it checks out as clean as you hope then its a good deal.
  22. The dual exhaust is funky, but the sound is wild and distinct.
    A much better buy than a your average 2002.
  23. I would want verification that the head was not cracked, even at the modest asking price, as these early mini-six’s were renowned for it. I had two 323′s, both with cracked heads.
  24. to Slow N Rusty and Matt from Sweden, the M30 is a larger engine than the 2.3, the 2.3 is called the baby six, think engines from the 325 of the 80′s. It would take some modification to install one of these M30, I have seen some 325 engines installed in a couple of 2002′s.
  25. Cheap, but still expensive by e21 standards!
  26. I’ve owned a gray market 323i. Much different than the 320i with a nice, smooth, torquey motor. The K-Jetronic injection can be expensive to fix. Like all 02s and 320is, rust is the enemy, particularly in the rear shock towers. They can be squirrely in the wet, but a really fun car to drive. NP.
  27. This car will be gone by day’s end….if it is not already.
    If it was anywhere in the southeast US it would be in my driveway this weekend!
  28. The hot setup was to find an ’88 super-ETA engine from an ’88 528e or 325 (the 325e was called the 325 for ’88 only) and put a ported ’87-91 325i head onto it. The one-year only ’88 eta engine was a 2.7 with seven crank bearings instead of 3, and lent itself for quick spins to 7K RPM easily.
    That bolts right into the E21 323i, as it shares the same M20 block as the 325e, 528e, & E30 325i.
    Anyway, beautiful E21, I just find myself preferring the ’80-83 dashboard and 5-speed.
  29. Absolutely agree these are unfairly overlooked by the enthusiasts. At that price it would be a great daily driver.
  30. I’ve had a couple of 320′s in the past. They were good buys 15 years ago.(parts were cheap and they were easy to work on) I also think they’re better cars than the early 318′s that replaced them.; had a couple of those too.(meh). I haven’t seen a 320 in forever. The last one I recall was an unfortunate victim of teenager, pep boys hackery awfulness I saw maybe 10 years ago. I wouldn’t mind having another, but they’ve disappeared. I can imagine that an additional 40 plus hp would make this a lot more fun to drive but I doubt the parts would be as affordable or that it would be as easy to work on.
  31. why is this car still for sale?? are you guys sleepin?
    what fun this car would be…get ppl to underestimate you cuz it’s “just a 320i” and then drop the hammer on em in the twisties.
  32. So refreshing to see what appears to be a very decent car at a good price, that the collectors haven’t quite caught up to yet. Grab this while ye may!
  33. Like some of the other members here, I had a 320i – a Resedagrun 1977. I bought it through a Michigan dealer who was bringing them in from Windsor, Ontario. The dealer was taking advantage of an overstock of cars and a premium (in 1979) on the US dollar.
    I was completely enamored by Paul Braq’s design and the styling ques incorporated into the E21 design from the Turbo showcar.
    Ultimately, the car was a disappointment — electrical problems, dealer warranty service problems, etc. Even though exceedingly well-cared for, it never brought me the satisfaction of my ’69 2002.
    I drove it on an open course event at my home track, (Grattan, Michigan) and was sneered at by the attending 2002 owners who talked about the tail-happy handling and front end shimmy.
    Right now, I’ve a line on a very nice 320is in Hennarot that could be had for sensible money out here in San Francisco, but my fondest wish would be to resurrect a 1979 323i 5-speed that’s languishing in the back lot of a body shop near SFO.
    With 2002 prices as silly as they are, I believe the E21s, especially at these low price points, will soon become the darlings of the “high-performance for low dollars” crowd.
    Sign me up.
  34. I like these a lot. I think I’d rather have this than a 02. If it checks out, some new owner is going to be very happy.
    Agree this will be gone soon. Try to find another one…..
  35. @Matt (from Sweden)
    “Personally I’d love to get my hands on one of these:” What, a stocky Fräulein in a green shirt or the BMW?
  36. Love it. Those dual exhausts can’t be factory though?
    Anyway, great bang for the buck, especially considering all the little extras (Alpinas, air dam, nice steering wheel, etc.)
  37. The only thing I’d do to this is shorten up the tail pipes, and put on chrome tips.
  38. Matt (from Sweden)
    I’m married so the correct answer is probably ‘neither’. But I meant the BIMMER! There, I said it.
  39. I had one of these with in the early nineties with a 2.8 litre six, close ratio five speed and limited slip differential. That was the most fun car I have ever had. I regret getting rid of it. This car reminds me of that.
    The dual exhaust on this car is from the factory. The 15 inch Alpina wheels are also worth quite a abit.
    I agree, this will soon be a collector car.
  40. e21 323′s did indeed have dual exhaust from the factory. If you look closely, you can see the original chrome tips which appear to be installed well aft on the steel pipes. I agree with a few of the comments above, even when correct, the factory exhaust needs to be shortened to just an inch or two past the lower valence.
    Regarding the popular ‘eta’ stroker swap – its the cam bearings in the ‘eta’ 2.7, not the crank bearings, that are three in number. All M20 bottom ends have 7 main bearings.
    I’ve had a couple of these cars, my current being a ’81 with extensive suspension mods. They are still largely forgotten, but heaps of fun.
  41. Be aware: post 75 greymarket means tough to register in CA!
    CA folks: don’t buy!
  42. Drove my boss’s 320i a good bit back in the day…compared to the 74 2002 I’d driven for many many miles, the 320 handled OK but sounded/felt much rougher overall, with the front end shimmy Delia mentioned, plus a very buzzy shifter and uninspiring engine note. The newer car seemed like a retrograde step.
    Stuffing a straight 6 into same shell should do wonders. Dual exhausts to play proper music. No doubt there’s lots of suspension tweaks and updates that would transform the car as well.
  43. Dual exhausts are factory fitment on the 323i. Not with those aftermarket tips though.
    This is the way the E21 is designed to look, and really the car we should have gotten as a model family upgrade to the anemic 320i.
    I’m surprised this car is still FS. Given the crazy prices for nice, well-sorted E30′s this car should be gone by now. (Former owner of a pristine, show winning alpenweiss E30 325is here.)
  44. After lurking at BaT for months now, I have to speak up and let you all know how much I *love* reading your comments. Such a depth of knowledge here, it’s just amazing. I especially like to read comments on cars that I might not be particularly interested in… by the time I am done reading the comments, I am sometimes checking my garage space and thinking if I shuffled this car sideways.. I could fit it in. Keep up the great comments!
  45. this car is terrific, small, rwd, beautiful engine sound, classic design that puts in shame many cars of today. besides for that prize what other car could you get?
    Its the perfect compromise between classic looks and modern ergonomics, the driving position is perfect.
    some minor mods in the suspension turn this little car into go-kart mode. Most rewarding car ever owned, always regret selling it.
  46. Like many BMW enthusiasts, I view the E21 as a ‘tweener in the middle of the classic 2002 and the more modern E30. Or, in my case, a parts source for swapping an E30 motor into a 2002.
    That doesn’t mean E21s aren’t nice cars, though, and the six sets this one apart. I’ve seen these registered in CA, although I’ve got no clue on the nuts and bolts of that.
  47. @ Gael b:
    I agree Californians would be better served to buy a local car with a previous CA registration and CARB sticker.
    Hardy & Beck of Berkeley, CA, modified a number of these cars back in the day and it’s likely they’ve kept records of all the the cars and upgrades… a proven method to make the M20-six pass smog.
    At the moment I can think of two 323i examples and two 320i Baur cabriolets that are in the process of restoration out here in San Francisco, so it *is* possible, though not necessarily economical, to build a street-legal California-legal 323i.
    Would make a wicked track/autocross car, too!
    I’m also pretty sure there’s a smog-able M20 that would bolt right in…lord knows there’s enough e30 donor cars out here…
  48. Check out the Roy Lichtenstein 320i Turbo race Art Car. Inspiring.
    Also, with 143hp on tap for the 323i M20 motor, it always makes me think what an amazing evolutionary jump it was to the M42 in the 318is E30. 1.8L 4cyl with 136hp on tap – plus less weight.
    For those interested, Andrew Everrett’s E30 3-Series Restoration Bible offers the definitive how-to guide for creating a junkyard 2.8L stroker motor. For the white glove types, Ireland Engineering sells a kit.
  49. A fellow I knew in Pittsburgh had one of these, which I believe he bought from a fellow in Colorado. I loved the look, and it could certainly get around an autocross course with alacrity, but I’d be inclined to look for a 325is E30 for the same money.
  50. This car with the 6 and Euro bumpers makes for a very different looking and performing car then the USA 320i. I would consider replacing my 02 with this, and the dollars seem about right. If it was in my back yard I would be very tempted.
  51. Bring a tubing cutter.
    Never got into Bimmers, I appreciate them and all but just never went there. If I was on the hunt for a BMW I would be looking for one of these. Baby six in this baby 3series must be a blast. Really love these, looks like a great car for 4500. Funny how a car like this does more for me then other cars costing 10x more.
  52. The dual exhaust on mine ended in ovals and shorter. The Ronals looked great too…
  53. Amen Shanon, they don’t make um like they use to..
  54. Nice car.
    Mirrors don’t match.
    Worth the money.
  55. As silly as this sounds, I wouldn’t buy it until the owner proved to me that all of the wheels come off. Over time, corrosion “welds” them to the hubs and it makes a real mess getting them off.
  56. @PaulP:
    Being from Michigan (I escaped in 2006), I understand the problem with aluminum wheels, steel rotors and road salt.
    I’ve had to resort to a number of workarounds to get wheels off, including loosening or removing lugnuts and taking a hot lap around the block to break the wheels away from the rotors or brake drums.
    Of course, that depends on whether the lugnuts (or in this case, lugbolts) can be loosened.
    In the rust belt, anti-seize is your friend.
  57. In Ohio I use anti- seize on the studs and on the back of the wheels where they touch the hub. Even then I take the hot lap after loosening all of the nuts a few threads.