Monday, November 16, 2009

1978 BMW 320i

The E21 was the first BMW to be called a 3 Series. It set the tone for every 3 Series that followed. This car was the replacement for the aging, but still loved, 2002. It was available only as a 2 door. In Europe it was available as a 316, 318, 320, or 320i model. In the US we got just the 320i as a fuel injected engine was needed to get the car through US emissions regulations.

Replacing the 2002, the car that arguably created the sports sedan market, was no easy task. BMW had to get it right. It did.

The 320i was different from the 2002, whose mission was strictly sport, but what it lacked in pure performance it made up for in sophistication and luxury.

This car is a time capsule. Everything, right down to the little printed shift pattern below the shifter is as it was when new. It's had a lot of work done to it, including a new engine, clutch and transmission.

The E21 320i is not the most exciting 3 Series you can buy, but it's a huge and important piece of BMW's history. The price, $12,980.00 is steep. Honestly, there are a few good used E21s out there for a lot less money, and a gray market 323 is more entertaining, but this is about as close as you'll find to a new 1978 320i in 2009.

Located at Greenwood Automotive in Greenwood Village, CO, click here to see the Craigslist ad.


Richard said...

Funny you should bring up the 320i, I have been hunting around for one of these for a while now. It's very hard to find a decent example that has not been attacked by the tin worm in the US, even in dry & sunny California. That one looks perfect, but the price! Ouch! That's a lot of money for a plain old 320i, its not even the 320is with the sporty seats.

However, as far as BMW prices go, the prize goes to a nice 6 Series on eBay, $250k, might make an interesting blog post!

Just A Car Geek said...

I saw that car this morning and thought it was a typo. I figured he wanted $25,000.

I just looked at the listing again and saw some of the e-mails he's received and his response. He's serious.

$250,000.00???? That's crazy.

greyintheusa said...

Yeah, the smart money's on the eBay 6-series. I'm not sure this 320i is worth it but that 6 is gonna pay off in the long run.