1979 BMW E21 320 – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

BMW E21 front side BMW E21 front side

Two-owner classic Bimmer, with low-Ks and highly original

For whatever reason, many people often forget about the humble little E21 amongst the expansive and celebrated lineage of BMW’s ubiquitous 3 Series.

Long-overshadowed by its more famous and celebrated contemporary, the E30; as well as the many world-class cars that came after, the E21 holds a special place amongst the Bavarian camp as an evolution of the cult classic BMW 02, and the first BMW 3 Series.

It’s a petite unit with classic three-box proportions, wearing softer curves than its boxier E30 offspring. We’re even charmed by the single headlights placed further outboard of its sharknose snout, something of a hallmark of 80s BMWs.

Engine options originally comprised of a number of rev-happy M10 four-pots: 1.6lt in the 316, a 1.8lt in the 318, and a 2.0lt unite in the 320.


With rack-and-pinion steering, MacPherson struts up front and semi trailing arms at the rear; with a Getrag four-speed manual (Getrag five-speed and ZF three-speed auto as options) in the middle; the E21 was an attractive package for keen drivers at the time.

This silver E21 is a 320 model with the biggest available 2.0lt unit available. It’s two-owners from new and highly original.

The listing is scant on details, but it’s said to be meticulously maintained both inside and out, and is a regular at Post Vintage Car Club events.

The seller also points out that it’s an original engine with low ("around 110,000") kilometres.

The car is based in Tasmania and is listed for $14,000.

Check out the full listing here!


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