1982 BMW 323i (E21)

EN­GINE 2316cc/6-cyl/OHC POWER 141bhp@6000rpm TORQUE 140lb ft@4500rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 118mph 0-60MPH 9.5sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 26-32mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, three-speed auto MoT 12 months ODOME­TER 57,092 miles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

BMWs have long been renowned for their silky-smooth straight-six en­gines, and this E21 is no dif­fer­ent. It fires into life with no con­cern­ing rat­tles, idles qui­etly and cruises ef­fort­lessly, emit­ting a nicely fruity noise un­der load thanks to an af­ter­mar­ket twin-pipe stain­less steel ex­haust, which looks no dif­fer­ent from stan­dard. The 323i was the fastest 3 Se­ries, back in the day, too, and its 141bhp can still be felt, de­spite the au­to­matic gear­box. Speak­ing of which, the three-speed auto is re­fined and shows no signs of wear when se­lect­ing gears. Brak­ing is smooth and there is no un­pleas­ant feed­back through the pedal.

BODY­WORK CHECK

The BMW’s body­work is pretty much how it left the fac­tory in 1982. It’s since had a good qual­ity (but sadly un­doc­u­mented) re-spray and has been garaged for the past ten years. All the panels look straight and while there are a few in­con­spic­u­ous stonechips, there are no dents. The BMW mud­flaps are orig­i­nal (and ap­par­ently highly sought-af­ter),

EX­TE­RIOR Paint in very good con­di­tion IN­TE­RIOR Rear seat looks vir­tu­ally un­used ME­CHAN­I­CALS As you’d ex­pect from a sub-60,000mile car

but the 16in BBS wheels, which are in good con­di­tion and shod with match­ing Falken tyres, are clearly af­ter­mar­ket. Hap­pily, the ven­dor still has the car’s orig­i­nal 14-inch BBS wheels. The sus­pen­sion, mean­while, has been re­placed in the last five years, so there are no knocks when go­ing over bumps.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

Ev­ery­thing in here is re­mark­ably orig­i­nal, apart from the ra­dio, though the ven­dor still has the orig­i­nal. The beige seats have worn their 35 years well and have no tears or bro­ken springs. There’s a small crack in the dash­board near the speedome­ter, but not enough to cause any con­fu­sion when read­ing the di­als. The black plas­tic used through­out has very lit­tle no­tice­able wear or sun dam­age. The steer­ing wheel is orig­i­nal and in the sort of con­di­tion that is be­fit­ting of a car that has fewer than 60,000 miles on the clock.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

Open­ing the front-hinged bon­net re­veals some good news – a new bat­tery – and some not so good news – some mi­nor sur­face rust. All the flu­ids are up to their cor­rect lev­els and none left the en­gine dur­ing the test drive. The car comes with a lot of pa­per­work, and an MoT ser­vice his­tory in­di­cat­ing that it has passed ev­ery test since 2011 with no ad­vi­sories.

THE CCW VIEW

This is an al­most mint, lowmileage E21 3 Se­ries. Ev­ery­thing works as it should, it’s cov­ered just 601 miles in the past four years, and has been fas­tid­i­ously main­tained and stored in­doors. The non-orig­i­nal BBS wheels aren’t for ev­ery­one – but tthe ‘proper’ ones have been re­tained fix, and the seller is will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate the price if you don’t want the af­ter­mar­ket set. Mur­ray Scul­lion

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