Tuner Tuesday: 1979 BMW 320i Dinan 4.6

The E21. By far, it is the 3-series we feature least frequently (barring new models). In U.S. trim, it is also by far the least sporting 3-series. But don’t throw the baby BMW out with the bath water, because it’s still a classic BMW, it looks nice and it’s quite affordable relative to some other hyperbolic models.

For one, I really like the E21. I’ve even enjoyed driving a few. Of course, never once did I think when driving one “You know what this needs? A M60 V8.” And certainly, even in the very unlikely scenario that idea sprang into my head, there’s no way I would have said “Right, now, off to Dinan to bump it out to 4.6 liters!”

But, if nothing else, this Golf Yellow example of an extreme E21 dispels the myth that they’re all underpowered?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 BMW 320i Dinan 4.6 on eBay

Year: 1979
Model: 320i Dinan 4.6
Engine: 4.6 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: >24,380
Price: Reserve Auction

Up for grabs is our custom built BMW 3 Series. 4.0 V8 (Dinan tuned to a 4.6) built by Pacific Motorsports in Portland Oregon. If you know Beemer performance then we’re certain you’re familiar with Pacific Motorsports and Dinan.

Suggested build price per Pacific Motorsports exceeds $125,000 but you can purchase it today for much lower.

If you’re looking for the Ultimate Driving Machine that’s as unique as you are and will out run any production car built today; then look no further.


Any questions about the build you can contact Pacific Motorsports directly at 503-232-5545.

This BMW was recently featured at the Mecum Auction. https://www.mecum.com/lots/CA0816-244391/1979-bmw-320i-resto-mod/

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the engine modification this BMW cannot be registered for street use in California.

This 3 Series comes equipped with the following:

BMW 4.6, Dinan tuned from a 4.0

Ireland Engineering Sway Bars

E30 M3 Front and Rear Bumpers

E36 M3 Mirrors

340I badging

17 inch, 3 piece wheels

Brembo Brakes

M5 Differential

Ground Control Coilovers

Clif Design speakers

Polk MOMO Subwoofer

Alpine MRP-F550 Amp

Alpine 7 inch VGA touch screen


Whether you need financing or have a trade Cordy can make it happen. We have plenty of finance options and banks who are competing for your loan. Please contact Cordy directly @ 909-518-7222 for details.


***This BMW 3 Series is worth the afternoon to come and inspect. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED***

It’s a shame that the seller didn’t just lift the Mecum Auction’s much better photos and writeup. I don’t doubt the cost of the build at the best part of $100,000 or more. The workmanship appears top-notch, and even though some aspects – such as the modern wheels and M3 bumpers – are a bit unusual and out of sync with the current vintage-look market, it’s a neat package all in all right down to the very slickly grafted “340i” badge.

Usually these builds are very hard to value, but again Mecum’s recent auction of the car (August, 2016) allows us to know exactly what the market thinks this car is worth – $17,000. It’s a lot of shocking E21 for that money, no doubt, and what appears to be a very well executed swap. However, it’s also unlikely the current seller is going to let it go for that amount. What may even be more unlikely, though, is finding someone to pay more than that right now.


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  1. The color, the body kit, the mirrors, the wheels, that plastic covered lump. They’re all wrong. A tuned E21 should look like an Alpina B6 2.8. This looks hideous. Some folks get vintage cars, this guy doesn’t.

  2. Had a chance to sit in this car exactly one year ago. Build quality is great. Everything looks OEM. This car is not for somebody’s daily driving routines. Year ago he was asking $45k.

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