1978 BMW 320i

Usually the first generation of a particular model is the most revered, however, the first generation 3 series seems to get overlooked in favor of the later E30 and E36 3 series. The 320i never sold in the huge numbers that the E30 did, which could be a reflection of the E21 and its lack of body variants. These first generation 3 series are becoming less and less common and I have to say, I can’t remember the last time I spotted a restored one for sale until I came across this example on eBay yesterday.

The seller states:

Purchased vehicle in May of 2003 from the second Owner who purchased vehicle when it was a few years old. I am the third owner.

Entire engine and body restoration undertaken in 1999. Engine rebuild with complete original documents in posession total $6,022 and performed by Ric Farrar a BMW specialist of Sheltie Motorsports in Portland, OR.

$4,500 original document in possession to strip body to Bare Metal and painted to glorious Canary Yellow by Europa Auto Body of Portland OR in 1999. Lustrous and flawless.

Vehicle is an original US car and spent whole life in Washington State until 2003. I had vehicle transported by Rail to Ontario in the Niagara Region and it has been my Garage Queen since. I have driven it approx 1,200 mi ea summer or 10,000 miles total. Engine & Body rebuild and Restoration took place at 156,752 miles. I have all the original documentation. Current odometer sits at 179,847.

Vehicle is flawless and garners interest and admirerers in all its travels.
During engine and drivetrain rebuild, a decision was made to swap the 4 speed manual to the 5 Speed geartrag which provides overdrive 5th – perfect for highway cruising. Upholstery is original with front passenger seats covered in cool 100% fitted Sheepskin.

This collector vehicle is a delight to drive in the summer as it takes advantage of either a crank tilt or retractable sunroof. If it is too hot simply crank the factory Air Conditioning which Blows Stone Cold! Stereo was replaced with a casette AM/FM radio with two rear mount speakers in addition to two forward.

I have never seen a better 78 Bmw 320i vehicle nor has the vetran appraiser for Classic Auto Appraisals who recently (2007) inspected and appraised vehicle for purpose of insurance and value. Vehicle has been meticulously maintained locally and only modification from stock have been Hi Performance ignition wires, & K&N filter & a cup holder sourced from Bavarian autosport. I need garage space for a new project allowing vehicle to have another owner. Vehicle will not disappoint.

As of writing this, there is about a day left in the auction and bidding is hovering around $6,300 with no reserve. Given rising fuel costs and a desire by some to seek out classics that are simple and cheap to run, the E21’s popularity may finally see itself on an upswing.

-Paul