1976 BMW 320i Euro-Spec

With the longtime popularity of the 2002 model and the more recent rise of the E30 models as popular tuning and collector platforms, it’s really amazing that the E21 continues to be generally ignored. The ingredients are all there; classic, rear drive platform, small sedan versatility, Paul Bracq design – they’re really perfectly placed as a small coupe with design elements from both the big brother 5 and 6 series. Sure, shipped to the U.S. they were a bit of a wet noodle, with low horsepower and heavier weight than the ’02s they replaced – which, themselves by the end of the run had lost a bit of the original magic. On top of that, as with the end of the run ’02s and all U.S. bound BMWs until 1988 they carried the heavier “diving board” bumpers. Some aren’t bothered by them, but I don’t think anyone will claim that the 5 m.p.h. DOT-mandated bumpers compliment the original designs of Mr. Bracq particularly well. But, as with all European models from this time, seeing a ROW-spec model is always a treat.

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