Nice Bits Attached: 1982 BMW 320is

Although it’s been far too long since the last update on my project 1980 BMW 320/6, I hope to have some news to share soon! In the meantime, this find from Barn Finds reader Mike F. will have to do, as he’s spotted a rough-but-intact 1982 BMW 320i with the factory Sport package here on craigslist with no price listed. 

This generation of the 3-Series was sandwiched between the analog 2002 and the well-balanced E30 platform of the late 80s through early 90s. This version, known to BMW faithful as the E21 platform, had been unloved for years for being bookended by these two production phases. But lately, the ugly ducking of the 3-Series family has enjoyed more popularity as being a more comfortable 2002 or an E30 that’s closer to its roots.

The seller is correct to point that many of the parts unique to BMW’s Sport package are still attached, which is impressive considering how easily those items were lost, damaged or stolen. In the case of this generation of the 3-Series, the Sport package included a deep front air dam, limited-slip rear, sport steering wheel and Recaro seats. Most of these items are still accounted for, amazingly, even the Recaros that are stored elsewhere but pictured.

The seller also mentions a second E21 that he has for sale and is not nearly as interesting as the silver car. The ’82 example could undergo a sensible cosmetic restoration and be an absolute hoot to drive (once you figure out an apparent issue with the fuel injectors). Equipped with the Sport package bits, these early 3-Series will put a smile on the face of anyone who likes roads that bend. Is that you?


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  1. rando

    The last BMW I really liked. Ok , the 635 was nice too. All descendents of the 2002 and 3.0 coupes.

  2. Woodie Man

    I see six more in the background including a couple of 02’s….sweet! No price is worrisome. :)

  3. MikeG

    A friend of mine imported a 323 (6cylinder), from Europe in College and went through all of the us dot conversions and tweaks that it took to get it legal. Low mileage, beautiful and pretty quick car. Only had it a couple of years before he got T-boned. What a bummer that was!!

  4. Will

    I test drove one in fort Peirce Fla once. The salesman made me let him pull it off the lot. He went a couple of blocks and I was starting to get a little irked with the guy. He then pulled off the road into a large quarry and proceeded to go into some very aggressive drifting on dirt. After a minute or two he stopped and said ” Now you know what it’ll do. Have fun”. I ran it hard for about ten minutes on what was basically a dirt rally track. It was great.

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