RE: SOTW: E21 BMW 316 / MX-5 sold

RE: SOTW: E21 BMW 316 / MX-5 sold

Friday 2nd October 2009

SOTW: E21 BMW 316 / MX-5 sold

Shed goes back to its roots with the first 3-series - a car that defined an entire genre



Before Chris Bangle came along, BMW styling was simple. Whatever the size or intended market, you'd give it a well-balanced three-box profile, a thrusting shark nose complete with kidney grille, add in the trademark 'Hofmeister kink' on the C-pillar, then put the pen down, with the satisfaction of a job well done. No flame surfacing, no controversial rumps, just variations on an 'if it ain't broke then don't fix it' theme.

The first 3-series - the E21 - was the epitome of this styling approach. And it worked, too. During the course of the first 3-series' production run between 1975 and 1983, BMW factories in Germany, South Africa and Egypt churned out more than 1.3-million E21s, making it the best-selling BMW in history.


In doing so, the smallest BMW helped to define an entire class of car - the compact executive saloon. Now, junior and middle management types could afford a classy, sporty car that looked just like their boss's 5-series.

As you'd expect in a small BMW saloon, the neutral handling, rear-wheel drive, faithful steering and light weight make the E21 a car with track-shed potential, especially if you can find one of the later, fuel injected six-cylinder models.

This 96,000-mile E21 316 isn't one of those, unfortunately. Being a 1982 model, it's one of the last of the line, which is a good thing, but that also means it gets the carburettor-fed 1.8-litre four-cylinder motor that originally started out in the 318.


These engines need to be fed with 98-octane super-unleaded or better and, with just 90bhp, it won't melt tarmac or tyres.

The seller seems to have done his best to mildly spice up his 316, however. The original rear drum brakes have been replaced with discs, there are Spax coil springs and shocks all round.

The car also comes with a heap of spares, and the seller has apparently done plenty of work on it, including replacing the sills. It might not have the 'right' engine, and £1000 is pretty strong money, but E21s have suffered at the hands of the Barry Boys and so they're a pretty rare sight these days. Besides, those magic letters 'o', 'n' and 'o' are present, so we very much doubt you'd have to pay the full grand.


If you want a bit of track fun, or to get your hands on a 'starter' classic, you could do a lot worse.

Advert is reproduced below:

1983 (sic) BMW 316 E21 For Sale, £1,000 ono

I have for sale here my 1982 E21 BMW. It is a 1.8 litre carbie motor with 96,000 miles on the clock.

I have owned her for over 3 years now and have conducted a lot of work with this car including the following:

Replaced both sills, front valance and foot wells
Converted rear brakes to disk brakes and replaced all brake hoses with braided lines.
Replaced front brake disks and pads.
Replaced controlling arms
Fitted spax coil springs and new shocks all round
Replaced carpet with new carpet
Swapped the original Stromberg carbie for a weber 32/36 downdraft carbie (original will come with the car if you want to swap it back).
New tyres (less than 1000 miles on them).

I also have a pile of spares with the car including tubular exhaust header, gaskets, spare head, twin carb set up and other bits and pieces I will include with the sale.

The car is taxed until December and MOTed till June 2010.

SOTW special update: MX-5 sold

Perhaps it's because we've had such a pleasant September, but our little blue Eunos has gone to a loving home barely a week after being on sale - and to the first chap who came to see it.

PH's resident classified guru SimonSaid picked our buyer up from the local train station in the glorious sunshine and, roof down, showed our man around the car. After a little haggling, we let it go for £1100 (we'd been asking £1250).

"I knew we were going to sell it as soon as he arrived. The sun was shining and I had the roof down - perfect MX-5 weather. It was the romance of the situation that sold it."

Perhaps we should get Simon to sell all our cars...

The PH effect: Before...
The PH effect: Before...

 

...after!
...after!

 

Author
Discussion

JayMan

Original Poster:

115 posts

190 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
I like BMWs and have 2 myself but the jury is out on this one.

Its definately a classic and looks good but im not sure it has the 'fun factor'?

Maybe im being harsh?

Frimley111R

15,750 posts

237 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
Blimey! A 2-tone MX-5! (left pic!). How much did you buy it for again?

varsas

4,021 posts

205 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
Well done on selling the MX-5, I think everyone would have been happy with that deal.

Nice E21 there, might be a good investment if it's rust free.

courtster

1,488 posts

219 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
There's nothing but good things to say about an old tidy BMW.. I'm amazed how few E21's are left on the road though.. Did they all sucumb to the tin worm?

That said, I don't think this will be a classic - just a good old car as it's missing those vital 2 cylinders.

Edited by courtster on Friday 2nd October 11:25

JohnSimp

80 posts

178 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
This is the car Garlick wanted last friday...

Not bought it then huh? smile

Jeffmaniac

525 posts

202 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
Yeah, thought it was about the same one as Garlick wanted.

Better than last week SOTW.

SimonSaid

407 posts

189 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
Frimley111R said:
Blimey! A 2-tone MX-5! (left pic!). How much did you buy it for again?
£600, with no tax or, as it turned out, front brakes...

pSyCoSiS

3,641 posts

208 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
I do like the E21s - yet to own one.

Would love a 323i, those twin pipes do it for me!

True what people have said, they're not really classics in the same way, say, an E30 is.

But, they do have a good following, and are very rare sights on the roads, therefore, deserve a good amount of respect.

Well done SOTW

Dazzer20

37 posts

178 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
My first car was an E21 316, EXACTLY like the above! Rubbish but good all at the same time!


Riggers

1,859 posts

181 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
SimonSaid said:
Frimley111R said:
Blimey! A 2-tone MX-5! (left pic!). How much did you buy it for again?
£600, with no tax or, as it turned out, front brakes...
Which, I should add before anybody thinks we sold on a brakeless wonder, we replaced...

SOTW MX-5 special





Edited by Riggers on Friday 2nd October 12:46

Toby C

19 posts

210 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
pSyCoSiS said:
I do like the E21s - yet to own one.

Would love a 323i, those twin pipes do it for me!

True what people have said, they're not really classics in the same way, say, an E30 is.

But, they do have a good following, and are very rare sights on the roads, therefore, deserve a good amount of respect.

Well done SOTW
I agree on the twin pipes, it was the first thing I thought of when I saw the picture. I get the same feeling when I see a 2.8 litre Capri. Odd really.


EDLT

15,421 posts

209 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
How much was spent on the MX5 in the end, in the MX5 article you said you were going to replace the rear screen and some other bits?

fivesixseven8

6,146 posts

230 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
ARGH!

After buying an E30 325i Touring the day after a similar car was featured in SOTW, SWMBO would kill me if I go and buy that too...

What to do?! There is a space on the drive that could accommodate another 20+yr old BMW quite easily too. Only problem is I may have to sleep on the back seat...

infradig

978 posts

210 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
Made me realise I haven't seen an E21 on the road for years,probably most have succumbed to rust as already pointed out,but I bet a lot of them especially 323's ended up backwards through walls and hedges. About ten years ago I ended up with an immaculate 323i Auto,nice spec leather etc and worth absolutely nothing.One Sunday my little brother turns up full of an 18yr olds enthusiasm for an 'old school Beemer' I'm sure I mentioned the skittish nature of the handling before he 'test drove' it.... He only got as far as the first roudabout! Seem to remember the interior made more than the car actually owed me,luckily. Must have made an impression on him though,he now drives an E34 M5.

Edited by infradig on Friday 2nd October 13:08

matchmaker

8,547 posts

203 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
Had an E21 320i, replaced by an E21 323i cool

Then I got married, sold the 323 and bought a 1.6 Mk3 Escort so the missus could learn to drive frownfrown

25 years on and she still hasn't passed her test mad

sad61t

1,100 posts

213 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
fivesixseven8 said:
ARGH!

After buying an E30 325i Touring the day after a similar car was featured in SOTW, SWMBO would kill me if I go and buy that too...

What to do?! There is a space on the drive that could accommodate another 20+yr old BMW quite easily too. Only problem is I may have to sleep on the back seat...
Fold down the seats on the Touring and it should be quite comfy in the back.

SimonSaid

407 posts

189 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
EDLT said:
How much was spent on the MX5 in the end, in the MX5 article you said you were going to replace the rear screen and some other bits?
We decided against replacing the rear screen in the end, as the hood turned out to be one-piece, meaning the screen couldn't have been replaced alone - we'd have had to do the whole roof. So instead we got some Renovo to decloud it, removed the old yellowed tape and neatened up the unsightly tear before retaping with higher-quality all-weather tape.

We spent just over £150 on bits in the end, including 6-months car tax, front brake pads, rust treatment for the sill, foglight, washes and some minor detailing bits. We also had a replacement for the missing bonnet badge sent in by a helpful PHer.

But the biggest value-booster was the service history. It wasn't with the car when we bought it, but the car's previous owner-but-one contacted us after seeing the article on PH and sent the history in to us by post! We also ended up finding out the car's interesting history, which helped increase its sale potential.

Add in a lot (LOT) of hours of polishing and detailing the thing inside and out, and eventually we nearly doubled the value of this unloved little car. It's gone to an enthusiastic new home in the West Country now, looking much nicer than when we found it, and with a few extra bob in the Shed kitty.

Next shed, please! driving

Edited by SimonSaid on Friday 2nd October 15:19

roland82

257 posts

218 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
My dad had one of these around '87, I was about 5. It was light green. My mum was scared to drive it. Eventually it got sold to some guys that used it for banger racing, what a waste.

tHeLoCuSt

5 posts

177 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
i just emailed the guy and he live 2 mins drive down the road! im going tomorrow to take a look smile ill keep you posted!

Beirut Taxi

6,631 posts

217 months

Friday 2nd October 2009
quotequote all
JayMan said:
I like BMWs and have 2 myself but the jury is out on this one.

Its definately a classic and looks good but im not sure it has the 'fun factor'?

Maybe im being harsh?
One of these was a PH shed of the week in May 2008, my friend and PH member E21 Ross saw the BMW badge and just had to buy it.

He was kind enough to allow me to drive it, it's interesting, hard and rewarding to drive.

Weber carb was the best upgrade he has done, for something with 100bhp it doesn't half move (it only weighs 1000kg)

Trust me, worth every penny. I am not sure why you think it lacks the "fun" factor?


Just be very careful in the wet, that rear end snaps sideways a bit suddenly. Justs adds to the challenge and experience though in my opinion.