style=”flat” size=”4″]But then I saw an E21 316 for £7000. Really? Don’t get me wrong, they were decent, worthy cars along with the 320 but really, the 323i was the one to have and they were rendered well and truly obsolete by the E30 325i. Seven thousand pounds will buy a very decent example of one of these, even if it won’t be the desirable Sport version. As CAR mag succinctly summed up the BMW E21 back in the day: “More upmarket Cortina than exalted sports saloon…”
That brings us on to BMW 325i Sports E30 nicely. When these arrived in late 1986, these were the BMW to have. Forget the BMW M3 – too much money, LHD only and fourcylinders all added to an appeal that would soon wear off. But the Sport – available in silvers, greys and a black only – was a superb driver’s car with its limited-slip diff, Bilstein suspension, grippy seats and He Man body styling as well as nice details such as the black headlining, shadowline dechroming and stylish 15-inch BBS alloys – a truly desirable package that I prefer in its original metal bumper ‘Tech 1’ form.
Sadly good ones are rare but here is a car that in really good condition, you could pay £10,000 or £12,000 for and feel that you’re buying something iconic. The later ‘Tech 2’ version from late 1989 is more sought-after and expensive but they rust every bit as badly as the first one and you need to make sure all the correct bits are there – Sports all came with a closer ratio gearbox with a conventional H pattern shift. Investment potential? Well, remember when you could buy a clean RS2000 for five grand…? Exactly.