We photographed this late-1970s BMW 320i (E21) in Portland, Oregon, last week. While the newer E30 3-Series is a common sight just about anywhere in the world, the original, two-door-only 3-Series was sold in far fewer numbers and it has become a rare sight on the road.
The 320i’s body looks straight from a distance but a closer inspection reveals that nearly every body panel has been treated for rust in the past. The work was not terribly very well done and rust is starting to chew through the primer in several places. Fortunately, the rust doesn’t appear to be too bad and the car is savable.
We did not find the owner so it is hard to tell what the future holds for this 3 – it could be a drivable restoration project, but it could also be a beater purchased for cheap on Craigslist. We hope it’s the former – 1600/2002s have been shooting up in value over the past couple of years and the E21s might follow suit in the not-too-distant future.