1980 BMW 3 Series 320i M10B18 from North America
Light weight and possible collector classic
Replaced control arms because the bushings looked old.
I was lucky and found a very clean E21, most you find are too rusted. New paint, interior, headliner, upgraded rims, stereo, and suspension. Pretty low mileage for a 30 year old car (175k miles).
Stock 1.8 liter 4 cylinder is pretty quick despite its 109hp rated engine, the 5 speed and 3.64 LSD helps. Planning on a future upgrade from a 91-92 BMW 318i M42B18 engine (135/138hp). This is the lowest cost route since S14 engines are expensive to purchase and maintain. There are shops that offer tuned stock replacement engines (150hp), but want over $4000. Some E21 enthusiast change to flat pistons with longer stroke and add a turbo.
Whatever the case, there are many engine conversion options. The car is only 2400lbs, so it will handle corners like a go-cart.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th February, 2010
8th Nov 2011, 00:17
Our family is like the epicenter of BMWs, as we have 2 320i's, an e30 convertible, 2x 7 series and a 5 series wagon (e34). One 320i is my daily driver with 249,732 miles on it and running like day one. The other one just got the m42 swap that you are talking about, and I would HIGHLY suggest you do this. That car is a rocket. It is on the verge of traction, you shift into 2nd, and BURN through second, and chirp into third. Plus, it has major low end torque to add to the fun! Hope all is well fellow bimmer lover!