I got this beautiful black car as a senior in high school (18 year old kid driving a car about the same age). I got many compliments on it then and I still do today.
What a fun car to drive, despite its "quirks." Aside from people asking me how to open the doors from the inside (you just have to own one to know what I mean) and why it creates blue oil smoke when started, it's a relatively cheap and basic European car.
Handling is excellent and the ride is very German, although there is a little body roll when tossed around during more spirited driving. The front-end shimmy is part of owning the e21 and only a few people know how to fix it. Don't trust anyone, but a well-respected BMW mechanic to do your alignments.
Acceleration is so-so. The 4-cylinder engine feels stressed to move the somewhat heavy car from a standstill, but given the gas crisis at the time of its manufacture, I understand. I've thought about replacing the 1.8 with a 2.3 straight-6 when I get money.
Owning this car and keeping it in top shape requires quite a lot of time, dedication, and some extra money. And don't forget hours of elbow grease and lots of Zymol wax to make it shine!