Lot 185: BMW 323i Saloon
Successor to the well liked 1602/2002 range, the BMW 3-Series (code E21) debuted in 1975 and would go on to be an even better seller for the Munich firm than its predecessor. Built initially in two-door form only, the newcomer made use of BMW's existing overhead-camshaft four-cylinder engines, the latter ranging in size from 1.6 to 2.0 litres. A couple of years later BMW revised its passenger car engine policy for the 1980s, introducing small-capacity sixes in preference to enlarged fours having found that the latter could not be made to match the former for smoothness. There were other benefits too, the new 1,990cc six proving more flexible, more powerful and more economical than the superseded four of identical capacity. Equipped with fuel injection, the 2.3-litre 323i introduced in February 1978, a few months after the 320/6 came with 143bhp on tap, which was good enough for a top speed of 119mph. At the time this was a phenomenal performance for a small sports saloon, and the new BMW sixes found a ready market among enthusiasts. The chassis was upgraded to cope with the improved performance, gaining disc brakes all round and wider tyres, thus endowing the new six-cylinder models with an enhanced sporting 'feel' when compared to their four-cylinder predecessors. First registered on 2nd May 1975, this BMW 323i was supplied new in Germany and remained with its original, mature owner until 2009 when it was acquired by the current vendor. The car was delivered from the factory equipped with manual transmission and air conditioning, the latter a particularly rare feature. Finished in yellow with black interior, this un-restored 323i has covered a mere 58,332 kilometres (approximately 36,200 miles) from new and is described by the vendor as in generally very good condition, benefiting from a major service at 57,000 kilometres. This original and well-preserved BW 323i is offered with its original registration document and service manual, ONS car pass from 1985 and valid German Fahrzeugbrief.
BMW Powered Motor Cars, Motorcycles|
Bonhams, BMW Museum, Munich, Germany
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