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New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

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Conquistador
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New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by Conquistador » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:38 pm

Good evening all. New member here from From, UK. I've got first dibs on this Swiss registered BMW 323i E21. Trouble is, I don't know too much about this particular model. It may be a stupid question, but is that black trim on the bootlid standard? I'm also guessing those bonnet scoops are not. I'm hoping a few on here will appreciate this model and be able to tell me more? The sellers (two French brothers) are not being too forthcoming with a ballpark price which either means it's not worth an awful lot and they are hoping for an over the top offer from me, or it's worth a hell of a lot and they are hoping for an over the top offer from me...

Description: 1980 323i (1.6 petrol), metallic green, 64,000km, short-throw 5-speed manual, 4 summer wheels/tyres, 4 winter wheels/tyres, all original parts, paperwork all present and correct.

The alarm bell for me is the fact a 323i has a 1.6-litre engine which clearly doesn't run with BMW's nomenclature at the time. I'm going to ask further questions but for now...

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uwbuurman
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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by uwbuurman » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:14 am

Welcome here!!

A 323i has a 2.3 liter engine. A 316 has a 1.6. So something strange is going on. Ask for the chassisnumber, post it here, so we can look what kind of car is is from factory. Or check it at bmwfans.info.

Anyway, we have a buyers guide at the forum, check it out.

But why not find a decent 323i over in the UK? Rhd and all?
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Jeroen
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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by Jeroen » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:57 am

Welcome! Even though it looks like a clean 323i, it could very well be a souped up 316. If they mention a very like mileage like this, it would be my expectation that the seats under the covers as well as the engine bay are in mint condition, especially if the price is steep. Car looks good to me, apart from the bonnet scoops that are an aftermarket mod.

If this really is a mint condition 323i it is worth quite a bit, anything less is worth a lot less. But as uwbuurman pointed out, market prices for a RHD 323i are considerably lower than for a LHD version, like half the price!
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by Conquistador » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:35 pm

Thanks for the replies. I've had a read through a lot of the buyer's guide pages and found them invaluable when it comes to what I'm looking out for.

The seller specifically mentioned a 1.6-litre engine and 146hp which confuses matters slightly. I'm hardly a connoisseur of the model at the moment (being more of an Audi fanboy) but the big question I have for the seller at the moment is if it does indeed have a 1.6 or the 2.3. Shame about the bodged bonnet scoops as well :(

Prices for LHD 323i's are indeed higher than their RHD equivalents which is why I'm still keen to see if I could get this one at rock bottom price as I don't mind driving a left h00ker over here.

I'm over in that area of north Geneva for work in the next couple of weeks so am still keen to swing by there and have a good look at the car anyway.

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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by gerrit323 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:46 pm

If you ask the seller for a picture of the engine bay where you can see the engine your probleem is solved. Post the picture here and we can 100% sure tell you what engine is in the car

A 1.6 has a very different look to the 2.3 6 in line engine.

The intake manifold of the 323i is unique to that engine so easy to see on an engine picture.

And welcome here by the way
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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by Conquistador » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:11 pm

Does the instrument cluster and rev counter give anything away? Also a couple of areas 'fixed' with tape...

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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by e21Keith » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:19 pm

I notice it has vinyl door cards which would signify either a 4 cylinder engine or leather interior. Given the cloth seats it suggests that it's a 316.
Adding the second exhaust to give the 323i look is difficult to do properly as the 323i has an additional chassis leg on that side to which the exhaust is mounted.
The rear side windows do not look like they open (popout), again suggesting a 4-cylinder model.
The speedo is 220kph which roughly equates to 140mph which would signify a 6-cylinder car.
My bet is that it's a 316 shell which may have a 323i under the bonnet, but on the other hand you never know what they have mixed/matched?

Hate those bonnet scoops, very 1980's bling!

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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by Jeroen » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:55 pm

Vehicle VIN and engine bay pic would defo be a great help!
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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uwbuurman
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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by uwbuurman » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:02 pm

Pop out windows has nothing to do with the engine. Was just an option, any e21 buyer could order. Doorcards are on type 1 cars also completely in vinyl. Regardless the type of engine. But speedo is 323i correct.

Like Jeroen says, and I also said it before, vinnumber will help, and a pic of the enginebay.
It's the man next door!

1978 BMW 323i
1980 BMW 528i
1987 BMW 325iA cabriolet
2006 BMW 320d touring High Executive
2015 BMW 320dA touring xDrive High Executive ///Msport

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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by e21Keith » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:24 pm

I believe in the UK all the 6-cylinder cars came with popouts, except possibly pre-facelift. Maybe the euro spec was different?

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uwbuurman
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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by uwbuurman » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:37 pm

Ah oké, not on the main land.
It's the man next door!

1978 BMW 323i
1980 BMW 528i
1987 BMW 325iA cabriolet
2006 BMW 320d touring High Executive
2015 BMW 320dA touring xDrive High Executive ///Msport

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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by Conquistador » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:15 am

Chassis number: WBA 183 100 072 26103

Reply from the seller re the engine discrepancy: "I've asked my brother to send me the picture of the engine bay and I confirm it's a 1.6 litre. The previous owner was a fan of sport's cars and asked to install a short-5-speed gearbox when he ordered the car. Then after 3 months he had the car ( at KM 16'000), he said the engine was making a strange noise. So under the warranty he asked to have the engine changed. So the number of KM shown on the board is now KM 80'000 odd. He only drove it some two years before he sold it to us."

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They continue with a minimum price... CHF30,000 which is about €26,000!!

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Last edited by Conquistador on Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Jeroen
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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by Jeroen » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:34 am

Haha well that would be the price tag for an absolute LHD minter, but not for a 323i (also according to the VIN) that's degraded to a 316 now. Wish them good luck with their sale haha. I believe you should be able to find a VGC RHD 323i for under 10k quid in the UK.
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by Duracel79 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:19 pm

Jeroen wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:34 am
Haha well that would be the price tag for an absolute LHD minter, but not for a 323i (also according to the VIN) that's degraded to a 316 now. Wish them good luck with their sale haha. I believe you should be able to find a VGC RHD 323i for under 10k quid in the UK.
Jeroen, I wouldn't be so sure about under 10k.

This popped up last week for £17k and has just been reduced to £14850:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/bmw-e21-323i ... SwQeVbdSVb

Where as this looks to me like a much better car and is the only other one on ebay at the moment:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E21-323i ... SwD5Zaz7zL

Regards

Ben
1982 323i (S54 "Test Mule" - to be rebuilt into M20 powered track car)
1983 316 (Taiga Thunder - The refined S54 Race car)
2004 330d Touring (The Daily Hack / Tow Car / Load lugger)

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Re: New member, hoping to join the fold at some point with this 323i

Post by Jeroen » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:58 pm

Glad to see prices are going up on that side of the pond as well. but the 53k mls example looks like it's about as good and original as they get, low mileage with a full history. Usually, at least over here, just a tad down in condition prices are considerably lower. Still cheaper than over here! But, imo you should buy the best condition you can afford. Many people think they'll gain something with a project car but financially that won't work out (apart from some madmen that build racers and tuck E46 power plants in). Usually a project in the end is at least as expensive as buying a VGC example right away, but you still have to put in all the work. The only positive things about that is that you have a good way to spend your free time, and that you are able to spread out the investment over time. Otherwise... buy as good as you can afford.
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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