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BMW - 3 Series

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BMW 3 Series (E21 3 Series)

E21 3 Series

Make: BMW

Model: 3 Series

Released: Jan 1970

Discontinued: May 1983

BMW logo1 Mar 1976

By CHRIS HARRIS

Replacing the cult 2002, the two-door only E21 3 Series started its journey as the definitive compact executive/sports sedan.

Initial critical reaction to the four-cylinder 320 was lukewarm, but fuel-injected power improved things.

In June ’79 the famous 323i debuted, but it wasn’t until late ’80 that a five-speed manual gearbox made the most of the smooth, sonorous six-cylinder engine.

Earlier that year the entry level 318i opened the marque to a whole new market. That’s identified by its two (rather than four) headlights.

From mid-’81 the 323i JPS racing specials appeared, followed by the Baur coach built 323i Cabriolet a year later.

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