1981 BMW 323i TWO DOOR SALOON
Chassis No. 7247 045
Registration No. BE 80154
Metallic Sapphire blue with dark blue fabric interior.
Engine: Six cylinders in-line, 2,315cc, 143bhp at 5,800rpm; Fuel injection; Clutch: single plate, manual five speed synchromesh; Suspension: front independent with coil springs, rear independent with coil springs, telescopic dampers all round; Steering: power assisted rack and pinion; Brakes: servo assisted discs all round; Left-hand drive
Since it began as a car manufacturer by building Austin Sevens under licence as the Dixi, the BMW story down the years has been studded by memorable designs; the uncatchable 80bhp 328 two-seater roadster of 1935, its shapely streamlined body concealing an advanced chassis and engine specification destined to influence production sports-car design for another 30 years, the heartbreakingly lovely Type 507 of 1959, powered by a 3.2 litre V8 of 173bhp, the 3.0CSL, a lightweight version of the stunning coupes with around 200bhp for road cars and close to 400bhp for the racing versions. At the same time the company methodically built its reputation as a major European manufacturer, overcoming such disasters as the near-collapse of the motor-cycle market in the 1950's and the total failure of demand for bubble cars.
The turning point was the launch of the overhead camshaft 1500 model in 1961, accurately aimed at the gap in the market between quality production makers such as Opel, and Mercedes at the quality end. That car led to the memorable 2002Ti, and indirectly to successive generations of fast and luxurious BMW saloons and coupes, manufactured in ever-increasing quantities. The 3-Series appeared in 1975 in four-cylinder form as a replacement for the 1602 and 2002 cars. Two years later came the new M60 six-cylinder engine, which in 323i form provided a lusty 143bhp and turned the car into the kind of richly upholstered fire-breather even hardened motor journal testers remembered with respect.
This BMW 323i is now offered by its original purchaser; It is fitted with a limited-slip differential, a particularly valuable feature in a car which possess such a remarkable power-to-weight ratio. Amongst the other options fitted are electrically heated Recaro seats (the BMW originals will be supplied to the purchaser) and air-conditioning. It has a documented BMW service history, driver's manual, a tool kit, and shows every sign of having been meticulously maintained. From the unmarked original paintwork to the fastidiously presented interior, this is a highly desirable example of a model which will be increasingly sought-after by classic car collectors in the future.
A short drive showed it to be in excellent mechanical condition.