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1983 BMW 316 1.8L (E21)

This vehicle has now been sold - click ‘Register Similar’ below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Sold Price


  • Mileage~63,800
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Engine1.8L
  • LocationBoston Spa


1983 BMW 316 1.8L (E21)

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Isaac Wass
Professional Consigner

The foundation upon which the iconic 3 Series built its success, the E21 is an iconic and instantly recognisable classic.

Building on the success of the '2002' and taking styling cues from the larger 5 series, the E21 featured exceptional driver ergonomics for its time, with cleverly thought out switchgear and clearly laid out instruments. The styling of the car is truly timeless and nearly half a century later the E21 still looks simply fantastic. Unlike many less fortunate examples, this E21 has been preserved throughout the years, avoiding the usual rot induced death that many an E21 has fallen prey to.

Coming to market from just over ~5 years of ownership, and only 4 previous owners, this E21 has been well maintained and has been fitted with a custom air ride suspension setup all neatly hidden away in the boot. With a recent MOT under its belt and only minor advisories to note, this looks to be a well cared for example of a classic "shark nose" BMW with only ~63,800 miles on the clock.

This listing was written from information supplied by Isaac after meeting Peter the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

The E21 316 wasn’t what I was originally looking for, but once I saw it I simply fell in love - I even bought the car sight unseen.

Originally shopping around for something more akin to the 325, Peter never intended to end up purchasing a 316, however after seeing his future E21 online and spending some time talking with the owner his mind was made up and he ended up purchasing his E21 316 BMW sight unseen, ~5 years ago.

After purchasing the vehicle in October 2017, Peter laid out a list of jobs he wanted to complete on the car, first and foremost being the air ride installation as he has the compressor and most of the ancillary gear from another project, so he paid a visit to "The Install Company" in Leicester for them to design, build, and install the air suspension. Speaking with Peter you can really get a feel for the passion he has for his E21, only taxing it and driving it in the summer months, he has made sure it has never seen wet weather during his ownership.

Despite the love Peter holds for his pride and joy, it was only driven some ~250 miles since its previous MOT and Peter wants to make sure that the car is driven as well as cared for, and so the car comes to auction with us. He will be happy to answer any questions about the car in the comments section below.

Vehicle Owner

Peter saved £1,620* when they
sold their BMW with us.


  • We'll take the photos & create the listing.
  • We'll market it to our 62K buyers & online.
  • You'll keep your car until it's paid for.


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  • They can buy on our trusted platform.
  • They're able to buy without leaving home.



Iconic shark nose design and stunning Hennarot red paintwork, adjustable ride height and Stuttgart ST1 wheels, this classic has an appealing unique aesthetic.

Wheels and Tyres

The car is fitted with aftermarket Stuttgart ST1 wheels, these are in excellent condition on the whole, with no pitting present on the polished faces and lip, there is some very slight marks on the outer edge of the lip, but these are not beyond refinishing and do not in any diminish the look of the wheels.

The ST1 wheels are fitted with Toyo Proxes tyres, these do have some tread remaining however due to the nature of the camber in the suspension setup these tyres are significantly more worn on the inner edge, as advised on its recent MOT. View the image gallery to see more detail.


On the whole the bodywork of this E21 is in great condition, no knocks, or bumps to speak of as captured in the photos and videos. However there is evidence of some corrosion starting to creep in around the edges, particularly on the inner sills behind wheel arches, as noted on the MOT, and some slight bubbling just in front of the drivers door below the bump strip on the wheel arch.

We've highlighted in more detail our observations through our high resolution images and videos, so please take time to look through all the media files for a detailed view at what’s on offer, and for you to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


The "Hennarot Red" paintwork is a simply stunning colour, very full and rich in comparison to some reds from a similar age. The paintwork itself is in remarkably good condition, there is one very light scrape just below the BMW badge on the bonnet, however this would quite easily polish out. Overall the paintwork is free of any major defects and presents very well.

Again, we have taken high resolution images and videos of the car for you to assess the condition of the bodywork for yourselves. The images are taken from a few different angles to show off the car as you would see it if you were standing there for yourselves. So please take the time to fully assess these high resolution images and videos of the car, for you to make up your own minds about the condition of the paint.

Glass and Trim

The glass is all in good condition, with no major cracks, scratches, or chips present on any of the panes. Likewise the surrounding trim is in good condition too. The chrome is not in bad condition for its age, however there are some signs of the chrome work beginning to develop light pitting in some areas as you might expect on a car of this age.


Fitted with an original E30 BMW wooden steering wheel and original E24 BMW spec Recaros, the black leather interior of this E21 looks fantastic.

Seats and Carpets

The front seats are original spec Recaros taken from an E21 BMW, these were fitted by Peter who took the rear seats to local trimmer SG Styling of Leeds to have the rear bench brought up to spec with the now leather front seats. Aside from some slight creasing to the seat bolsters in the front and some minor scratches to the rear of the passenger front seat, the leather interior is in good condition and certainly looks the part in the car.

The carpets, whilst in need of some light cleaning, are in good condition and do not look to be overly worn or faded. View the image gallery to see the detail.


The dash is on the whole, in good condition with no missing switchgear, damaged clocks, or broken vents. The plastics are still nice and black and unbleached by the sun, however there is a crack present on the dashtop to the right of the instrument cluster hood as can be seen in both interior videos as well as images.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The E30 wooden steering wheel is in fantastic condition, with barely a mark to be seen, one of Peters favourite changes to the interior he thinks it gives the car a much more appealing interior. He does still have the original E21 black steering wheel which will come with the car once sold.

Likewise the automatic gear selector is free from any damage or excessive wear, being the automatic variant it sees very little use compared to its manual counterparts.


The E21 features the revamped M10 engine, providing ~90BHP to the rear wheels, coupled with a short wheelbase and the addition of adjustable air suspension this particular E21 handles wonderfully and can make the power feel like much more.

Engine and Gearbox

The engine has been serviced as required in Peter’s ownership and whilst there is a limited amount of paperwork from previous owners, the car seems to start and drive without any issues, indicating a well looked after engine.

During our ‘On The Road’ video you can watch the car start from cold, which it does without issue, as well as out and about on local roads. Both engine and gearbox performed without fault during our time with the car.

Suspension and Brakes

Fitted with air suspension, there should be no worries about rusted, rotten, or ancient suspension components here. Fitted with new struts and using all new air lines and fittings to build the custom fitted air ride system, the work is certainly neat and tidy and the suspension has no difficulties lifting or lowering the car at the touch of a button.

Peter is providing the original suspension as part of the sale of the car, as can be seen pictured in our history and paperwork gallery. During our time with the car we noticed no issues with the brakes, they stopped the car quickly and efficiently and with no untoward noises.

The Drive

The 1.8L engine, whilst not immensely powerful, provides a nice raspy exhaust note that only accentuates the experience of driving this timeless classic. Combined with the adjustable air ride, aftermarket wheels, and iconic styling, this particular E21 turns heads and draws admiration from onlookers wherever it goes.

Electrics and Other

During our time with the car we noticed no issues with any of the electrics, save the non-working number plate light as mentioned on the most recent MOT.

The car has been wired up to have an isolating switch for the air ride compressor due to low voltage at startup causing the compressor to struggle until the engine has been running for a minute or two. Other than that, no issues with electrics (or pneumatics) to mention.

History and Paperwork

This E21 finished in eye-catching Hennarot Red is a real head-turner, coming to market from just over ~5 years of ownership and featuring some tasteful modifications, this particular example is summer ready and raring to go.

A stunning E21 that has survived the test of time by being well cared for and, at least in Peters ownership, garaged and dry. The car is coming to auction with ~63,800 miles on the clock and with some tasteful and well carried out modifications to boot.

An MOT was carried out just this month on 11.02.2023 and the car will be exempt from MOT and Road Tax come next renewal. Peter has also included in the sale the relevant Haynes manual for the car along with a part catalogue for ordering almost any part direct from Germany. Peter will also be happy to answer any questions you may have about the car in the comments below.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in high resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
11..02.2023 MOT 63,819
10.12.2021 MOT 63,541
06.10.2020 MOT 63,316
30.07.2019 MOT 62,790
20.11.2017 MOT 61,461
10.12.2016 MOT 59,246
19.06.2015 MOT 58,907
18.05.2012 MOT 58,870
Key Details
  • Model316 1.8 (E21)
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • Reg. Date16.03.1983
  • CC1,766
  • Mileage~63,800
  • ColourHennarot Red
  • Interior ColourBlack
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #WBAAG2205D7274667
  • Engine #7274667
  • MOTYes. Exp. 10.02.2024
  • MOT ExemptFrom 2024
  • Road Tax ExemptFrom 2024
  • Former Keepers4
  • Tyre TreadHeavily worn inner edge
  • Tyre BrandToyo Proxes
  • # of Keys4
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~5 Years
  • Key FeatureAir Ride Suspension, tasteful interior upgrades, nice condition
  • Auction ID1154

Vehicle Sold

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Ask Questions
Post a comment or ask the owner a question about the car.

Hi Peter, lovely car. Couple of questions of you don’t mind me asking. The car when I look for an insurance quote is coming up as being found as a four door saloon, but I can see from the pictures this is not the case. Did you have the same issue with your insurers when they looked up the number plate ? Also assuming it is ok running on the new E10 fuel ?

All the best


Mobile if possible to chat tomorrow
Andrew (York)


Vehicle Location

Boston Spa

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