This BMW E21 Is Inspirational

Owner: Sam Webber

Year, Make, and Model: 1983 BMW 320is (E21)

Location: West Brookfield, Massachusetts

Photographer: Caleb Vincent DesCognets

I became interested in cars after buying my first one, a Volkswagen GTI mk4. It was a fun car that left me wanting a faster car, then an older car, and then a more 'stylish' car. It was followed up by a BMW E28 5-series about a year later, but then I wanted to get back into something a bit smaller; at first, I thought of the classic, BMW E30. At a car show I met someone who longed for an E28, so we began talking about a potential trade. At that time, he was the owner of this E21 320is. Upon seeing it, I knew I wanted it. I was immediately drawn to the condition of the original paint, the driver oriented interior architecture, and the more simple body lines of the car's exterior as compared to my E28. The trade didn't go through and I said goodbye to this E21 for what I assumed would be forever.

Fast forward several months, the E21 was sold off, and I had sold my E28 too. We're in June 2013 now and I'm still looking for a car, particularly S30s, when I get a random PM from someone on a car forum. It was addressed to a "Sam" but it was about an E21 for sale that I had supposedly had interest in. Turns out I was the wrong Sam, but since I was in the market, I figured I'd ask to see the car up for grabs. Sure enough, by some stupid luck or "fate" the E21 that had MISTAKENLY been shown to me was the same one I had seen months earlier, now for sale again! Having recently sold my car, I was ready to buy the 320. I told the guy that I'd be down the next day, as I knew it was a good looking, well performing car and I bought it!

Now that I'm the owner, I love the fact that since it's an E21, I've never actually seen another one on the road. Perhaps that's just due to my location, but it's a pretty cool feeling. Best of all is the feeling I get when driving it on twisting backcountry roads with good, smooth pavement. Though the car is by no means fast, the M10 engine is peppy and enjoyable on a country road. In addition to being fun, the experience of building it to the current spec has inspired me to pursue Industrial Design as a career. Focusing on transportation design, I hope to work as an automotive designer in the future. [Editor's Note: We look forward to featuring your work!]

Want to see your vintage car on Petrolicious? Click here for more information.