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E21 3 Series backgrounder

Discussion in 'E21 (1977-1983)' started by Bill Howard, Dec 7, 2007.

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    Bill Howard

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    About the E21 3 Series and this forum. Few modern BMWs have the mixed reputation of the first generation of the BMW 3 Series, the E21. Built from 1975 to 1983, it had the misfortune to succeed the beloved 2002 while it suffered from the teething pains of a completely new model. Page after page of Roundel circa 1980 discussed front wheel shimmy and solutions, for instance. To make matters worse, the U.S. version that arrived in 1977 came with too little engine and too much bumper. This was the era of the protruding bumper as European makers hadn't yet mastered the art (or were in no hurry to) integrating the demands of the fledgling U.S. auto safety / car safety movement. At the same time, the first 3 Series (back then BMW said 3-Series, with a hyphen) was more advanced and roomier than the 2002 it replaced.

    Please use this E21 Model Series forum to post comments, questions, tips and tricks for the E21 3 Series. If you've got a question or comment that crosses multiple model lines and years - replacement single-DIN radios would be an example, since more than the E21 used these; or tire/wheel combinations that might also work on a 2002 - consider posting instead in one of the Tech Talk forums rather than these Model Discussions.

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