Meet the ancestors - BMW 3-series

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Feature 9 May 2012

The BMW 3-series is one of the most successful models of recent times. Here, the all-new BMW 320d meets the original 3-series - the '70s E21 model that was the first car to wear the badge.

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Comments
16

3-door only?

2 years 15 weeks ago

The E21 was certainly an iconic model, but I don't ever remember it being "three door only". Unless you count the boot as a door?  

I'm a bit surprised that you didn't mention the model's rather exciting lift-off oversteer which I think was responsible for the 323i recording the highest percentage of single car loss of control accidents at the time.

Otherwise I think this baby BMW was close to 1970s motoring perfection.

289

definitely never a 3 door

2 years 15 weeks ago

definitely never a 3 door LOL

This is the problem with kids reporting on cars built before they were born!

petrol prices were not a concern in the 70"s

2 years 14 weeks ago

she states petrol prices were not a concern in the 70"s i was only 6 at the time but thought there was a fuel shortage in the early 70"s and  dont think petrol was cheap, also why is the new BMW a random car,its a car made for the masses, not a one off concept or high value Ferrari

289

@tomoleeds - "she states

2 years 14 weeks ago

@tomoleeds - "she states petrol prices were not a concern in the 70"s i was only 6 at the time but thought there was a fuel shortage in the early 70"s and dont think petrol was cheap"

 

..true...petrol rationing books where even issued, but in the end not used.

All big engined cars crashed in value and new cars with big engines were unsaleable...we had MGB V8's, GT6's E -type V12's etc sitting in the compound new with thistles growing up into the engine compartment. many new cars had been in stock over a year!

All the Chairmen of the big plc's had put their Rolls Royces into storage and bought 1275 GT's from us all decked out in leather seats, mega stereos, sunroofs, electric windows, spot-lights and alloy wheels.

 

In the event the problem only lasted 12-18 months, but it changed buying habits for longer, and yes the cost of petrol was more acute than ever before!

Your post had provided me

1 year 46 weeks ago
Your post had provided me with another point of view on this topic. I had no idea that things can work in this manner as well. Thank you for sharing your perspective 
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This post has helped me for

1 year 45 weeks ago

This post has helped me for an article which I am writing. Thank you for giving me another point of view on this topic. Now I can easily complete my article. Cheers elemental trader

These ancestors as you call

1 year 45 weeks ago

These ancestors as you call them still look great today, I wouldn't say no if I had the chance to buy a car like that for a good price deal. Since they are older cars they should also come with some specific car care tips.

Great video - excellent insight into the roots, but...

1 year 36 weeks ago

Great video - this series is a really useful insight into how things have changed, or not.

But here's a few thoughts for improvement:

1) "In 1975, economy was just not much of an issue."  So sweet, so young, but not so. Petrol costs were an enormous issue.
1973-75 had just seen the greatest Oil shock of the 20th Century, with petrol prices doubling (yes, doubling) over 24 months from 37p to 75p per gallon.
Petrol price was an issue, which is why the 320i was sold to the sort of people who today would be buying a turbo charged 3 or 4 litre diesel today.

2) The 3 series is a 2 door car, not a three door.  The hatchback had only just started to be sold, with the Renault 16 in the 60's and the VW Golf in the late 70's.  

3) Not discussed was the way that the 3 series has ballooned in size since 1975.  The 320i shown is MUCH shorter than the modern equivalent 3 series coupe. (I think the current 3 series is actually bigger than the E39 5 series). This is partly because the average person is a good 2-4 inches fatter than 20 years ago, and secondly it's because we're just richer and can afford more car around us - in every category of car.

But don't let my comments be seen as a criticism - this is a GREAT and very valuable series of videos.

 

 

Thanks a ton for being our

1 year 32 weeks ago

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Awesome car. I like this

1 year 32 weeks ago

Awesome car. I like this model more than previous model. Thank you for sharing this news.  I like its look and realiability most. I feel excitement as you approach the car.

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