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Pride of Ownership Finalists 2024

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Steve Poulton – 1982 BMW 323i

Steve Poulton – 1982 BMW 323i

The BMW 3 Series is now in its seventh generation, but the car you see here is from the very first that was launched in 1975. It was produced until 1982 when it was replaced by the E30 model, so this 323i is a late example and is certainly a treat for fans of German classics.

It was back in the late 1970s when Steve first saw these cars - they are known as the E21 version - and he knew then that he would love to own one. “I was sixteen at the time and the design just really jumped out at me.”

By 1984 the owner of this stunning example had finally got to buy his dream car, and he still loves it four decades later. But in 2015 he realised that it was starting to look its age and was in need of some work, so it was sent to a bodyshop for some welding and a re-spray. Since then it has only been used during the summer months.

It has certainly been cherished and during his ownership Steve has taken the opportunity to add some improvements. The suspension has been upgraded with Bilstein dampers and a Hartge strut brace further sharpens the handling, whilst the Alpina wheels and steering wheel add an extra dose of style.

The car has certainly been admired over the years, not least by BMW themselves who displayed the car in various showrooms during the launch of the E46 generation of the 3 Series in 1997.

It has also appeared in the December 2020 issue of the Classic Cars magazine, and it certainly deserved its award of ‘Coolest Coupe’ at the Young Timers classic car show in 2021.

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