To Be OFFERED AT AUCTIONEstimate:
$20,000 - $30,000
- 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine; four-speed manual
- "Survivor" car from the first year of U.S. 3-Series sales;
- Odometer displays just under 37,250 miles
- Exterior finished in dazzling Phoenix Orange, a 1977-only
- Features black interior with vinyl seat covers; equipped with
sport steering wheel
- Rides on OEM alloy wheels
- Accompanied by full factory tool kit, spare wheel, and history
In 1975 BMW introduced the new 3-series models with the 316, 318
and 320. The internal chassis code was called E21 and was the
successor to the iconic 02 model range. Paul Bracq, Director of
Design at BMW, continued the angular and square design while also
creating new trends for the brand's full model range. The trademark
kidney grille was now more prominent than in previous generations
and was elegantly incorporated with a new headlight styling
concept. The interior design of the E21 3-series also marked the
introduction of a new design concept with the center console and
central dashboard area would be angled towards the driver in an
effort to improve visibility.
This 1977 BMW 320i is finished in the one-year-only color of
Phoenix Orange which replaced the prior Inka Orange. While BMW did
offer Phoenix Orange for a few years across all models in the
domestic German market, it was only available for 1977 in the U.S.
North American market. This rare color is what attracted Michael
Butler of Ehrlich Motorwerks to the car when he discovered it in
Colorado in 2015 after a period of long-term storage.
Upon discovery the car's originality was immediately evident, it
was a true time capsule. Parked since the 1990's due to a health
issue the second owner experienced, the car had remained in the
family's garage for years since the second owner's passing. After a
thorough inspection and quick test drive, Michael Butler of Ehrlich
Motorwerks, decided it was an opportunity not to be missed and the
car was purchased.
Sold originally in the Raleigh, North Carolina region, this example
is one of the early examples for the U.S. North American market.
Sometime soon after it was new the car traveled to Northern Florida
before arriving at Murray Motor Imports in Denver, Colorado where
it was sold in 1978 with 16,312 miles to what's believed to be the
second owners, David and Gloria Watts (invoice accompanies the
car). It is believed to have remained with the Watts family until
2015 when Ehrlich Motorwerks purchased it to become part of their
private collection. The current owner subsequently acquired the car
in 2017 from Ehrlich Motorwerks.
A detailed account of how the car was found and what service was
performed to return the car to the road is available for review to
all prospective bidders. Furthermore, paint meter readings are on
file to demonstrate the originality of the paintwork throughout.
Included with the sale is the original steering wheel, owner's
handbook, service manual, various receipts and invoices along with
full took kit.
This 320i is a true time capsule, and a lovely example of the
model. To view this car and others currently consigned to this
auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/0520