For Sale: 1979 BMW 3 Series in Windermere, Florida

Vehicle Description

This is an all original, mint condition E21. The exterior and interior are in near perfect condition. This 43 year old time capsule appears in many ways like it just rolled off the factory floor. It has the intoxicating original BMW aroma, the trunk clicks closed like it was only opened for Sunday picnics. The incredibly beautiful period color combination is a collector's dream. The 100% original paint has only normal nicks (treated). Original sierra beige paint gleams glossy and bright in the sun. The interior (coveted caramel) leatherette upholstery is flawless. Original Berber carpet, perfect. I updated to an Alpine Bluetooth deck and installed Sony speakers. Upsized to 15” alloy wheels with brand new Continental Contact touring tires. No other modifications. This car is as it was when it drove off the factory floor. It’s truly the most exquisite example I’ve ever seen in the U.S.

So far the E21s younger (2002) and older (E30) siblings have hogged all the attention, but these middle child models are bound to explode in value soon enough. My first 3 series was a 1981 320i and I loved it. Not a day went by I didn't regret selling it after driving 300k miles. I spent 2 decades trying to find another--in mint condition (if one existed in the U.S.). When I happened upon this car online, my jaw dropped. I figured it was some sort of recreation of the original factory photos. It was listed for sale in San Francisco. After a few phone calls, I bought a one way Southwest ticket from Salt Lake City, where we lived at the time. When I got off the Oakland airport train and walked up to the boutique classic consignment shop, I stopped dead in my tracks--there sat the car from the photos and it was the real deal--the odometer read 95k miles, but it looked like it straight from the dealer to the original owners garage, parked and never taken out again. I paid the owner and promptly got on the Golden Gate Bridge and headed for home--800 miles away. Zero issues. It drove true and straight and strong. In Salt Lake City the car was kept always covered, always garaged. I have service records spanning nearly 3 decades from BMW of San Francisco. (I didn't even bother to look at them. I'm no mechanic and the engine, exterior and interior looked and smelled like new.) I have only done oil and filter changes since I purchased in 2016. 

My new baby was intended to stay in the family forever, but alas circumstances have changed and we are looking to sell to someone who will cherish it as we have. I hate surprises, so please be advised there appear to be a couple of maintenance items to take care of and a repair or two that have popped up. I recently noticed a few specks of oil after running the car through its paces for a few hours, and observed the engine running warm in traffic. For my driving purposes (cruising around central Florida's picturesque neighborhoods) it purrs along just fine, runs strong and smooth (see driving video) and it does great on cool days and the open road. But it is not happy idling in traffic on a hot day! The needle rises to about 3/4--but immediately drops back down as soon as she's back on the open road. The vintage A/C blows strong, but does not cool. It's ready for new shocks and brakes. Otherwise, the car starts, runs and drives true and solid. I kept it garaged in Salt Lake City and only drove it on dry days. NEVER in the snow. NEVER in the salt. NEVER in the rain! When we moved to Florida I had it shipped insured and covered driveway to driveway. 

We do not seek to make a profit, but regardless of a few repairs, we believe this cleanest of classics deserves close to the asking price. Hagerty's values this car at $13,000 to $21,000. A local classic car specialist has appraised the vehicle (as it is with a few maintenance and repairs to address) at $18,000. I am not a mechanic. The right buyer will be as excited as I was to find this incredible sedan and knowledgeable enough to address any issues, or know of a good shop who can. If we had the space to keep the car long term, I would happily invest in whatever it needs, but have decided to leave that to the lucky new owner. Any mechanical updates or repairs should be acceptable as the car is in absolute pristine condition--well worth any mechanical work or updates needed. (Belts, hoses and radiator appear new. Service records indicate clutch has been done. We just added a brand new Duracell battery.) 2002 and E30 models this well preserved (when available in the U.S.) sell for a small fortune. This middle child has flown under the radar, but is is climbing in popularity and price. Hate to let it go, but my wife is tired of the car that sits in the garage that's taking up space we have run out of. I'm happy to answer any questions and willing to entertain offers that are within range of the car's appraised price. 

Vehicle Details

  • 1979 BMW 3 Series
  • Listing ID: CC-1576834
  • Price: $17,500 (OBO)
  • Location:Windermere, Florida
  • Year:1979
  • Make:BMW
  • Model:3 Series
  • Exterior Color:Sierrabeige
  • Interior Color:British Tan
  • Transmission:Manual
  • Odometer:98750
  • Title Status:Clear
  • Exterior Condition:Excellent
  • Seat Material:Leather
  • Bucket Seats:Yes
  • Engine History:Original
  • Engine Condition:Running

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