There’s an old saying about how we should always respect our elders, but that hasn’t been the case with this BMW. What we have is an E21 from 1981 in the lowly 316i specification that has lived a rough life. It spent 25 years locked up in a barn where it collected dust (and more importantly, rust) before being unearthed.
YouTuber Flexiny is the car’s savior as he managed to breathe new life into the M10 engine. While the car doesn’t look too bad from afar, once you get closer, you soon realize it has seen far better days. Years of neglect have taken their toll on the E21’s condition as some areas have been devoured by rust.
Dormant for the past 25 years, the first-gen 3 Series is missing more than a few parts. The interior looks particularly sad since it lacks the dashboard. Thankfully, the car’s knight in shining armor took an instrument cluster from another E21. To get it running again, he obviously had to replace the battery. After tinkering with the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, he eventually managed to start the car.
The helpless E21 received a much-needed oil change and the mechanic also changed the rest of the fluids. Other work done on the car included installing a new thermostat and clutch master cylinder. He also sorted out an overheating issue by cleaning the engine. It’s now working once again after hibernating for an extended amount of time.
Even though the E21 now runs under its own power once again, the original 3 Series is in need of some serious TLC. Whether it’s worth fully restoring or not depends on whom you ask. The biggest problem is fixing all that rust, which is a passion project not many are willing to take on. Adding side mirrors and the missing window should be quick fixes. In addition, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a complete dashboard.
Hopefully, the second half of the E21’s life is just getting started.
[Source: Flexiny / YouTube]