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Old 04-20-2016, 09:54 PM   #1
Corgon
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Drives: 2007 Golf GTI MKV 2 Door
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 123
I too bought another German car! '83 E21 320i

Years ago when my family lived in South Africa, my father raced an Alfa Romeo he built himself. As a kid, my father would always push me into the racing scene, go karts, dirt bikes, BMX, anything but I just didn't have the interest in cars that I do now.

For the past few years we've been in the market for a suitable and cheap enough car to go racing with. Well, last week I saw a 1983 BMW E21 320i 1.8 Manual for sale for 1000 bucks on craigslist. The three pictures on the ad indicated the car was in bad shape. They had demolished the rear end with a forklift trying to move it. The inside was dirty, the seats were torn, and the wiring had evident animal damage. Regardless of the heritage, the car was not worth 1k. With high hopes I texted the owner and told him I had 0 dollars and a trailer and I could take it off his hands if he wanted to get rid of it. As a university student I don't quite have the disposable cash to offer him anything more than 100 bucks. He unsurprisingly turned down my offer. That night, while talking with my father I told him the story. He asked for the guys number and, sounding excited, hung up. The next day he told me that the owner of the car also used to be involved in motor racing and accepted a $250 offer.


Craigslist picture

We met up with the owner to pick up the car. It looked worse than it did in the photos because it has been raining pretty badly these past few weeks. But for 250 dollars it was a diamond. Prior to arriving we had bought a winch, but had no hardware to install it. The owner of the car was nice enough to provide tools and take us to the hardware store to buy some wiring and bolts. We installed the winch and put the car on the trailer. This was an exciting moment for both my father and I, we've been dreaming of something like this for a while and it's finally happening.





Today, we went to the local pick and pull and luckily found an 82 model. We pulled lights, trim, the rear trunk lid, and a few other odds and ends to get the car up to visual spec. The car still needs the rear lower part replaced so we'll go back and cut that out.



New lights and door strips on (the one side was melted from being close to a house that caught fire)

My father is getting older so he's not so keen on doing too much labor. Because of this he would rather build the 1.8 on the car. For me, 90 hp is a bit slow for a race car. I've done a ton of research and found that the 4.0 and 4.4 from the 740il will fit along with the 6 speed from an e39? or 38 540. This would obviously require a lot of fabrication, but thankfully we have friends that will help!

So, plans?
Fathers plan:
- Build the 1.8. Put in some bits from the 2.0.
- Maybe turbo.
- Not sure the cost but I'd imagine it would be pretty expensive to source the parts needed

My plan:
- 4.0 or 4.4 V8 Swap with a 6 speed manual
- Some type of rear end, haven't quite decided or figured out what would fit yet
- Keep it NA
- Cost: 200 for motor, 200 for tranny, and 200 for the bits in between
- maybe 2-300 for the rear end
- 100-200 for driveshaft
- Why so cheap? Because we have amazing pick and pulls. I know for sure the one by where I live has a healthy 4.4

Plans regardless:
- Roll Cage
- Sway bars
- Springs and struts
- rear disc brake conversion
- wider wheels and tires
- Racing seat and harness
- Stripped interior
- Front and rear bumper deletes
- New rear end (body)
- Plexiglass windows, except for the front which needs to be replaced as well.

Will keep this updated! As I typed this I realized how much work will have to be done, but I'm up for it!
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2007 GTI MKV 2 Door | K&N CAI/CTS Turbo DP/Straight Pipe Catback | APR Stage 2 | BC Racing BR Coilovers| 235/40/18 Pilot Sport AS/3s on Avant Garde M240s
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