This web site is dedicated to BMW's first 3-series, more affectionately known to its fans by BMW's internal code: E21.
The first 3-series was launched in Germany in June 1975 as a direct successor to the highly successful 02 (1502 - 2002tii) which had been in production
The design of the 3-series E21 incorporated a more rounded overall appearance, an integrated roll bar, computer-calculated deformation areas, beefed up side pillars and a gas tank forward of the rear axle. Non-inflammable covers and seats, automatic safety belts on the front seats and instrument panel lighting in orange complete the more safety-oriented concept.
Not everybody was enthusiastic at first since BMW stressed the comfort and maturity of its design but cut down on the fun/speed factor. Nevertheless this did not prevent the E21 from becoming the first BMW to sell over 1 million units in as little as 7 years. The E21 was more mature in every way and paved the way for the now common sight of compact cars with large engines.
In the Autumn of 1982 the E21 was succeeded by the E30 (second BMW 3-series) with the 315 remaining in production until 1983. But that is another story altogether and the focal point of other sites.
This site is E21 only !