Text by Josh Wilson   Photos by Kevve.be

Much like the Phoenix from Greek mythology, an array of vintage automobiles are being saved from an ill fate by car enthusiasts the world over… and triumphantly returning to the pavement with a mix of nostalgia, plus a mix of modern tuning interpretation. Automotive restoration is nothing new. But the trend seems to be surging in the younger generations of enthusiasts. Tuners – turning to the classics. It’s possible that this trend has infiltrated the youth demographic – because of the limitations that new technologies & computer systems bring on new chassis. Maybe it’s because some of us seek to shed the modern ‘conveniences’ that can easily end up being crutches… and we just long to return to the purity of the sport. Or – perhaps the vintage cars just look clean on Instagram filters. It’s probably all of these things… and in the same breath it’s probably no one thing in particular. Nevertheless, our demographic seems to be in a renaissance of creativity when it comes to appreciating & revitalizing dilapidated & forgotten chassis.

In the late 70’s, the first BMW E21 rolled off the assembly line, becoming the first 3-Series to be produced. But the car was quickly over-shadowed by its own successor – the E30. And it’s pretty much been that way ever since. We all know the E30 in today’s culture. And that’s probably what’s started to lead some BMW guys, like Prakash Thanky, to look a little further back again – to the E21.



New rear arches shaped & welded in place

New inner & outer sill welded in

Single headlight conversion – from e21 318

Clear front indicators

Red-tinted rear indicators

Smoothed rear antenna

Rear foam spoiler removed

Rear window louvres


Recaro seats – from e24 BMW

BMW e28 center console

Alpina shift knob

Alpina steering wheel

Remote start


24v 2.5 m50b25 – from an e34

Custom modified sump/pickup

Aftermarket intake

Custom exhaust by P&B

Transmission – 323i 5-speed

Z3 short shift

323i linkage

323i prop shaft


Airlift air setup

Airlift V2 management

Hartge Design C’s – 17×8.5 front & 17×9 rear (185/35/17 ft & 195/40/17 rr)

E21 323i calipers

EBC Red Stuff pads

Stainess steel brake lines

modified front subframe