Spring 2022 NJMP Recap – From Bill Van Ocker, Chief Instructor


Hi Fellow Track Enthusiasts,

Well…we just wrapped up our first HPDE event for 2022, and I’d like to thank everyone who joined in. Most importantly, to the many students and the dedicated crew of instructors and volunteers that make such an event possible. I know it’s an old saying, “that it takes a village,” but it does, and all of you are part of that community.

I was also pleased that we had quite a few first timers, both young and older. I even had the opportunity to chat with many, and all expressed having a great time. Yes, a few had reserved expressions on their faces first thing in the morning. But everyone had cheerful faces after their first stint on track and glints in their eyes after taking rides with their instructors. I do believe we’ll be seeing many again.

The event also included our ITS (instructor training school) program, where all eight candidates faced the grueling challenge and are now qualified BMWCCA instructors. Many may not know this, but our BMW club has developed and set the highest standard for HPDE instruction. So I’d like to welcome the new graduates to our instructor corps and tell anyone considering an HPDE event you are in absolutely the best hands.

Indeed, the weather threw us quite a mix, from occasional light rain, some sun at times, to a good bit of chilly wind. Aside from that, we had a great weekend of on track fun. What more can you ask for?

Please keep tabs on the events ahead, and I look forward to seeing everyone again soon, and hopefully, many new faces. As I’ve said in the past, I assure you that you’ll have a great time.

Best Regards, Bill Van Ocker

BMW CCA NJ – Chief Instructor

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February Monthly Meeting – 56 Degree Wine


Our February Monthly Meeting will be held on the 24th at 56 Degree Wine. We have been invited to a wine tasting led by Joe Bembry. Bring your best wine & pairing questions!

Date: Thursday February 24th, 2022

Time: 6:30-9pm

Place: 56 Degree Wine

16 Mine Brook Road

Bernardsville, NJ 07924


January 25th Monthly Meeting – Shade Tree Garage


Our January monthly meeting will be on the 25th at Shade Tree Garage.

Meeting Details:

Date: January 25th, 2022
Place: Shade Tree Garage
171 Washington St,
Morristown, NJ 07960

Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm

Meeting Topic: History of Propulsion

Food and light refreshments will be served. See you then!





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Pick Your Pumpkin Fun Drive


In October 2020, the New Jersey Chapter hosted the inaugural Pick Your Pumpkin fun drive through the scenic farmlands of western New Jersey and along the Delaware River to raise funds for NORWESCAP, a not-for-profit organization providing social services to low-income families in northwest New Jersey. The family-friendly event, which replaced the club’s traditional Whack Your Turkey fun rally, provided participants with an opportunity to enjoy beautiful weather and au-tumn foliage while identifying roadside attractions from the organizers’ list of bad puns and silly clues. The drive through the scenic back roads along the Delaware River drew more than 70 cars and 150 participants, with a mix of longtime and new club members, and raised $1,600 for NORWESCAP.
New Jersey Chapter president Neil Gambony and Helene Meissner, director of the NORWESCAP Food Bank, spoke at the start of the event to thank the participants for their generosity. The New Jersey Chapter’s $3,070 donation will support her organization’s mission to provide food for those in our community who are hungry or at risk of hunger. Each dollar donated allows the NORWESCAP Food Bank to provide fourteen pounds of food for distribution to a local family in need.
The route began in historic Clinton and headed south-west on County Route 513, passing the iconic Red Mill Museum and continuing through bucolic farmlands toward Pittstown and Frenchtown. In Frenchtown, the route passed near the home and retail store once owned by Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert before turning south on NJ Route 29, following the eastern shore of the Delaware River south through Stockton and Lambertville. The participants’ crossing of the Delaware River in Lambertville over the his-toric New Hope-Lambertville Bridge encountered some congestion, but was much less dramatic than General George Washington’s crossing of the icy Delaware River in December 1776 just a few miles downstream—and definitely not as worthy of memorial-ization by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze in an oil painting.
From New Hope, the route turned and followed Pennsylvania Route 32 along Delaware Canal State Park on the western shore of the Delaware River toward Riegelsville. Passing the historic Riegelsville Inn—built in 1838 to accommodate weary travelers along the once-bustling Delaware River corridor, and still serving diners in the original stone structure—the group crossed back into New Jersey over the historic Riegelsville Bridge designed and built by the John A. Roebling’s Sons Co. (better known for their design of a certain bridge between Manhat-tan and Brooklyn). Once back on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, the group continued northeast on County Route 627 through Fines-ville before turning east on New Jersey Route 173 toward Asbury, where the fun drive ended with an outdoor lunch at the Mountain View Chalet.

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Garage of the Month


President’s Corner – Spring 2021


     Before I get into what’s going on with the Club, I need to start off with a WARNING about a SCAM for all of our Club Members. There have been several attempts last year where “someone” pretending to be “me” had contacted Club Officers asking for some unspecific help ultimately asking them to send “me” gift cards for some charities with the promise of being reimbursed by the Club. When speaking with Officers from other local BMW Chapters, they had told me similar stories.

  Let me just state for the record and I can’t be any clearer about this, you would never ever be contacted from me or any of the Club Officers to send a gift card to anyone in the Club. Should you ever receive an email to that regard, I was advised from the BMW CCA IT expert not to respond to them and to delete them from your files ASAP. I’m happy to report that no one had fallen victim of the scams.

    Now that I have that out of the way, let’s get on to some good news. There are some coronavirus vaccines that have been proven to have a great effective rate; it will still be a while to get them out to the population. Don’t dispose of your masks and hand sanitizers just yet.

   We are proceeding with our usual schedule of events for 2021, similar to the events that we would have held in 2020. As of now we have planned a Show and Shine, which will be outdoors in April since we are still unable to congregate indoors during the winter months. As always, we have to rely on what the BMW CCA and the governor will allow us to proceed with. We have tentative dates for our Driver Schools and Club Races; they are now posted on the website.  

    2020 was the first year in as long as I can remember (I’ve only been here 25 years) we didn’t hold any Autocrosses, for 2021 it will be dependent on the availability of the lot and the willingness of the Autocross committee to run them. They won’t happen until much later in the year. We’re going to reserve the facility for our Street Survival Schools however that too will depend on if we can return to in-car instruction safely.

   We’re looking forward to once again having the Championship Series return in 2021, some Autocrosses, Rallies and the Pinewood Derby which were missed by many of our members. Something new we tried last year where we were able to social distance properly at were Scenic Drives which turned out to be hugely popular, I expect they will return for this year.

   Speaking of the Scenic Drives, we had used them to benefit one of our charities, the Food Bank of Norwescap. We collected over $2400 which equates to more than 33,000 pounds of food. Thanks go to Jeff White, Rich Altman and Wade S. Howard who helped planned the routes along with the rest stops along the way. I want to thank all of our members whose participation in these made them a success.

   I must take a moment to thank the Officers of the Chapter who have returned in 2021 to the Board positions they held in 2020. Paul Ngai-Vice President, David Allaway-Secretary, Ron Gemeinhardt-Treasurer, Jeff White-Director of Driving Events, Rich Altman-Director of Social Events, Colin Vozeh-Webmaster, our 2 appointed Members-at-Large- Ross Karlin-Race Chairman and Jamie Kavalieros-Driver School Chairman. There is also Bob Isbitski and Mark Hulbrock, both Members-at-Large. Some other members of my team who stayed onboard for 2021 are Allison Mack-Business Manager and Kevin Sheehy-Membership Chairperson. We have been holding monthly Board meetings by teleconferencing and I am at the point where I can tell who’s speaking by their voice. I look forward to when we can all meet in person once again.

  The Driver School committee remains intact with Jamie Kavalieros as the Chairman, Mirril McMullen-Chief Technical Advisor, Bill Van Ocker-Chief Instructor, and Mark Mallory-Registrar.  Elihu Savad is still in charge of the Autocross committee.

  I would like to acknowledge longtime Club member Jerry Faber who after 17 years of being the editor of the Chapter’s newsletter, The Bulletin, has decided to step down. I would like to thank Jerry for his time and dedication to the Chapter for all those years. Eventually I’ll have a replacement for him.

  With much regret, I would like to share with you the news that former Chief Instructor Blake Smith had passed away in December of 2020. He had served as the Chapter’s Chief Instructor from 1998 to 2008. Blake, who was a retired airline pilot, continued to do his flying on the ground. Although he had stepped down from the Chief instructor position, he did not step away from instructing. He was very involved in the Instructor Training School (ITS) program and was instrumental in how other Chapters trained their instructors.

  I had the pleasure of having Blake as an instructor at one of our Driver’s School, My day with Blake was cut short when he was having a mechanical issue with his own car that he needed to attend to but there were instructions he had given me in the few sessions I had with him that I still use today when driving on the track.

   He always took an interest in your car and what performance upgrades you may have done. At the start of one of our driving seasons, he had asked me if I had done anything to my car over the winter. I responded that I had placed a mousetrap in the car and I got the full chuckle from him that I was expecting, something that I’ll miss hearing very much.  We are planning to have a memorial celebration in his honor later in the year when we are able to congregate again.

  One event that we had to cancel last year but were able to reschedule for this year is the 1-Day M School at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It’s on the schedule this year for September 18th and is limited to 30 students. This school provides the perfect opportunity to thrash BMW’s M cars for the day.


Scenic Drive – Summer 2020


Hosted by NJ Chapter, DelVal Chapter, and TriState 5ers

Members of the NJ Chapter participated in a family-friendly scenic drive on July 12th over the winding backroads of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Morris counties. The 60-mile long scenic drive, which began and ended at the Hills Village Center in Bedminster, attracted both long-time members and members for whom this was their first chapter event. The event was co-hosted by the NJ Chapter, DelVal Chapter, and the TriState 5ers group to raise funds for NORWESCAP, a not-for-profit organization that provides social services to low-income families in northwest New Jersey.

Attendees who arrived early to grab a coffee before heading out on the scenic drive were treated to an appearance of a very rare 2002 Touring model which did a quick lap of the parking lot to check out more than 30 BMWs across a range of generations and models that gathered at the shopping center in Bedminster. The limitations on activities in place at the time of the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic required all attendees to wear facemasks and adopt social distancing, but neither prevented the group from enjoying the beautiful weather and exploring scenic backroads of central New Jersey.

The convoy headed out from the shopping center and followed the leader (and Google Maps turn-by-turn directions) over winding backroads past the former estate of American auto executive John DeLorean in Bedminster and along the Lamington River in Pottersville en route to Long Valley Pub & Restaurant for lunch. Long Valley Pub & Restaurant accommodated the drivers and passengers with a designated parking area for the group along with a tasty menu of pub favorites served al fresco in the expanded outdoor seating area.

After lunch, the group headed back towards Bedminster on a meandering route over the windy backroads of Chester, Gladstone, and Mendham before taking a quick pause at the Jockey Hollow National Historical Park visitor center to allow the stragglers to re-group. From Jockey Hollow, the group continued onward Summer 2020 New Jersey BMW CCA Bulletin into Harding where the group leader had a near-miss with a groundhog that had wandered into the roadway. Keeping your eyes up isn’t just good practice while driving at the racetrack. Thankfully, the group leader and the cars immediate behind him were able to dodge the obstruction and the marmot scurried back to relative safety in the brush alongside the road.

The group traversed the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge without any further wildlife encounters and passed through Long Hill, Millington, and Bernardsville before returning to the Hills Village Center in Bedminster

Philes’ Forum – Summer 2020


By Vic Lucariello, Sr

Last time we talked about brake-system bleeding and brake-fluid flushing and the purpose of each. Bleeding is intended to remove any air or other gas bubbles from the hydraulic system, while flushing is done to replace old, contaminated brake fluid with fresh new fluid. Of course, a good flush will tend to remove any entrained gasses. Air or gas bubbles in your brake [or clutch] system can cause a low, “spongy” pedal, while contaminated fluid, in addition to fomenting corrosion, can boil under severe-use conditions and cause……………a low, “spongy” brake pedal. Generally speaking, when all is said and done, the main difference between brake
bleeding and brake-fluid flushing is the amount of fluid put through the system.

There are several methods of bleeding brakes and changing brake fluid, and some methods may be better than others for problem situations. With one
exception, all the methods we will talk about involve fluid movement from the master cylinder, down to the calipers and out of the system via the bleeder screws. In the case of brake bleeding, the idea is that any air will be expelled with the discharged fluid. I guess the various methods can be categorized as “pressure” or “vacuum”. Let’s begin with vacuum.

Before we begin, note that regardless of what method you use, you should be capturing all expelled brake fluid in a suitable container via a piece of
tubing attached to the bleeder screw. I always use clear-vinyl tubing so that I can observe the color of the expelled fluid as well as any bubbles. Suitable vinyl tubing can be had at any hardware store. Brake fluid handily removes most paints. And, trust me on this, you definitely do not want to get brake fluid in your eyes! So, eye protection is required, as it is for just about any work on your car.

Vacuum bleeding/flushing involves applying suction to the caliper-bleeder screws. This can be accomplished with a Vacula or Mityvac shop-air powered “brake bleeder”, or with a simple hand pump as shown in Photo #1. This particular hand pump is by Phoenix Systems, and it is suitable for both “normal” and “reverse” bleeding [more on this later]. While the air-powered vacuum bleeders are faster, the hand pump works just as well.

Although vacuum bleeding/flushing is popular with many folks and is relatively fast to set up, there are a couple of disadvantages to it in my opinion. I guess what bothers me most is that, being that suction is applied to the bleeder screw, you can get fugitive air sucked in around the bleeder-screw threads, and you can’t tell if this air is coming from the brake system or sneaking around the bleeder screw. You can minimize the amount of fugitive air by wrapping the bleeder-screw threads in Teflon tape. However,
be SURE to keep the tape off of the tapered seat on the bleeder screw. Photo #2 depicts a bleeder screw wrapped in Teflon tape. Teflon tape comes in different qualities and thicknesses. The thin, good quality stuff is what I prefer.

A purported advantage of the vacuum method is that it tends to enlarge any bubbles in the system, thereby making them easier to entrain and remove. This sounds quite reasonable to me.

Vacuum bleeding/flushing is generally a bit slower than pressure bleeding [more on this later], and usually vacuum bleeding can only be applied to one bleeder screw at a time. Moreover, one needs to keep close watch on the brake-fluid-reservoir level [this applies to some other methods as well] to ensure that it does not empty and introduce air into the brake system.

Pressure bleeding/flushing can be sub-divided into several categories: gravity, pump-the-pedal [P-T-P], and external pressure. In the gravity method, one simply opens one or more bleeder screws and allows fluid to flow from the system. The gravity method is perhaps the slowest of all the methods I know of, and in some cases, depending upon the arrangement of the system and how long the brake lines are, one may get little or no brake-fluid flow from one or more bleeder screws, especially the rears. Also, being that this method is relatively slow, one may tend to get impatient and walk away, perhaps forgetting to keep an eye on the all-important brake -fluid-reservoir level. I once did a survey of professional shops specializing in BMWs and some shops claimed to use gravity bleeding/flushing.

That brings us to pumping the brake pedal. In this very popular [in the DIY set] method, one has an assistant pump the brake pedal, then hold foot pressure on it while the bleeder screws are opened one at a time. The pumping action of the master cylinder is used to expel fluid and any entrained gas. Then [hopefully] after the bleeder screw is re- closed, the assistant releases the brake pedal and the sequence is repeated…..over….and…… over……..and, well, you get the picture. Any of you who has spent any time in repair shops or track garages has undoubtedly heard the “Pump it up…..Hoooold it….OK” litany. One of my first jobs when I began working in the corner “gas station” lo those decades ago was to be the P-T-P assistant. And that reminds me of one of the disadvantages of the P-T-P method.

When doing the ol’ P-T-P routine, your assistant has to be very careful not to release the brake pedal before you say “OK”. [Of course, you need to be very careful not to say “OK” until you have closed the dang bleeder screw.] If the pedal is released before the bleeder screw is closed, the system will suck in a nice shot of air. In this august, family- oriented publication, I cannot repeat what ol’ ‘Pino Cocuzzo said to me in that Gulf station the first time I took my foot off the brake pedal too soon.

Speaking of less-than-competent assistants, I’ll never forget the time I was bleeding the brakes on my hotrod in an effort to alleviate a spongy brake pedal. I must have repeated the “Pump it – hold it” litany for 15 minutes [at least it seemed that long] with no success before I realized that my assistant was depressing the CLUTCH pedal [no mean feat on my hotrod!].

Assistant incompetence aside, my main concerns regarding P-T-P bleeding/flushing are that it takes quite a while, and many pedal cycles, to pump a liter of fluid through the system, and that the master-cylinder’s piston seals are dragged repeatedly over areas in the master-cylinder bore that they normally do not contact. In uncommon cases [perhaps more likely with older, cast-iron-body master cylinders], this can cause the master cylinder to fail. Yes, this has happened to me. Of course, one needs to keep close watch on the fluid level when using the P-T-P method. And a closer watch on the assistant!

The P-T-P method does have one great advantage over the other methods we are talking about. Even moderate foot pressure on a brake pedal can produce 1000 psi [pounds per square inch] pressure in the brake system. To put that in perspective, the pressure provided by a common pressure bleeder [more on this later] is only about 20 psi. Opening a bleeder screw with 1000 psi behind it results in a high-velocity jet of brake fluid, and this high velocity can sometimes expel a recalcitrant air bubble that has resisted other methods of brake bleeding. I rarely have to resort to P-T-P when bleeding a brake system. And of course, when you are doing a simple fluid flush, there should be no air in the system to begin with.

That brings us to external-pressure bleeding/flushing and unfortunately to the end of Philes’ Forum for this time. See you next time, Bimmerphiles. Anyone wishing to contribute to Philes’ Forum can contact me at vic.sr@njbmwcca.org. I’m interested in tech tips, repair/maintenance questions, repair horror stories, emissions-inspection sagas, product evaluations, etc.

President’s Corner – Summer 2020


“Once upon a time, it was a dark and stormy night.” That’s not much of a beginning for a column in a car- club-related newsletter; it’s a combination of some opening lines for stories that should have happy endings. I need to give credit to Snoopy for the latter half of the first line because right now I feel a little like Snoopy sitting on top of a dog house typing this
column to hopefully have a happy ending.

We are still in the midst of a world-wide pandemic which has been greatly restricting the events we would normally have throughout the year. We are proceeding with caution while following the guidelines set forth by the BMW CCA, our government leaders and the regulations of the venues we are attending, either here in NJ or elsewhere.

We have been able to hold some events, the first being the Scenic/Fun Car Drive in June organized by our Director of Social Events, Rich Altman and Club member Wade Howard. I won’t be going into the details of the event since there is story elsewhere in the Bulletin about it but I would like to thank them for putting it together since it was a benefit for the Foodbank of NORWESCAP. As you may be aware by now, donations to foodbanks have been greatly impacted by the pandemic; this event was able to generate over 11,000 pounds of food for the Foodbanks recipients. More Scenic /Fun Drives are in our future.

We held the 7th annual Geoff Atkinson Memorial Drivers School and Club Race at Summit Point, West Virginia in July. It was warm weather as usual with several run groups of students and a full contingent of Club Racers that were able to run in 4 races. I must thank VAC Motorsports for their continued support and sponsorship of our Club Racing. All of the students,
instructors and racers were thrilled to be finally out at the track after being self-quarantined (or was it sequestered?) for months.

Since we were unable to have in-car instruction for students, our Chief Instructor Bill Van Ocker had implemented having the student run groups use a Lead/Follow (L/F) system with Instructors, this is similar to what other car clubs and organizations are now using. The L/F instruction works great with those who have previous track experience.

We are still planning to be at the Shenandoah Circuit of Summit Point in October, we will be most likely using the L/F instruction there. It is uncertain at this time if we will have the pot-luck dinner at the track like we had last year due to the coronavirus but will wait to see what the protocol is then.

Another event that has fallen victim to the pandemic is our September Tirerack Street Survival School for teen drivers. We were concerned given the guidelines in which we are to instruct students that it would lead to confusion and possibly frustration on the behalf of both the students and the instructors. The social distancing guidelines for the classroom may also have prevented all of the students from being able to see and hear the instructor. We’re looking forward to holding the schools again in 2021 if they can be held in more ideal conditions.

We are now looking into the fall when we normally hold a long-time Chapter tradition right before Thanksgiving, the Whack Your Turkey Rally. There may be some change to that also since the governor is still not allowing indoor dining as of this writing. We may shift the time earlier in the fall when it’s still warm enough to congregate outdoors under cover or look for a great big space indoor like a warehouse where we can still comply with social distancing guidelines.

One last item of Club business is the election of officers to our Board of Directors for the year 2021. This year has been going by quickly but not quick enough to get us to the other side of this pandemic. As usual, the spots up for grab are: President, Vice- President, Treasurer, Secretary, Driving Events, Director of Social Events, and 2 Member-at-Large positions. There will be an E-Blast going out in October that will have information of how to nominate yourself or any other individual. If you have any questions regarding the positions and their duties please contact me, my address is at the bottom of this column.

It was great to see the turnout of members at the Show and Shine/Swap Meet which was held at the Deutscher Club in August. Although the prediction for the weather was ominous, we had clearing skies for the evening. In keeping within the social distancing guidelines, all participants hung out in the parking lot and under the pavilion until it got dark. This event is gaining in popularity and will definitely be back in the future.
Continue Staying Safe.

Neil Gambony

Initial Ramblings – Spring 2020: The E21 Movement


The following is an expanded article I did for the Spring 2020 edition of Ultimate Classic, the quarterly newsletter for the BMW Classic Car Club of America. For me this was just another step closer to achieving a childhood dream of getting something I wrote published in a national magazine. I do not have a journalism degree or even took any kind of classes but yet here I am, typing away at 11:16 pm before our deadline. My column in our Chapter’s newsletter has always been very fulfilling and I appreciate all of you who take the time to email me or come up to me at an event or meeting to say how much you enjoy what I write. It validates that my ramblings have some value. I have immense appreciation for those who do this for a living. Now, enough of this, onto the article.

In the car world, there are vehicles that slip under the radar for years. Cars that only the most dedicated enthusiast are aware of. Perhaps you can describe them as the neglected middle child. BMW has one of those cars, the E21. This is a forgotten gem and the sleeper of collectable BMW’s. It’s perhaps the Bimmer that has been the most overlooked model. It’s the first to carry a 3-Series badge. It is nestled between the classic and ever popular 2002 and the leader of the vintage 3 series lust factor, the E30. Yet the E21 has had little interest, until now.

For those who are unaware, this car was built from 1975 to 1983, but first available in the US in 1977. We will focus on the US versions. Built during the second gas crisis, these sports sedans were fun, nimble and efficient for the time. The first years 1977 to 1979 were 2.0L M10 overhead cam, hemi-head 4-cylinder motors equipped with Bosch KJetronic Injection and 4-Speed transmissions, or an optional 3 speed automatic. The 1980-1983 versions were powered by a 1.8L M10 4-cylinder and followed by a Getrag 5-Speed or optional automatic. The later versions were also available as an S model equipped with Recaro Seats, front air dam, rear spoiler, cross hatch wheels, and larger anti sway bars front and rear. When compared to today’s basic BMW’s, they are antiquated, but to the enthusiast, it provides a raw, direct and connected feeling to the road. With manual everything, this is a sports sedan in primitive form. I always say the E21 doesn’t do everything right, but doesn’t do anything wrong.

I have been an E21 owner for 18 years now, a 1977 320i. It was my first BMW I owned. My uncle always said his favorite BMW he had was his Alpinweiss 1983 320i. When my wife Sandy spotted ours for sale, I remembered this so I had to see it. I spoked to the seller, loaded up my trailer, withdrew cash from the bank, and headed out to buy it. I was so focused on negotiating of the deal I almost walked away from this car, all over $100. When I got into my
truck, Sandy said what happened? I told her we were at a stalemate and I wasn’t giving in. It must be my stubborn German heritage. My wife then said “Are you going to really lose the car over $100? Is it worth it?” Rationale won over my need win the battle and I grabbed the seller before he left – Always listen to the wife. In the end, we all won.

Since then I have had an additional 4 other E21’s, as well as 11 other models of BMW’s. Still, the E21, and my original 320i are my favorite. When I had first bought mine, you can purchase a nice one needing very little work for $2,000-3,000. In the last couple years, interest in the E21 has seen an increase in popularity. I’ve noticed Millennials are discovering this little gem. As a result there has been an uptick in their value. Maybe this new generation isn’t all that bad? I performed a search of previous sales on Bring a Trailer. The average selling price has been between $5,000 and $15,000 with an astounding price being achieved in June or 2019 for a clean 320i of $25,500. The ultimate E21, a drool worthy 1979 BMW Alpina B6 2.8L, sold for $80,000 on September 28, 2018. This has to be a world record sale for any street legal E21. But for those who don’t have that kind of cash in your Bitcoin account and can do some wrenching yourself, you can still find project cars out there from $1,000-3,000 depending on the needs of the vehicle.

Parts can be a little scarce depending on what you need. Tune up kits and such are readily available, but some stuff is not, like original trunk lid weather stripping. BMW Classic division was still producing a large array of E21 parts, but some have gone No-Longer-Available. Those seeking original used can search eBay or E21 groups, just have patience. I have a small stock pile of parts I acquired from a fellow CCA member as well as parts cars I’ve picked up over the years. The more popular items have already been sold but I still have interior, fuel related, and body parts available. If you need anything, feel free to contact me at my email below.

In 2002, when I bought my 320i, I knew nothing about these cars. I searched the web for information and found Bimmerforums had an E21 section. I joined, participated and absorbed as much as I could. There are a lot of helpful enthusiasts on there. Another informative site that was dedicated to these cars was bmw320i.com. This was a treasure trove of technical info and repair tips. Unfortunately that site is no longer around. I started to add a lot of that info on my own website but after changing servers, I haven’t done any work to restore these pages yet. Some of you may remember back from 2003-2007 I held E21 gatherings where owners from around the northeast would congregate, swap stories, show their cars and have a bite to eat together. It was a lot of fun but in 2008 I was getting married the same month I usually held them. Unfortunately for the E21 gang, my nuptials took priority. I’ve recently considered resurrecting the gatherings but the pandemic has put an indefinite hold it, at least for this year.

As with any obscure but devoted group of enthusiasts, clubs will form. In the mid 2000’s a group called the E21 Legion came to be. I have no idea what my membership number is but I know it was only 3 digits I think in the 200 or 500 realm. There’s probably several thousand now and I am happy to say the Legion is still going strong today. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram. The most recent and significant advancement for the original 3Series owners is the formation of a BMW CCA sanctioned
SIG (Special Interest Group) called E21 Sharknose Register run by Joel Palmer. You can also find it on Facebook and Instagram under the name e21 CCA. With the CCA sanctioned group, this solidifies the strong resurgence in the interest in E21’s and it will continue to grow. I am proud to be one of the pioneers of this chassis blazing a way to a new frontier. And to think I was going to lose all of this fun over $100?

The Movement is on.

Are you in?

JT Burkard jtburkard.blogspot.com

Send comments and suggestions to: jtburkard@comcast.net



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Why Become a BMW CCA Member?

Over 70,000 members of the BMW Car Club of America invite you to join us and enjoy the many benefits of membership in the largest and most active BMW club in the world. Your membership includes a wide and wonderful variety of publications, activities and events designed to help you learn about, maintain, drive and enjoy your BMW.

In addition, membership in the BMWCCA will save you money. You will receive a discount on parts and supplies purchased at your BMW dealer, and you will receive a significant allowance on the purchase or lease of certain new or CPO BMW cars. For more information, see the Membership Benefits Page of the BMW CCA national website.

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You will receive the monthly Roundel, our colorful, informative 140 page magazine which many consider to be the world’s best car club publication. You’ll also become a member in one of our 63 local chapters which publish newsletters, conduct driving schools, tech sessions, social events, and assist you in servicing and enjoying your BMW.

In addition, BMW CCA offers the following benefits and services:

  • Discounts on parts and supplies
  • Free classified ads reaching all of our members plus non-member Web surfers.
  • Library and video services
  • Help from technical and maintenance experts
  • Distinctive club decals
  • “Friends of BMW” booklet listing members who will assist you
  • Ombudsmen to assist you with BMW dealers or suppliers
  • BMW Special Interest Groups (SIGs) listed in the Roundel

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All membership applications, renewals and address changes should be sent to:

BMW CCA National Office
640 South Main Street, Suite 201
Greenville, SC 29601
Phone 800-878-9292

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About Us


The New Jersey Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America was established in 1970 and today has of over 3,000 members in New Jersey and the surrounding area. Our purpose is to provide services and organize events that benefit and interest our members. Our goal is to help you get the most enjoyment and satisfaction from BMW ownership, and to create a community where members can share their enthusiasm for these terrific cars.

The Chapter holds a monthly meeting for members that often consist of technical presentations and demonstrations. Our social events are well know as fun, family affairs and offer a great opportunity for members and their families to meet and mingle.

Since we are a car club, we place a lot of emphasis on the safe, proper operation of the automobile. We offer several “behind-the-wheel” activities in a learning environment that are designed to improve your driving skills. These consist of our Street Survival program for teens, Autocross events and our highly regarded Driver School program.

Since this is a BMW car club, we also organize competitive events that explore the limits of these awesome cars. We hold regular timed Autocross events and sponsor several Club Races throughout the season.

If you, like most car nuts, can’t resist modifying, improving and maintaining your prized BMW’s, the club has a terrific collection of resources for you. The scope and depth of knowledge among our membership almost guarantees that you’ll find an expert who will gladly offer advice on any detail, and the club maintains a technical library and toolbox for your use.

This club exists for you, the membership, and is run by active members. What we do as a club is determined by you so, if you would like to see other activities, or additional services offered, please bring these suggestions forward.

So, join the club, come to a meeting, and meet your fellow members. We are sure that you will make new friends who share your interests – and passion – for these great cars!

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