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 |   |  1980 BMW 316 - Kevve Raekelboom
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1980 BMW 316 - Kevve Raekelboom

First generation 3 Series meets the pavement

Thatcher Shultz
Jul 2, 2013

In 1975, BMW introduced what would eventually become one of the most iconic sports sedans ever - the 3 Series. With the E21 (referring to its chassis code), BMW created a worthy successor to the aging 2002, and over eight years ('75-83), the E21 evolved into a legendary platform in it's own right, which is gaining renewed popularity today.

01 1980 BMW 316 front fascia Photo 2/12   |   This E21 received love it hadn't seen since its showroom debut

Kevve Raekelboom's latest creation is actually eight years older than he is - a 1980 BMW 316. The professional photographer from Belgium, who took these photos and many others on our website, purchased the car in 2010. After a particularly inspiring trip to SEMA in Las Vegas, he began working on what would be one of the cleanest E21s we've seen.

Perhaps most impressive about Kevve's creation is it's custom AccuAir air suspension setup, which was built and installed using an E30 as the 3D blueprint by Kean Suspensions.

Dean Upholstery took on the interior, perfectly matching Kevve's aftermarket Bride seats to look as if they rolled off the factory assembly line.

07 1980 BMW 316 rear taillight Photo 3/12   |   07 1980 BMW 316 Rear Taillight

Admittedly, Kevve's E21 is a lightly driven show car that he aims to keep in pristine condition. The Belgian country roads are apparently not as stretched-tire friendly as he hoped. We were, however, impressed to hear that in 2011, Kevve drove the car 795 miles to Worthersee in Austria without any issues!

The ultimate goal for the E21 is a trip to SEMA to let his creation shine under the lights on the famous Las Vegas Strip. His plans include swapping in a built motor and modifying the rear fenders to accommodate even wider wheels.

Tech Spec
1980 BMW 316

Kevve Raekelboom
Oostakker (Gent), Belgium
Photographer

11 1980 BMW 316 kevve raekelboom Photo 7/12   |   11 1980 BMW 316 Kevve Raekelboom

Engine
Shaved engine bay, K&N filter, sports exhaust

Drivetrain
Four-speed manual transmission

Suspension
custom AccuAir air suspension, notched chassis

Wheels & Tires
17x8" BBS Super RS, 185/35 R17 Nankang Ultra Sport tires

Exterior
rolled fenders, new rear lights, painted rocker panels, skirts and under-chassis parts

10 1980 BMW 316 shaved engine bay Photo 8/12   |   The rebuilt engine sits in its shaved surroundings, next up is a motor swap

Interior
custom carbon-fiber dash, leather Bride seats with carbon backs, Sparco harnesses

Thanks
Concept 983 club, Kean Suspensions, Dieter

09 1980 BMW 316 leather bride seat Photo 12/12   |   The vintage cabin got modern seats with classic flair
By Thatcher Shultz
3 Articles

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