Eighties, I’m Living in the Eighties

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Nov 4, 2019 | BMW, Porsche Club of America, '80s | Posted in Podcast | From the Aug. 2019 issue | Never miss an article

He might not wear a mullet, but Vu Nguyen, executive director for the Porsche Club of America, is all about the ’80s.

Neon pink BMX bike? Check.

Collection of rad r/c cars? Also check.

And in the garage, you’ll find several of the decade’s greatest hits, including his 1983 BMW 320is. This purchase was all about the connection with the past, he admits–a chance to relive his youth.

My parents owned an ’83 320i in graphite grey when I was in middle school,” he explains. “I used to sneak and drive the car around the neighborhood before my parents would come home from work.”

Then he adds: “Statute of limitations?”

Vu bought this one from the original owner. “Other than new fuel pressure check valve, car has needed nothing other than regular maintenance.”

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View comments on the GRM forums
AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/4/19 8:16 a.m.

the last time i drove an E21 was about 1986.  i loved it then, and i'd probably love it now.

1988RedT2 MegaDork
11/4/19 8:53 a.m.

Nice car.  I could do without the pink bike, though.

NOT A TA SuperDork
11/4/19 9:27 a.m.

I sold a lot of those pink GT's back when they were new. When they were first released we could only get frame & fork sets.

Jumper K Balls (Trent)
Jumper K Balls (Trent) PowerDork
11/4/19 9:40 a.m.

In for more GT Performer content! laugh

Vigo MegaDork
11/4/19 10:47 a.m.

Buys 40 year old car. Nothing goes wrong. 


Must be nice! 

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/4/19 4:38 p.m.
NOT A TA said:

I sold a lot of those pink GT's back when they were new. When they were first released we could only get frame & fork sets.

John Paige http://www.lab-14.com

I'm pretty sure that you sold one to my nephew back around 1987 or so.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/4/19 8:41 p.m.

In reply to NOT A TA :

I just checked with my nephew. He bought a blue GT from you. He also had a pink Dyno.

RandolphCarter New Reader
11/4/19 9:19 p.m.

In reply to Jumper K Balls (Trent) :

You have to go off site for that, but here you go.

amg_rx7 SuperDork
11/4/19 10:31 p.m.
Vigo said:

Buys 40 year old car. Nothing goes wrong. 


Must be nice! 

German car fanboys hide that under "maintenance " ;)

dettonator20 New Reader
11/5/19 9:50 a.m.

I had a black '81 which I should not have sold in '94. I had no repairs during the three years that I owned it. That was definitely not the case with the E34 and E36 that I owned after!

irish44j MegaDork
11/5/19 4:30 p.m.

I had an e21 that I mostly-rebuilt. Never drove that one before I decided to bail on the project, but another one I drove basically gave the impression of being a 2002 with worse handling, slower, and heavier. I thought it was a cool little car, but in truth it didn't do anything as well as either a 2002 or an early e30.  I sold my project after I swapped an M42 engine into it, which probably would have made it a fun car.  But I already had an e30, so kind of decided 'what's the point?'

Maintenance? There's not much to go wrong on the e21....M10 is a solid engine, and the chassis/suspension is downright basic.

But, I still have enough 80s cars for the moment :)





Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/5/19 5:01 p.m.

My boss had a E21 for a year or so. I got to drive it once, which was my first experience in a German car.  Definitely left an impression.

GT Pro Performer freestyle bike... I actually have a set of those handlebars, although in chrome. And I'm not sure how good the decals are after 36 years (I got them in 1983).

jr02518 Reader
11/5/19 7:00 p.m.

If you have any hope of owning one of these at something approaching a sain price, buy it now.  They are starting to escalate, rapidly.

Yes, only a 1.8 liter but if you embrace driving them above 3600 RPM they will reward the driver.  Just be prepared for a lot of body roll.


David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/19/19 9:44 p.m.

And just in case you missed the reference in the title:


David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/19/19 9:46 p.m.

And because Vu rules so much, you can learn a bit more about him (and his model car collection) here.

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