Lucy Barlow | E21

Lucy Barlow’s E21 is a vehicle worthy of some high recognition, it has come a long way since the day she picked it up with no MOT and managed to drive it off the gentleman’s drive with seized rear brakes! This classic example of one of BMW’s finest designs, has been well and truly pampered since Lucy took on the job of putting it back to its former glory.


After, of course, replacing those seized brakes with brand new drums, shoes, cylinders, discs, pads, and lines, she went on to pay the underneath of this beauty a lot of well-deserved love and attention! Beginning with a gearbox oil change, diff oil change, full brake fluid change, the clutch was bled through, followed by new steering rack boots, new inner and outer tracking arms, new cv boots, and of course new wheel bearings all round! Needless to say a lot of time and effort was put into the beginning of this build to ensure nothing was missed, and the car was almost looking like the day it left the factory underneath!


With so much mechanical work gone into this build already, it was time to play around with the overall look. Pairing the incredible 15” BBS RM’s with Accuair eLevel management, rear Airlift Bags, and custom built struts by Kustom Kolors with triple (yes triple – not double!) bellow bags, it’s fair to say the overall look for Lucy’s build is well and truly special. The 5 gallon tank and twin Viair 444c pumps ensure she always has enough pressure to lift/drop this car whenever needed. And currently with no pre-sets, it’s either all the way up, or balls out all the way down!



Adjustable camber mounts on the front subframe ensure these beautiful wheels are always sitting pretty tucked under those iconic arches!


After having the boot and doors de-locked, and a custom fabricated rear plinth made to cover where the lock would have been, the car was sent in for a respray in a custom pearl paint job by Kustom Kolors their selves. And what a new lease of life the car was given! The final touches of polished door handles really sets the colour off, and the contrast between the two is just the icing on the cake. Changing to the single headlight set up, and installing clear indicator lenses followed by all red rear lights really finishes the car off with a clean finish which we, of course, absolutely love!



There’s been no scrimping with the interior either, with the well-known Recaro seats being pulled out of a mk3 escort, Lucy then customised the original BMW seat bases to ensure the snug fit of this great addition. The door cards and seats were then trimmed by Trim Deluxe in Harris Tweed, adding to the subtle yet stunning look of the cockpit. The boot build now matches after Lucy herself, and her partner took to ensuring what was hidden away under the boot matched what could be seen every day! The 5” pioneer speakers, and under-seat sub makes sure that the sound quality whilst cruising around is on point!



Now let’s not forget about the engine! Of course, that wasn’t left untouched either. With twin 40 Webber carbs, new genuine coolant hoses, new genuine water pump, new genuine thermostat, new genuine radiator cap, new radiator Coolant – flushed numerous times! And the engine block waterways unblocked, I’m pretty sure this car could be driven around the world without skipping a heartbeat!! And with a custom manifold back, heat wrapped exhaust, we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t get bored of the noise either. Not forgetting one of the most important things on a low car, a custom sump guard was created by Kustom Kolors to ensure when rolling low, there would be no fear of cracking the sump. We’ve all been there…


It’s fair to say there has been nothing overlooked when building this car back to full health. Lucy has made sure everything is mechanically safe and working, along with turning this into one of the best looking e21’s we’ve ever seen. I think all that is left to say, is Kudos. Amazing job building this one.