BMW launched the E36 in 1990 marking a change in design direction away from the inversed slant nose and 4 headlights that had defined the previous decade. The E36 was and still is a remarkably well-proportioned car and is becoming a real favourite with enthusiasts as numbers dwindle.
This particular example is one of the very last made (the convertibles continued production sometime after the E46 was introduced) and as will be obvious from the photos, has been finished in a stunning and very rare colour of Veichenblau (Violet Blue). This colour was offered from the Individual palette and not part of the standard colour range. The colour theme is continued in the interior, with the silver leather seats sporting violet piping to match.
This is a genuine 323i sport model with the 2.5 straight six engine (the start of confusing BMW nomenclature!), which came with lower suspension, sport bumpers and sill covers and wider ‘M’ side mouldings, in addition to the sport seats. Mated to the 5 speed auto ‘box, it provides adequate performance but obviously this is more of a sunny day cruiser than a B-road thrasher.
The violet paintwork presents very well and changes quite significantly depending on the light. The hood is in excellent condition and does not leak or let down the presentation of the car which is often the case with older convertibles. The wheels are in good, but not great condition and are shod with tyres with lots of life left in them. All the panel gaps are even and there is no evidence of accident repair. All Importantly, there is no rust either on the visible bodywork and it is solid underneath (jacking points are notorious on these cars). Close inspection will reveal some scratches and stone chips around the body but overall the car is very smart and solid.
On the inside, you are lifted by the light silver leather and the violet piping is a nice touch. The seats are in excellent condition with only some minor wear to the side bolster and piping. All the carpets are free from hole and rips. All the electrics work including the hood and all dash lights go out without issue.
The car starts on the button, even after extended periods unused. The engine is very quiet as it typical of the marque and the autobox changes up and down smoothly. The car doesn’t suffer from any nasty knocks or noises when on the move and provides a pleasant driving experience.
The original books are present with the car, showing early service history and invoices for more recent work. The low mileage of 80,000 is unusual for a 90’s BMW and is warranted – the car is also HPI clear. We have carried out an oil and filter service and the last MOT showed no advisories.
This represents a great opportunity to get in to an usable modern classic car that is straight and solid and finished in a stand out colour. This is not an immaculate car but will draw admiring glances and provide a great ownership experience for years to come.