April 2017 update: The seller of this car has relisted it HERE!
It’s very interesting to me to look back and compare the 1980s offerings from the big three luxury producers in Germany. In many ways, BMW lagged behind the competition early on. Audi launched the B2 chassis in 1980, and it revised the standards of the near luxury market for Germany. There were diesel and gas motors, two or four-door configurations, and even a wagon from sister company Volkswagen. But the real addition gearheads loved was the wide-winged turbocharged and all-wheel drive Quattro, the first of the hot versions that would come to the market for junior executives. Indeed, it was the Quattro that changed the future of the W201, as Mercedes-Benz changed the mission of the future 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth from rally to circuit racer. So, Mercedes-Benz had a track version of the W201, and it also set the standard in build quality. Bringing those reputations to the small luxury market meant a whole new class of clientele and the W201 was massively successful thanks to a bunch of factors. While VAG produced about 1.6 million B2 chassis cars between 1976 and 1987, an amazing 1.8 million W201s made it to market. Those successes put more pressure on BMW, and it responded.
The E30 was without doubt the sportiest of the three out of the box, and just like the B2 is was amazingly versatile. There were sedans and 2-door sedans, and BMW was able to match the Volkswagen Passat with a Touring offering. Hot shoes liked the addition of the Motorsports division M3, which not only met the challenge of the Quattro and Cosworth but exceeded it by nearly every measure. Build quality was great but performance was even greater. But BMW wasn’t done, as it took the versatility – and the small executive market – to a new level.…
The majority of the E30 convertibles that I come across suffer from two common issues: they’re usually in very rough condition and they have an automatic transmission. The former is due to the neglect of owners who never thought they’d become a sought after classic and the latter is a symptom of the non-enthusaist buyers who took these things home by the boatload. There is no vehicle that reminds me more of smarmy, yuppie folks than the E30 ‘vert. At launch, this was the official car of the abundant 80s nouveau riche, perfect for whisking guys with names like Barry, Gordon, or Donald away from the office, and out to where ever they were summering.
By 1993 things had changed, Barry Gordon, and Donald were either broke, working the Asian markets, or quietly cruising along in a legitimate line of work. The the E30 sedan and coupe had died off in ’91, giving way to the larger, softer E36 body style. The convertible however, it clung to the 80s for dear life, soldiering on until 1993. This example is advertised as having had only one owner, I’d love to get their story on why they chose this car, and more importantly why they opted for the manual transmission. It’s very rare to see a a drop top BMW with a 3rd pedal, let alone a one owner car that appears to be in great condition, so you
Every time an E30 BMW 3 series comes across on our site, I get nostalgic about my ’88 325is. I can’t think of a car that epitomized the optimistic atmosphere of the ‘80s more than the E30 3 series convertible. Introduced in 1987 amidst a rapidly expanding 3 series lineup, the convertible was offered with the 2.5 liter inline six found in the 325is producing 168 horsepower. This convertible became the face of BMW in the media almost in the same way the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL became the de rigeur Stuttgart darling. The convertible 3 series made appearances in a number of movies including PCU, Revenge of the Nerds and Pretty Woman, as well as television series such as Perry Mason, Columbo and Beverly Hills 90210.
Here is a very clean example for sale at EuroWerkz in Pleasantville, Iowa.
What is better than a barn find? How about a heated garage find? We have been trying to buy this car for two years. Finally early last winter we did and I spent many hours putting this ONE owner since new BMW back to as close to perfect as I have ever seen in a car like this. This car is like stepping back to the 90’s as not only does it look the part but it drives as new too. This was a fair weather third car for a Doctor in Des Moines and the rest of the time it spent in a climate controlled garage at his homes in the area over the past 21 years. The condition is nothing short of amazing and this could well be the nicest example of this car in the country. A once in a lifetime chance at a resonably priced beautifully preserved near classic.
Like many enthusiasts, I’ve spent most of my life believing that convertibles are exclusively for hairdressers, midlife-crisisers, and the ignorant. Why would you sacrifice structural rigidity for some sunshine and windblown hair? Well, some seat time in a Z8 and a Miata (polar opposites as they may be) opened my mind about the open-top. If I could only have one car, it would never be a convertible, but if I could have a few, it might be ok to eschew lateral stiffness for some old-fashioned fun.
Case in point, today’s E30 M3 Cabriolet replica. Quick disclaimer: yes it’s a replica, but read the ad or check out the 48 page forum thread; it’s an extremely well done replica. No, it won’t be the track day star that an M3 coupe would be, but can you imagine how much fun it would be to bomb up a winding highway in this thing on a sunny day?
A most thorough from the creator/seller:
Up for an auction is my 1989 BMW M3 cabriolet replica. This is not like those look-a-like M3 replicas that you have seen on eBay or around. This project took me about 1.5 years to complete with “ABSOLUTLY NO-SHORTCUT OR EXPENSE SPARED ” approach. You have to see my car in person to appreciate the work I put into it. I spent about $50000 on this project.
The donor vehicle:
1989 BMW 325ic in Alpine White II/black leather interior, w/ only 87k miles.
Unlike most people who start such projects using a banged up or salvage donor, I wanted to do this project the right way. My idea of right way was to use a clean E30 325i convertible as a donor, so there would be no issue of body panels not lining up.