1987 BMW E30 325i convertible


∙ Low owners 
∙ Excellent interior
∙ 6 cylinder engine
∙ Immobiliser

The Background 

The E30 was the second generation, and for many the definitive 3 Series from BMW. Sharp design, compact dimensions, nimble on the road and offered with a creamy 6 cylinder engine, it was no surprise this was the aspirational dream of a generation of yuppies, and its popularity continues to grow.

Styled by Boyke Boyer and launched in 1982, there were minor updates until a major facelift in 1987 giving new bumpers and taillights, and less chrome.

The History 

Supplied new by Bateman Motor Works in Cumbria in 1987, the 325 stayed in the North West until 1991 when it spent some time in London and was laid up for a year between 1992 and 1993. 

The current owners purchased the car from L&C BMW Tunbridge Wells in April 1996 as a good example of an original and cared for E30 325i. It still boasts all 3 original dealer-supplied keys and fobs, and even retains its original dealer-fitted number plates, unused spare, tool kit and first aid kit. 

Always garaged, it has not been molested or modified. It was originally used as a daily commuter car when first purchased, but for some time now has been a weekend and sunny day car only. There is some work to be done on this great little car but "Penelope" has been loved and cherished during the 25 years of ownership. 

The Paperwork 

The car comes with all of its original book pack and the service book shows it remained in the main dealer network until 2002 before being serviced in more recent years by independent BMW specialists. 

A new o/s front wing was fitted by Tunbridge Wells BMW in 2001 after a knock whilst parked. A thick wad of receipts comes with the car showing all minor jobs being taken care of as required.

The Interior

The cabin of the 325 doesn't show the mileage. The tweed centres of the seat cushions have almost no wear and the bolsters are excellent, the drivers side bolster was actually recovered in 2020 and spare material is included with the car. 

The door cards match the seats with matching houndstooth fabric centres which are not worn, just showing some discolouration from use. The carpets have been covered by genuine BMW E30 mats from new so are very well preserved. 

The dash top is perfectly preserved with no marks or cracks in the surface, and the dashboard is in good shape, with a modern stereo installed. 

The Exterior

Finished in the rare but attractive shade of Luxor Beige Metallic which suits the open top, this car has retained its lovely gloss finish. Overall there are very few blemishes to the smooth and glossy finish. However, both front wings have suffered from rust at their rear lower corners, the passenger side worse than the driver’s. 

The front valance has some stone chips and a couple of blisters appearing below the grill, but as this would be painted at the same time as the wings should they be repaired, this is not a big problem.

The bottle top alloys look fantastic, having been refurbished in February this year, three tyres have decent tread and one tyre is new, replaced after a lockdown puncture when only one was available.

The hood is in good overall condition, the fabric is deep black and sits tight over the frame as it should, and the rear window is nice and clear and in very good condition for its age, having been replaced in 2007. However, a falling object has very recently dropped on the roof and punctured a small hole, which could easily be patch repaired. 

There is a little wear to the edge above the side window corners, but the owners have tried to keep the windows down a touch to avoid this as long as they’ve had it.

There are parts of a previous security system visible, there is an extra key hole in the drivers door and a small red lens below the rear plate, and the boot lid sits slightly proud at the front near side corner since the replacement of the rear boot strut in 2013.

At the back the lights have nice lenses and the bumpers are generally very good with just a small mark on the nearside rear corner rubber trim. A new electric Hirschmann aerial has recently been fitted on the driver's side.


The car has been well looked after in the time the current owners have had it, first by L&C BMW main dealer and then H&C BMW and Munich Legends, independent marque specialists.

Manoeuvring the car for photos, the straight six motor happily burst to life with that unmistakable BMW growl and idled happily holding a steady temperature and the automatic gearbox selected drive and reverse as it should with the car eager to move.

The timing belt was changed in 2013, at just over 100,000 miles and all other servicing and running repairs have been taken care of as required. An inspection in 2020 showed a number of small jobs typical of a 34 year old car which need taking care of in the future.

The appeal

The E30 shape 3 Series is, for many, the definitive 3 Series and the definitive BMW. 

The convertible is a stylish conversion from the saloon which looks good and retains a full size interior. In this less common shade of Luxor Beige, the metallic paint really sparkles in the sun, making an eye catching car indeed.

The front wings will need replacing at some point, but the seller feels that by letting the buyer take care of this, they can be sure it has been done to an appropriate standard and not rushed for a sale.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1987
  • Make BMW
  • Model 325i E30
  • Colour Luxor Beige Metallic
  • Odometer 110,000 Miles
  • Engine size 2494
  • Location Kent
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
23 bids
  • aventad•••• £8,800 24/10/21
  • daryl-s•••• £8,500 24/10/21
  • jessica•••• £7,400 24/10/21
  • joe-mil•••• £7,000 24/10/21
  • jgill25•••• £6,500 24/10/21
  • Paul Ri•••• £6,200 24/10/21
  • aventad•••• £6,000 24/10/21
  • Dkwboy £5,600 24/10/21
  • Paul Ri•••• £5,500 23/10/21
  • aventad•••• £5,250 23/10/21

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