﹒Extensive history ﹒Stunning blue and beige combo ﹒Mechanically and aesthetically in great condition ﹒MOT until July 2021
If there’s a cooler attainable classic car from the 1980s than the BMW 3-Series Convertible, you’ll be hard-pushed to find it. A triumph of simplicity over excess, the chop-top E30 made an already handsome car even cooler.
And it remains just as cool today as it did in 1986, when BMW took the convertible version of the E30 in-house from converters Baur. The delicate, square-edged lines lent themselves well to a cabrio conversion, and the flat-sided, quad-headlamp E30 convertible became the must-have boulevard cruiser of its era. Something it hasn’t really lost, despite being well over 30 years old today.
Quality shines through, too. It may be an old car, but there’s something about the fit, finish and finesse of a 1980s BMW that screams sturdiness and longevity. It’s a car that harks from an era when German cars were screwed together beautifully, and where unfussy styling led to a series of designs that were utterly timeless.
This example is proof of that. At 31 years old, it’s no spring chicken. But it’s a wonderful, unrestored car whose charm is instant and obvious. It has been lovingly maintained and cherished by just three owners, one of whom has owned it since 2013, and the one before from 1992 until then, accruing an impeccable maintenance record throughout. It’s a car that has wanted for nothing.
As a 320i, it may be the ‘baby’ of the six-cylinder E30s, but it’s still smooth, powerful and utterly compelling to drive. You’ll struggle to find another as original as this one.
G70 NEW was supplied new by Sewells BMW in Cambridge and it lived in the city until 2013, when acquired by its current owner in Suffolk.
The first keeper kept it for three years, before it passed into private ownership and the care of an extremely fastidious owner, who made sure it got all of the attention it ever needed, with much of the work carried out at the city’s main dealership – by now Scotthall BMW - until it closed down and moved to the outskirts. After that, the E30 was kept in tip-top condition by a local independent, receiving an annual service despite relatively low mileages and never skimping on recommended work.
The current owner acquired the car in 2013 and has kept up the annual servicing and repairs, most recently spending over £700 on a full-service, MoT repairs, new brake pipes and discs and pads. In September 2020, the vehicle underwent a professional Valet
The service history that comes with this car is immense, from the original purchase invoice and pre-delivery inspection sheet through several years of main dealer bills, followed by receipts from the independent garages that have looked after it ever since.
Every repair is documented from day one, and it is also supplied with every MoT certificate since its first test in 1992, right up to the current one which it passed in July this year. There’s also a pile of old tax discs, the original owners’ manual and literature supplied by the dealer at the point of sale in 1989. As service histories go, you’ll struggle to find one more comprehensive – 31 years of careful maintenance, all recorded to back up this car’s remarkable original condition and supplied in two box files.
It has a current MoT valid until July 2021 and is currently SORN, waiting for its new owner...
G70 NEW was ordered with optional beige leather in place of the standard velour trim and the hide has survived in excellent condition, with no rips or tears. For 130,000 miles, it’s in superb order and looks easily like a car with less than half that mileage.
All of the electrical components work including the optional trip computer, while in-car entertainment comes courtesy of a modern Sony Bluetooth and USB head unit – a useful concession to modernity if you plan to use the car regularly. If not, then a period Alpine radio-cassette should be top of your shopping list, as that was what it came with new.
The rear seats are exceptional and look like they’ve never been sat in.
Overall, the Atlantis Blue paintwork is in superb condition and is unusual being a non-metallic hue. Most E30 cabriolets came with an optional metallic finish, but in our eyes the solid blue of this car really suits it.
It’s not without its minor problems. There are rust bubbles at the trailing edge of both front wheel-arches that are currently very minor, but would benefit from being properly treated. There’s also a scuff on the front valance panel and a few stone chips on the leading edge of the bonnet that have been touched in, but you have to remember that this is the original 1989 paint and that the car has not been restored. Any rectification work carried out should be sympathetic to that so as not to ruin the car’s originality.
The underside is solid, with both middle sills having seen some minor welding repairs as and when needed – carried out to a high standard.
The wheels are in almost perfect condition and the hood is also excellent, though there are a couple of small wear marks where the roof hinges as it folds into the rear deck.
The 2.0-litre six cylinder engine starts on the button and sounds great, with no untoward leaks or rattles. It’s also immaculately presented under the bonnet – clean and neatly detailed. It was serviced in July this year at the time of its MoT so the oil and coolant are fresh and spotless, while it also received new spark plugs at the same time. Additionally, the Heater Matrix was replaced together with the connecting hose in September 2020 at a cost of £1,159.
New brake pads and discs were fitted in July, while the automatic transmission works seamlessly. It feels like a car that has been properly maintained – but that’s hardly a surprise when you look at the boxes of history that come with it.
The E30 Convertible is a fabulous car at the best of times and while this one might not be the ultimate specification, its overall condition, unbelievably comprehensive history, true originality and beautiful presentation more than make up for that. This is one to keep and preserve exactly as it is.
It’s a truly lovely car, and one that deserves to be loved and cherished by its next owner as much as it has been by the caring keepers who have gone before.
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