Make a bid

NO RESERVE - 1999 E46 BMW 323Ci

Guide Price: £5,500 - £8,500


﹒Stunning condition throughout
﹒Extremely low miles
﹒Thorough paperwork trail with only 1 owner from new
﹒Largely thought of as a future classic

The Background

It's no secret that the six-cylinder BMW 3-series coupe has always been destined to be a car that defines the automotive landscape. With every successive generation starting with the original 3-Series in 1975, the car has consistently been the car to aspire to and for other manufacturers to better. When the E36 3-Series (1998 to 2006) was current, it was attracting five-star reviews throughout the board, with the costs being the only area that the car was knocking it off from being the perfect car. 

However, like any prestige car within reach of the consumer, the car has to fall from grace at some point. What often happens after the initial allure, is that the 3 series gets passed onto third or fourth owners, service history becomes neglected, expensive bills run up and then the ownership profile tumbles. The car reaches rock bottom and the image of the once desirable car becomes tarnished until there are just a handful of decent cars on the road and then it starts to appreciate in value. 

But what if a car came up that had the same one owner since new, with service records from a local BMW dealer who have known the car all of its life? With the additional promise of a fastidious and careful owner who has garaged and not skipped on spending? What if such a car came up for auction? Get ready because we have a treat for you!

1V9A8611.JPG 5.92 MB

The History

Bought new at BMW High Wycombe by the current owner in September 1999, he had previously owned an E36 coupe which only sported 14K on the clock, which gives you a good idea of the general story of where we are going. The paperwork is as complete as one could expect - with the original sales invoice, Full BMW Service History, MOT’s and DVLA tax reminders. There’s not much in terms of repair bills, quite simply as there has been no need for them. The owner has stated that they have a new BMW coupe in their minds, so feel it's time for someone else to appreciate this car.

The car was specified from new with the grey leather interior, floor mats, sport multi-function steering wheel and the removal of the 323Ci badge. A rear spoiler and rear roller blind were fitted by the dealer in 2001. The car ran on its original tyres until very recently, which suggests that the car has not been aggressively driven - however for the sake of safety they have all been replaced by a new set of boots. Of course, they are the same type of Continentals that adorned the car when new. One aspect of the car is not original, which is so subtle and looks so much like a factory option, most buyers may not even notice it. Keep reading and all will be revealed.

1V9A8624.JPG 4.37 MB

The Paperwork

The car comes with all the documentation, dealer stamps and receipts you could hope for when buying a 21-year-old car - all the MOT receipts, as well as every single invoice for the parts bought from the dealer, is included.

IMG_3632.jpg 3.56 MB

The Interior

The interior will be familiar to modern BMW drivers, the ergonomics and consideration to the dashboard are one of BMW’s crowning achievements in the world of car design. As expected the interior functions are fully operational, with all switchgear and controls said to be working. The subtle blue trim embellishment is a nice touch, many examples of E46 tend to use fake wood trim which is occasionally at odds with the solidly styled cabin. As to be expected it also includes a multi-disc CD player and a complete and unused tool kit, first aid kit and warning triangle. The seats and door cards are unmarked, with very little evidence of wear or cracking, the electric controls are all fully functional. The headlining, carpets and boot are unmarked. There are also a couple of touch-up paints included in the car.

1V9A8636.JPG 5.17 MB

The exterior

Obviously there’s not much to report in terms of damage, although if we had to be ultra-picky, the alloys have barely noticeable signs of oxidation but you really would be hard pushed to pick it out as a fault. Of course, the wheels have never been curbed and those long heavy doors have never had a meeting with a supermarket trolley either. As stated previously the Continental tyres are only a few months old. 

The Metallic Topaz blue paintwork is flawless, there are no major chips on the front, door edges are perfect and those wheel arches are rust-free - this is a common spot for corrosion in the E46. The glass, rubber and trim are as new. No scuffs and scratches on the bumpers. The lower flanks of the car are immaculate, which brings us on to the colour coded mud flaps. They were professionally painted when the car was relatively new and is the only non-original aspect of the car. We shouldn't voice a personal opinion here, but they do suit the car nicely and is a rare case of an enhancement BMW should have offered as an option.

1V9A8683.JPG 6.53 MB

The Mechanics

The 323's 2494cc engine is one of the rarer E46 options, having been offered in the 4 door saloon when the car was announced in September 1998. The 323Ci coupe (engine code M52TU) was added to the lineup in June 1999 but replaced the more powerful 325Ci (M54 engine) as the car had a minor facelift in September 2001. This model benefits from the updated engine by offering upgrades including adding variable valve timing to the exhaust camshaft, and at the time it was considered one of the best engines in the world.

While the recorded mileage of under 29K, this may suggest a car that has not been used, but it is taken out on regular runs and covers around an average of 3,000 miles a year.  Needless to say, the straight-six is hard to pick a fault with. From the presentation and cleanliness to the engine start, the tick over, to its purr is as good as you could wish for. The FSH and sympathetic use along with its low mileage, confirms that the engine might as well have been a new unit. Underneath, the car correlates with the condition of the engine, with a clean underside, suspension, steering and exhaust.

1V9A8668.JPG 6.14 MB

The appeal

These sophisticated, stylishly and subtly designed cars continue the long tradition of engineering finesse that the brand has been long established for. From the day the car was launched, it was peerless and even the closest rivals simply couldn’t better it. Like a good Riesling, age has been kind to the E46. Its purposeful coupe styling is not too ostentatious, yet it still commands a presence. 

The E46 sits in age group, often known as the minefield phase, where you could buy a decent car for not much more than one that has only a few years left in it. There is no doubt that this example sits way above those cars that are currently clogging up the classified adverts, and has a reserve that reflects its condition. Like anything, you pay as much as you can upfront to avoid the inevitable hidden costs, so this 323Ci should therefore be considered a potential bargain. 

There is a genuine prospect of the E46 coupe of becoming a classic in the not-so-distant future, so for those who are looking for a useable and comfortable modern classic, that could be enjoyed on an occasional basis without the need for constant repair or renewal, then this has to be seriously worth considering.

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 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 sellers discretion.

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1999
  • Make BMW
  • Model 323Ci
  • Colour Blue
  • Mileage 28,667
  • Engine size 2494
  • Location Buckinghamshire
Bidding history
18 bids
  • ROBBO44•••• £6,050 19/10/20
  • PAL £5,950 19/10/20
  • ROBBO44•••• £5,850 19/10/20
  • PAL £5,750 19/10/20
  • ROBBO44•••• £5,650 13/10/20
  • Wiszowa•••• £5,550 13/10/20
  • ROBBO44•••• £5,450 13/10/20
  • GuyStam•••• £5,100 13/10/20
  • ROBBO44•••• £5,000 12/10/20
  • Bagzeet•••• £4,100 12/10/20

The Gallery

 About the max bid process

The max bid process allows you to bid without any hassle.
Enter your maximum bid and we will then bid on your behalf to ensure you're the highest bidder - just enough to keep you in the lead and only up until your maximum.

About Max Bids


C&C prevent auction snipers from bidding in the last seconds to win an auction.
Auctions are extended by 10-minutes if anyone bids within the last 2 minutes to allow other bidders to react and counter-bid.

Auto-bidding increments

If your bid is below the reserve price you'll bid that amount if you are the highest bidder.
If you are the highest bidder and place a bid above the reserve we will only go up to the reserve price.
Once the reserve has been met C&C will make sure you are the highest bidder using the bidding increments stated below, keeping you in the lead up until your maximum bid.

Bid Amount Increment
£0 to £10,000£100.00
£10,000 to £50,000 £250.00
£50,000+ £500.00

Automatically outbid immediately

When you place a max bid and are outbid immediately that means that another bidder has placed a max bid limit which is higher than yours.
You can bid again and we will use our automatic bid system to try and get you as the highest bidder.

Matching max bids

When there are two max bids of the same value, the one placed first remains the lead bidder.

Watch this auction

Get notified when the auction is starting, and half an hour before it ends.