This pretty 1996 BMW E36 318i has been with us for a while as we have used it for some every day transport when required. It came to us with only two owners, the first being Sachs Boge UK Ltd the suspension people that had it for the first 3 years then one lady owner after that. Unfortunately while all its other owners’ books are present, the service book is missing so there is no way to verify the mileage of just over 40K that is currently showing on the odometer. What we can say is that the MOT register shows that back in 2006, when the records start, it records 16014 as its mileage then and so between 2006 and 2019 the car has only covered 24k miles. That and the comment from the MOT tested when last tested and while under the car of “Blimey, where has this been? These are usually pretty grim under here at this age!” gives you an idea how solid it is underneath. He also noted that the brake pipes look to of been change recently, which ties in with its MOT in 2017 that it failed due to deteriorated brake hoses.
Exterior wise as you can see in the pictures, the paintwork is bright and shines nicely with just a couple of small areas of bubbling below the paint of that have been touched in, all on the r/h side of the car, nothing of note on the left? Inside is very good and equipped with electric front windows/mirrors and tilt and slide sun roof, all of which work correctly. It still has the original and at the time, very expensive optional “code card protected” Blaupunkt stereo head unit and boot mounted multi play cd system. The CD player I am not sure about as untested due to the head units’ habit of suddenly going to “Max” volume and not reacting to being turned down, a bit distracting when driving and obviously requiring some attention. It would be a shame to replace it though as the car is so original. The driver’s seat has suffered a split seam on the rear pad which the previous owner has covered with a matching material “curtain” (sweet eh) and the material insert of the driver’s door cars has drooped a bit, past that it is all very good.
Mechanically we had the water pump changed as the bearing was noisy, otherwise it has been spot on. The 1796cc 4 cylinder engine is not going to set any land speed records but is a happy little thing, giving spirited performance when required and the 5 speed manual gearbox helps it along admirably.
The values of good E36 BMs are going up now quite dramatically as E30s are getting to expensive for mere mortals. The E36 is a great driver’s car and a good introduction to if not the “Classic” scene yet, definitely “Retro” and this one with a little bit of love would not look out of place at any car meet or show. Current MOT is until November 2019 .
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