1988 BMW 320i320 E30 CON­VERT­IBLE

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - David Mil­loy

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

This 320i con­vert­ible’s 1991cc en­gine is mated to a three­speed au­to­matic gear­box, and spins sweetly, de­liv­er­ing lan­guidly smooth per­for­mance en­tirely in keep­ing with the car’s cruis­ing char­ac­ter. The driv­ing po­si­tion is good, the con­trols are well placed and there is am­ple leg and head room for tall driv­ers. Steer­ing is unas­sisted but, this be­ing a rear-drive car, not ex­ces­sively heavy at park­ing speeds. The brakes – discs front, drums rear – pull the car up straight and true and the han­dling is well bal­anced and se­cure with no un­due tail-hap­pi­ness. The ride is suf­fi­ciently firm to main­tain good han­dling, and there are no signs of tired shock ab­sorbers.

BODY­WORK CHECK

The Alpine Weiss paint shows off the con­vert­ible’s el­e­gant lines beau­ti­fully and is in very good con­di­tion, with no sig­nif­i­cant marks or scratches and only a few mi­nor stone chips. The bright­work, ex­ter­nal trim, boot floor and hood stowage area are all in fine or­der. The at­trac­tive 15in BMW al­loy wheels are shod with 205/55 Mo­hawk tyres, all of which have am­ple tread re­main­ing. A spare al­loy wheel is lo­cated un­der the boot floor. The man­ual hood is quick and easy to erect and stow, and the hood it­self in very good con­di­tion, save for a 1cm-long ver­ti­cal nick to the rear of the near­side rear win­dow. The driver’s door has two ex­ter­nal locks, the sec­ond of which ap­pears to be for an af­ter­mar­ket se­cu­rity sys­tem.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

In a word, ex­cel­lent. There are no tears, rips or stains in the cloth-cov­ered seats, though the cov­er­ing on the driver’s seat squab is very slightly baggy. The floor cov­er­ings are dry and there is no ob­vi­ous ev­i­dence of pre­vi­ous wa­ter ingress or stain­ing. The dash­board, door cards and rooflining are like­wise all in fine con­di­tion. The pe­riod Pi­o­neer ra­dio/cas­sette unit (bought by the first owner in 1988) ap­pears to be in work­ing or­der, as are the in­stru­ments, switchgear and elec­tric win­dows and door mir­rors.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

There are no ob­vi­ous signs of fluid leaks and it could be brought up to show con­di­tion with a lit­tle de­tail­ing. The MoT his­tory (the most re­cent of which has no ad­vi­sories) con­tains no nasty sur­prises and the ser­vice book con­tains 22 stamps from BMW deal­er­ships. There’s a gap in the ser­vice his­tory be­tween 2006 and 2013, dur­ing which time the car seems to have been used only spar­ingly. A new cam­belt was fit­ted by a BMW main dealer in July 2015.

THE CCW VIEW

This car was in one fam­ily own­er­ship from new un­til 2013, and this is re­flected in its fine all-round con­di­tion in­side and out. It’s good value, too.

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