1988 BMW 320i320 E30 CONVERTIBLE
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.
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.