BMW 318i Convertible
ENGINE 1796cc/4-cyl/OHC POWER 113bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 120lb ft@4250rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 115mph 0-60MPH 11.4sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 36-34mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, five-speed manual MoT 12 months ODOMETER 131,970 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This E30 delivers sharp handling and responsive acceleration with no coughs or hesitation and relatively little scuttle shake. Changes through the five-speed manual gearbox are instinctive and fluid. The steering is light yet precise and the brakes perform strongly, with no pulling to either side. The suspension gives a comfortable ride even on rough road surfaces and generates no rattles or excessive vibrations. The engine’s smooth-revving nature suggests that it’s in good health.
The body is in excellent condition, having benefitted from a thorough restoration a few years back. The wheel arches, sills, door edges and underside are devoid of rust. There’s a slight orange peel effect on the front bumper – suggesting that this section may have been re-sprayed at some point – and some bubbling evident on top of the driver’s door mirror, but the Alpine White paint is refreshingly chip- and scratch-free. The dark blue hood appears water-tight, operating easily and fitting perfectly. The bonnet badge is slightly faded but the black plastic trim is in A1 condition all round, as are the 15in BBS crossspoke alloy wheels.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The black dashboard looks fresh, as do the M-Tech steering wheel and leather gearknob, which add a touch of sportiness to the interior. The speedometer, rev counter and water temperature and fuel gauges function perfectly, as do the analogue clock, original BMW radio/CD player and electric windows and door mirrors. The smart blue/ grey tartan check seats are supportive and comfortable, the dark blue carpets and leather doorcards in perfect shape and the boot is clean and comes with a toolkit incorporated into the floor, along with a spare wheel.
UNDER THE BONNET
The 1796cc four-cylinder engine starts instantly and the recently fitted exhaust system looks and sounds spot-on. All pipes are complete and fluid levels sit at their maximum levels. A new clutch, sump gasket, timing belt, front brake pipes and manifold gaskets were fitted during the E30’s renovation in 2013, with a new radiator following in 2014. All wiring appears to be in good order and the lights, wipers, indicators and heater all function as they should. A complete and comprehensive service history file supports the car’s overall condition.
THE CCW VIEW
This E30 is a smart, entertaining and affordable driver’s machine. Having body and mechanical restoration work completed within the last four years is reassuring and it’s increasingly rare to find such originality inside and out on an E30. The asking price seems fair, too.