Collecting Cars

1999 BMW (E36) 328i CABRIOLET

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This BMW 328i Convertible is a very smart modern classic, offering both engaging handling and refined open-top cruising. Under the bonnet is the 2.8-litre six-cylinder ‘M52’ engine, producing around 190bhp. This is coupled to a five-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels – making this E36 an enticing prospect for the keen driver. The odometer displays 87,906 miles from new.

First registered on 15 April 1999, the car is still finished in its original factory hue of Titanium Silver with a black leather interior, and has been subtly modified with the fitment of M Sport door mirrors, suspension and the 17-inch alloy wheels usually found on the M3 of the same generation. Its log book lists four prior keepers, and the seller acquired it a little over two-and-a-half years ago.

The cleanly styled bodywork is in good condition, as the detailed set of photos illustrates. The seller understands that the nearside rear quarter suffered from some minor damage during a previous owner’s tenure, but that this has been rectified to a high standard. Certainly, the shut lines and panel gaps present well, and the car is HPI clear. The Titanium Silver paint finish is in sound condition, with small marks and chips in a few places, some corrosion visible along the nearside edge of the bonnet and on the boot lid where it meets the rear bumper.

The seller notes some minor marks on the M Sport door mirrors, though he will also provide the successful bidder with a pair of standard door mirrors should they wish to replace them. The convertible hood is in nearly-new condition, with both the black fabric and the convertible mechanism having been replaced in July 2019 at significant cost. As a result, the material has a deep black hue and shows no signs of fading or damage, and fits snugly over the frame. The flexible plastic rear window also presents very well, and is clear and free of any scratches, hazing or yellowing.

Adding an extra touch of refinement and bringing this 328i’s looks more in line with its coupe counterpart, the seller is also including a matching Titanium Silver hard-top, which is very smart, although there is are some dents to offside rear of its surface, just above the rear window. The car rides on a set of 17-inch BMW alloys, which do have some kerb scuffs and would now benefit from refurbishment to bring them back to their original condition.

Looking to the interior, the cabin is clad in swathes of black leather, and is in generally good order. The base of the front passenger seat was re-covered by C.E. Moore Coachtrimmers in July 2019. There are general signs of wear throughout – which is to be expected given the car’s age and mileage – including noticeably worn driver’s seat bolsters. The seller also notes that the small storage compartment next to the cigarette lighter does not close flush, though the rest of the trim wears its mileage well.

The hard-top’s headlining was also replaced by C.E. Moore Coachtrimmers and is smooth and even across the entire surface, without any signs of sagging. The seller has had a discreet aftermarket sound system fitted, complete with an Alpine head unit with Bluetooth connectivity, upgraded speakers and a subwoofer. All of the interior switchgear and electrical items work as they should, including the climate control system that was re-gassed just over a year ago.

Mechanically sound and routinely maintained over the last eight years in particular, this E36 convertible was last serviced in July 2020 at 87,894 miles by independent specialist BMW Auto Services of Camden. This consisted of a basic engine oil and filter renewal service. Prior to this, a general health check and fluid top-up was carried out in February 2018, and an oil service and brake fluid change were performed in May 2017.

Other maintenance carried out during the seller’s ownership has included the fitment of new coil springs, headlight and sidelight bulbs, an air-conditioning compressor and a fan belt, plus the replacement convertible hood and mechanism as previously mentioned. A full wheel alignment was also carried out in July 2019. In addition, an Ultra Racing front strut bar has been fitted, adding to the car’s poise.

Its last annual MOT test was conducted on 14 July 2020 at 87,894 miles, where it secured a clean, first-time pass without a single advisory notice. All four of the tyres are in very good condition with plenty of tread remaining. The 225/45 ZR17 Nexen rear items were replaced less than six months ago, while the budget 215/45 R17 units fitted to the front wheels are older.

Accompanying the car are its original handbooks documentation of its service history, two sets of keys, and the correct BMW document folder. The original full-size spare wheel is also still present under the boot carpet, as are the wheel brace and manufacturer’s jack.

This BMW 328i Convertible is a compelling example of the increasingly popular E36 generation 3-series, which is known for its finely balanced handling and ride quality. Presented in good order and benefitting from regular recent servicing, this example is ready to impress its next owner come rain or shine.

Summary of maintenance history:

  • 14 Mar 2000 – 9,638 miles
  • 4 Apr 2001 – 18,727 miles
  • 11 Apr 2002 – 27,716 miles
  • 14 Jul 2004 – 36,742 miles
  • 10 Aug 2005 – 45,553 miles
  • 29 Mar 2012 – 53,639 miles
  • 22 Mar 2013 – 62,235 miles
  • 17 Mar 2015 – 67,470 miles
  • 10 Mar 2017 – 73,987 miles
  • 23 Feb 2019 – 78,770 miles
  • 14 Jul 2020 – 87,894 miles

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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