Introduced in 1990 was the third generation BMW 3-Series, the successor of the iconic E30. The E36 3-Series was offered in a number of variants, most noticeably the traditional 4-door saloon, followed by the coupe, convertible, touring, and compact. A wide number of engines were made available, from inline-four engines to inline-six. In 1995, BMW introduced a revised engine – and with it a new member the 323i – which housed the M52B25 engine, matched with either a 5-Speed Manual Transmission or a 5-Speed Automatic Transmission – producing 170hp. With a sharp yet understated design and praised performance, the E36 is an appreciating classic.
Presented to you at the Car Farm is a 1998 BMW E36 323i Cabriolet, finished in Bright Red (Hellrot) with a Black interior. It is an original BMW Hong Kong car that has not received any substantial performance or exterior upgrades. There is no service history on hand, however the keeper reports that it runs and drives with no issues. It has 3 previous owners, a genuine mileage of 97,627km and a valid road license until 11th April, 2023.
The Bright Red exterior paint on this example is in great condition as observed from the amount of light which reflects off of its body from all angles with no dull spots noticed. The headlights are original Bosch units, with small amount of stone chips observed – however this does not affect its functionality or compromise its ability to keep the headlights free from the external elements. The clear side indicators are in good condition, with no signs of fade, and the similar was observed for the rear lights. The signature kidney grilles have a carbon fibre finish, and the fog lights operate and are secured into the bumper. As expected of a car of this age, there are minor signs of fade on the exterior mouldings, with no signs of scratches, and the ‘M’ badge remains vibrant in colour. There were minor signs of stone chips observed on both side mirrors. The BMW roundel on the bonnet has signs of classic car patina, while the rear unit remains in great condition. This example has an integrated third brake light within the boot, and with the soft top down, we are provided with a very sharp profile – with all of the body panels appearing aligned and straight. We did not notice any tears or significant amount of wear on the soft top, however, due to age, there were minimal creases observed on the rear plastic window.
Interior and Trim
Open up the doors of this 90s cabriolet, we are greeted with what is considered a minimalistic interior – the dashboard is free from any cracks and fade, while remaining tightly secured to the chassis. The seats are finished in black leather with navy patterned inserts. The period correct M-Sport steering wheel has ‘M’ tricolour stitching with no loose threads showing. This example is optioned with subtle wooden trim as observed from the shift selector case, shift knob and wooden panel on top of the glovebox. As expected of a car of this age and era – the glovebox minimal signs of sagging, as observed on the left hand top corner. This does not affect its ability to remained close or to secure the contents inside the glovebox. There is minor signs of creases on the bottom bolsters of both the driver’s and passenger’s seats, however, their electronic adjustments work and operate as they should. The armrest remains in great condition – free from any significant signs of ageing. The was some patina observed on the digital climate display due to oxidation – however it does not affect the climate control system itself. The cluster gauge and all interior lights illuminate as they should with no faults, including the aftermarket JVC stereo head unit.
Engine and Running Gear
At the turn of the key alive comes the M52B25 unit and a signature inline-six sound of a steady idle resonates around our space. The keeper reports that everything is smooth, with no strange smells or sounds that is coming out of either the engine or the exhaust. The ride is a perfect balance of comfort and sport, enabling you to properly enjoy your drives whether you are cruising or on your spirited drive. The brakes provided sufficient stopping power and the automatic gear shifts were not lazy – with the accelerator pedal very responsive. All of the electronics were functioning as they should, and with either the soft top up or down, we experienced one of the most composed drives. An appreciating classic that is now available to you at the Car Farm!
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