Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is the BMW E30 320i and 325i Convertible a future classic?

When BMW introduced the convertible version of its successful and popular 3 series in the late 80ies (around 1987) this was quite a brave move. For many years car manufacturers had introduced mainly semi-convertibles with rollover bars like the Volkswagen Golf convertible. They neither looked very nicely, nor did they really get the true convertible feeling across. The rollover bars were due to assumed safety regulations, mainly from the USA. Very few manufacturers still built true convertibles, Mercedes (R107) was one of them, Alfa-Romeo (Spider) another one. But with the 3-series BMW presented a vehicle that was both affordable and practical. So it became an instant success and many/most competitors started to build similar cars soon. With the four seats you could bring your friends/children and there was an option for even loading the skis in the car. The trunk size wasn't too much smaller than the one of the limousine. So yes, this car was practical. And it shared these awesome straight six cylinder engines with the limousines too.

Driving such a car was very much entertaining, specifically the 325i had enough power and torque to make you smile. But even the smaller 320i was fast enough to not slow down other cars and the sound was comparable. The interior was the same as with the faster 3 series limousines with nice sports seats and the famous BMW cockpit. Of all the BMW 3 series convertible this one probably was the prettiest, as the proportions worked well for a convertible.
Does this make the BMW 320i/325i Convertible good enough to become a classic? Probably yes, but only time will prove. I had mine for two years and sold it to a close friend, it was that good!

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