Minty Base Model: 1996 BMW 318IC – SOLD!

Dec 2021 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

January 5, 2022 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

December 14, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the private seller lowered their asking price by five hundred dollars from $5,500 to an even $5,000.

While we always celebrate pristine collector cars showing up for sale, there’s also something to be said for equally-clean base models that appear. It’s almost more impressive when it’s a lower-tier model like this 1996 BMW 318IC convertible that shows up in excellent condition, as the base models are typically trashed at this point in their lives. This 318IC was originally listed in December 2021 on Craigslist in Loganville, Georgia with 132,000 miles the claims of “needing nothing,” with an asking price of $5,000 (the original ask was $5,500). Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide confirms this private seller has his 318IC priced above the “High” retail price of $3,975.

The E36 is well known to BMW enthusiasts, primarily for the M3 which made the Motorsports-infused model a household name in mid-tier performance cars. The E36 chassis was also known for being besieged by low-quality materials and construction, like door panels that would fall right off the door if the wind was just right. The chassis was also celebrated, however, for being very easy to live with from an annual maintenance costs standpoint. Parts remain quite cheap and widely available, and there’s a huge following for these mid-90s 3-Series, from tuner shops to track day junkies. The convertible model does what drop-tops do best: the top stows beneath the color-coded hard plastic tonneau cover and drives just like any other inline-six powered BMW.

The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel provides a look at both the E36 M3 and 318iC. The 318iC portion starts about halfway through:

This example is the base model of the E36 line, powered by a four-cylinder hold-over from the previous generation E30. The M42 engine isn’t necessarily thrilling, but it’s damn dependable when it’s looked after. The seller’s car looks like a pleasant, sunny day driver, and is a cheap entry into the world of European convertibles. The asking price of $5,500 seems a touch high to me, no matter how well maintained the convertible is, as the four-cylinder E36s really don’t have a following as the M3 does. Still, as mentioned above, it’s always nice to see a lower-tier model get some love, and the seller’s car does, seemingly, have the appearance of being looked after. The paint gleams in photos and the interior looks like new, so this 318ic’s poverty spec equipment levels don’t seem so bad after all.

“1996 BMW 318 I Convertible. All reconditioned leather interior. Excellent mechanical condition. Needs nothing. 5 speed, 4 cyl. Am, FM, CD. 132,000 original miles. Well taken care of. Good top, but I never put it up. 5,500.00 Serious inquiries only. Great Christmas present!

Do you have a BMW E36 story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

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