Nicest One Left? 1997 BMW 328ic – SOLD!

Jan 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

January 19, 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.

January 10, 2021 Update – Ten days after first posting their listing, the private seller of this ’97 BMW lowered their asking price from $12,500 to $11,000.

There’s a strange attraction to really nice versions of otherwise non-collectible cars. When we think of the E36-chassis BMWs, the M3 is the star of the show, leaving the non-M versions to wallow as second-class citizens that are rarely looked after. This 1997 BMW 328ic convertible originally listed in January 2022 on Criagslist in Maplewood, New Jersey is an exception to that rule, appearing to be in excellent condition with lots of improvements and an asking price of $11,000 (the original ask was $12,500). Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide, we see the seller is taking a chance that buyers might see how nice his convertible is compared to the typical E36, as the “High” retail is just $4,925.

The E36 platform is well-loved in the BMW community, primarily by folks who use their cars in competitive pursuits, so think track day addicts and the kids hitting the drift circuit. The platform is very versatile and cheap, two of the best features for any car used in a track environment. The M3 is obviously the preferred choice for a track weapon, but it’s also equally revered as a collector car. The non-M E36s, however, fall to the bottom of any must-buy list, with their primary use these days being engine donors for cash-strapped E30 owners who need a motor but can’t swing an S50 or S52 swap. In other words, it’s not surprising to see the seller’s asking price not get strong support from NADA, because very few owners have worked this hard to keep a non-M E36 in such fine shape.

The Motorweek Retro Review YouTube Channel provides this road test of the BMW E36 sedan:

Of course, that’s not to suggest the seller shouldn’t get his asking price; rather, it’s more that it will likely be hard to find exactly the right buyer who values the long-term preservation of a 328ci like this as much as the current owner has. The E36 does wear a great color scheme of Montreal Blue Metallic over tan, and it comes with the desirable factory hardtop that’s been painted to match. The seller says to bug off if you plan to just email him asking to sell the hardtop separately; he’s not interested. The list of maintenance and cosmetic improvements is quite long, and while I doubt he’s going to see close to $13,000 for this nicely-preserved E36, he absolutely deserves top dollar for keeping this one so nice. Good luck with the purchase if you make a move on this clean non-M car.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Up or sale is my 1997 BMW 328ic (E36) Convertible + Hardtop in Montreal Blue Metallic/Tan. I dearly love the E36 chassis, but unfortunately, this car must be sold. Most of this car has been gone through and has many great upgrades that make it a wonderful daily driver or Sunday back-roads cruiser. Highlights include thousands of dollars in receipts over three years of ownership, 100% rust free body, low mileage for its age, M3 front bumper painted body-color, M50 Manifold swap, RKTunes M50 Manifold tune, cooling system refresh, Euro 3-Spoke steering wheel, 3k mile oil changes w/ Liqui Moly 5w40 Full Syn., and much more.

VIN: WBABK7324VET62624

Exterior: 8.5/10
– Car has factory paint and has been garaged most of its life.
– M3 Reproduction bumper painted in Montreal Blue Metallic at C&C Auto Body of Lindenhurst.
– Tow hook license plate
– Style 30 Wheels in 8/10 condition.

Interior: 8/10
– Tan interior with Leather sport seats, these seats are in wonderful condition for the year, regularly treated w/ leather conditioner.
– Power seats function normally.
– Condor shorty shift knob w/ Suede shift boot.
– Kenwood Bluetooth Head Unit
– Upgraded speakers + Subwoofer + amp in the trunk– performed by P.O.
– Euro Spec Three-spoke sport wheel
– New hardtop headliner
– Automatic Soft top is operable but material is 7/10 in condition
– P/S door panel has been reupholstered, I just need to slide the handle cover back on it. D/S door panel is peeling.

– Engine is strong and runs very smooth.
– 98,375 miles
– A/C Blows cold and hard
In the past three years, the following have been replaced:
– All filters (fuel, air, cabin air)
– All fluids (differential, transmission, power steering, coolant)
– Radiator, hoses, water pump, thermostat, etc.
– Valve cover gasket
– Power steering lines, reservoir and hoses
– Drilled rotors + Ceramic pads
– M50 Manifold swap + Tune
– Traction control throttle body removed
– Manzo Cat-back Exhaust

In the past three years, the following have been replaced:
– Struts/shocks
– H&R 28mm Front Anti-Sway bar + Meyle HD bushings
– OEM trailing arm bushings + plastic limiters
– Polyurethane Front control arm bushings
– Polyurethane anti-sway bar bushings
– Megan Racing Front Strut bar

Details for the above can be found in the spreadsheet, here:

Asking $12,500, negotiable in-person only. Cash only, not interested in any trades, pickup in Islip, NY only. I will not sell the hardtop separately.

Extra Info/History:
I bought this car about three years ago from the second owner (who was friends with the first owner) on 7/27/19, I have a stack of BMW dealership receipts from before I purchased it. The info from these receipts is also included in my spreadsheet in the “Owner 1&2″ tab. I have the original purchase receipt for ~$44k in 1997. Car comes with removable hardtop, OEM wind deflector, hardtop stand and all-weather car cover..”

Do you have a BMW 328ic story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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