Preserved E36: 1998 BMW 328i Convertible – Sold?

by | Jun 2022 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

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July 20, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “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.

There are some cars we see every day and, in effect, become somewhat numb to their existence. The E36 chassis BMW 3-Series has long been in this category, but that may be changing as these long-serving driver’s cars begin to disappear from the daily driver pools. This clean 1998 BMW 328i convertible, originally listed in June 2022 on Craigslist near Cape Cod, has the preferred 5-speed manual gearbox with a clean interior for just under $10,000. Comparing that price against the model guide shows us average sale prices have hovered in the $10,000 to $12,000 range, so the seller seems to be on the money with his ask.

The E36-chassis BMW 3-Series maintains an intriguing split-personality in the enthusiast world. For one, it is a cherished era in 3-Series lineage for it brought us the E36 M3, quite possibly one of the most accessible modern sports cars that are easy to drive fast, and relatively inexpensive to maintain. It is truly a benchmark car as it relates to owning an iconic model for well under half the price of an air-cooled Porsche 911. If you step up to the European-spec edition, life gets even sweeter. But the E36 is also looked down upon for its cheap construction, a significant reduction in build quality compared to the previous generation E30 cars that were overbuilt and just as fun to drive. At the end of the day, the non-M E36 cars have been cheap and ignored for quite some time, so much to the point that decent examples like this one really begin to stand out.

The N35a2 YouTube Channel features this 1998 BMW channel demonstrating just how strong the E36 convertible windshield header is:

The seller’s convertible isn’t exceptional in any one specific way aside from simply appearing to be in very honest condition. Boston Green is one of the better E36 colors, in my opinion, and the matching green convertible top gives this one a very distinctive look – almost monochromatic. I can’t recall if this was a standard offering as I thought most cars came with tops that corresponded to the interior color, but I also don’t recall ever seeing a Boston Green E36 with anything other than a dark-colored top, typically black but perhaps this shade of green was an option as well. The seller’s car has the preferred 5-speed manual gearbox and the seller confirms the air conditioning still blows cold. Perhaps the best surprise is that the leather interior appears to be in very good condition, which is always a wildcard in a car that can sometimes have a completely wasted passenger cabin if it was driven almost exclusively with the top down. Cheap and cheerful summer fun – it doesn’t get any better than that.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Offered for sale is my 1998 BMW 328i /328iC Convertible. 109k miles. Stock M52B28 six-cylinder engine is smooth and has more torque than horsepower from the factory and has the same 5-speed manual transmission as the M3, super fun to drive!

Boston Green Paint/Green Top/Tan Interior. Power top works, A/C works, new tires in last six months, just passed inspection no problem. Ready to be driven and enjoyed right away. BMW is located on the Cape in Brewster. The price is $9950.

Please send me a phone number if you are interested and I will reach out by phone to answer any questions or set up a time for you to see it. Not interested in trades. Thanks.”

E36 love: should the most accessible 3-Series finally get the respect its willing chassis deserve?  


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