Let’s start with a confession: I can’t help but think the E46 convertible is one of the most attractive BMW Convertibles of all times (if it comes in the right color and specification). And I am also pretty certain that it will become a classic, tomorrow, over time.
Admittedly, the BMW 3 series type E46 used to be a fairly common sight on European roads, but nowadays it is easy to see how they are getting less and less on the roads, especially the “good ones”. The average age of a car on German roads is 11 years right now. This shows that all E46 are way older than the average already today (the E46 was produced from 1998 until 2007). And most E46 won’t ever become a precious classic, but some surely will. This is especially true for the E46 320 Ci convertible that I am about to introduce to you here. Let me explain.
This 320 Ci incorporates almost everything that I believe an E46 convertible should have: It’s got a really great color combination (I think), black sapphire metallic outside with beige leather Montana inside. It’s got the beautiful 18″ BMW M alloys that just fit this car really well. It’s got an all-time “BMW-classic” engine, the inline six cylinder that sounds and roars like a BMW engine should (yes, it is only the small one with 2.2 liters, I know, and it would be even greater as a 330 Ci, but the 320 still sounds and feels so nice). It is pretty well equipped; it has even got stuff like curve lights, memory seats or an electric roof that can be controlled by the remote control, features that would still be considered advanced today; mind you, this is a 14 year old car today.
This is also the last BMW convertible with a textile rooftop (I think this goes a long way). And, last not least, it still drives and feels as new, because it has a mileage of only 25,000 kilometers (about 15k miles). The whole car is in a really mint condition, inside, outside and underneath, even though it is 14 years old. The perfect precondition for being preserved and becoming a classic.
All these factors in combination make this automobile not only attractive, but probably unique. This is why I couldn’t resist to buy this car back in early 2018. It came with a very transparent history: First owned by BMW AG in Munich as a company car, it was sold to the owner of an small enterprise, luckily residing not far from where I live. This guy used the convertible as his 3rd car and drove it less and less – problems with his back made it agonizing for him to get in or out of this car. This explains why, after 14 years of age, this car still has such a low mileage and mint condition.
While owning this car, I have enjoyed both possessing and driving it in many different ways. It is really rare in this specification and condition which makes it something special to own and are for. It is a lot of fun to drive on warm summer days. And it can accommodate a family of four (at least for short trips), wich increased the chance of me really putting it to use.
Nevertheless, I decided to sell this car in late 2018 because I felt that it was time to move on. I wanted to replace it with a Jaguar XK8 convertible but then a fascinating Mercedes SL 500 SL (R129) came across my way, but that’s a different story…
I genuinely enjoyed owning and using this car. (Writing this article actually makes me a little sad that I sold it half a year ago.) I am sure that precious E46 convertibles will become classics in near future!My short summary after owning this car for 2 years
What is your view on the E46 convertible – is it a genuine Tomorrow’s Classic? What is your favorite BMW convertible of the 1980’s and 90’s?
Tomorrows-Classics.net is all about sharing stories of beautiful cars that will soon be genuine classics. Do you have a special car and a story to share? I look forward to reading from you!