1985 BMW 318i Baur TC2 Convertible (E30)


  • A rarely seen example of a Baur converted 318i with innovative two stage convertible top
  • Complete with a low, original mileage and a great overall condition internally and externally
  • Offered today with a long MOT valid until March 2024

The Appeal

The E30 BMW 3 Series was the second iteration of the company’s compact executive offering and replaced the E21 in 1982. Long-standing coach worker, Karosserie Baur had marketed a Cabriolet conversion for the E21 which proved popular and was known as the “TC” or “TopCabriolet.” It stood to reason that they did the same with the E30. In this form, the officially sanctioned conversion was known as the “TC2” and cost around £3,795 on top of the cost of the car (about £13,500 in today’s money). TC2s were available across the whole 3 Series range and only 2,377 would find homes on the 318i. A small fraction of these would have been UK, right hand drive cars.

Our example is a very nicely original example with a sensible mileage equating to under 2,000 a year on average. Its more recent history is one of very light use, having covered a mere 3,000 miles or so since the year 2000. The condition is admirably factory faithful with all the requisite and rare Baur fitments and data plates present and correct. Now ready to drive away and enjoy this summer.

The History and Paperwork

  • This Baur TC2 was manufactured in 1985
  • It is a UK supplied and specification car
  • It was first registered in the UK in August 1985
  • The car has been used and enjoyed by seven previous owners
  • There have been some extended periods of tenure within the history
  • The second owner kept the car for 11 years and the fifth for 15 years
  • The car’s usage has been extremely light in more recent years
  • The current owner acquired the car in 2022
  • There is a decent amount of paperwork included with this car
  • Firstly, there is the current V5 in the name of the owner
  • The original book pack is also on hand including the original Baur book
  • The current MOT is included in hard copy, valid to March 2024
  • Most MOT hard copies are present back to the year 2000
  • Numerous invoices are included documenting parts bought and work undertaken

The Interior

  • The Baur conversions were applied to the standard Three Series cars of the period
  • As such all interior fixtures and fittings are standard E30 fare
  • This example features Marine blue, self-patterned woven fabric upholstery
  • The centre panels are differentiated from the bolsters by blue piping
  • Considering the age of the car, the condition is excellent throughout
  • The rear seats are identically trimmed and in an equally fine condition
  • Door cards and rear panels are finished in panelled blue vinyl and are pristine
  • The carpets are finished in blue and have been protected by heavy duty mats
  • The dashboard is the familiar BMW E30, driver-centric affair
  • This is finished in black vinyl and appears to be in fine fettle throughout
  • An M Sport, three spoke BMW steering wheel is fitted
  • A Kenwood radio cassette head unit is fitted in the centre console
  • The black fabric Baur headlining looks to be in a fine, original condition
  • The all important Karosserie Baur data plate is noted in the nearside door shut
  • Charming, period-appropriate cassette storage is present in the centre console
  • The only imperfection of note is the fabric coming adrift from some roof bars
  • The good-sized boot is trimmed in original grey carpet
  • The familiar drop-down toolbox is present and appears to be fully equipped
  • A spare wheel, jack and tools are also housed here

The Exterior

  • This little Baur TC2 is presented in Sterling Silver Metallic paintwork 
  • This is accented with a mid-blue, double coach line running front to back
  • The paintwork looks appropriately thick and in very good shape overall
  • The bodywork looks to be equally good with tight panel gaps throughout
  • A rubber, boot lid spoiler and front chin spoiler add to the sporting looks
  • The car sits on a set of original 15-inch “Euroweave” BBS alloy wheels 
  • These are documented as having been refurbished and powder coated more recently
  • As such, these look in excellent shape are shod with a set of 205/55 Continental tyres
  • The two front tyres were advised on the current MOT due to minor cracking
  • The Baur TC2 conversion was achieved by removing the E30’s roof and rear screen
  • The rear windows were retained, and a two-piece roof set up was fitted
  • This comprises of a Targa style roof panel and a landau style folding hood at the rear
  • This afforded several variations of roof configuration to suit the conditions
  • The roof parts are presented in blue fabric and look original and compete
  • The condition of these looks good with just the odd imperfection evident
  • The Baur TC badges are present on the B pillars of the 318i
  • A black, vinyl tonneau cover is included to cover the hood back when stowed
  • The cabin glass and light lenses all appear to be in great, original shape
  • Most of these are etched with the car’s registration number for security purposes
  • Comes with the original wheels

The Mechanics

  • Our car is based on the 318i version of the E30 and fitted with the 1,766cc M40 engine
  • This was originally rated at around 111 bhp and 119 Ib-ft of torque
  • Power is fed to the rear wheels via a five-speed Getrag 240 gearbox
  • The under-bonnet presentation of the car is very good
  • It looks highly original, and the cam cover seems to have been gloss powder coated
  • The factory VIN number data plate is present and correct
  • No rust is visible, and the suspension turrets look very solid 
  • The owner advises that the car runs as it should and no known mechanical issues were reported
  • The MOT just advises a slightly binding hand brake


The Baur conversion was so good it was a BMW approved conversion that did not impact the donor car’s original factory warranty. That’s no mean feat for a company with engineering values as famously high as BMW. An important selling feature was that the TC2 conversion offered a very flexible range of roof configurations. You could independently remove the Targa top or just drop the landau hood. You could, of course, take the top off and drop the hood to give you a full convertible. A neat solution that offered something more than the factory convertible……..and a lot rarer of course.

This car is a great example in every respect. It appears highly original throughout. Its very sensible original mileage results in a car that is in very nice order indeed. There appears to be very little for a new owner to do. Other, of course, decide which of the roof options they wish to deploy and enjoy some wind in the hair summer motoring.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1985
  • Make BMW
  • Model 318i Baur (E30)
  • Colour Silver
  • Odometer 69,823 Miles
  • Engine size 1766
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Buxted
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
8 bids from 4 bidders
  • [email protected]•••• £6,100 06/06/23
  • jon1lew•••• £6,000 06/06/23
  • [email protected]•••• £5,700 06/06/23
  • jon1lew•••• £5,600 05/06/23
  • jon1lew•••• £5,500 04/06/23
  • [email protected]•••• £5,000 04/06/23
  • jon1lew•••• £2,250 04/06/23
  • DevonCo•••• £2,000 04/06/23

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