1982 BMW 323i Baur

1982 BMW 323i Baur
Memorial Day 2010 First Drive 1982 323i BMW Baur Lapisblau M20 5 speed #4154 of 4595 made. The car was imported to California by Dietel Enterprises. I have since changed the wheels, installed the clear turn signal lenses, and I am in the process of installing a new cabriolet roof. I have to do something about those bumpers, too. :) I love this car! To see one of the reasons why, check my post "Score One For the Good Guys" on 6/26/2011.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My E30 Convertible Roof Replacement Project

My project for today consisted of removing the old convertible top and frame from my 1989 325iC, and replacing it with the top and frame that I purchased and had delivered this week.
You may recall this pic from my post the other day.  ;)  That is the new (used) convertible roof and frame packaged up inside the Baur.  

Here is the full story on that adventure:

Here is the old roof standing on its side after removal.

Note the duct tape around the old window.... after I poked a broom through it while clearing off 20 + inches of snow a couple of weeks ago.  Sheesh.  Just before a heavy rainstorm too.  The roof had to go, and that incident just speeded things up a bit.  Incidentally that is my 1979 323i Euro project car underneath that car cover.

The new convertible top and frame are on the car but not fully installed.


You can see that the inside panel is still upraised to allow access to the top bolt of the convertible top frame.

Still not all buttoned up yet, but looking pretty good.

Bolting the new frame in.  Baurspotting Baur to the left with the old roof leaning against it.  1979 323i project under the car cover next to the garage.  The current project, a 1973 2002 can't be seen here, but it is inside the garage straight ahead.  

My brother-in-law Don Diederich (right) dropped in with my son, Brian (operating camera). 

Makeshift braces keep the roof and the top stowage compartment lid open and out of the way while the new frame is bolted in.  The frame is attached by three bolts on each side.... two of which are pretty hard to get at without the proper tools:  ratchet extensions and a universal joint.   Baurspotting Baur in the background, Don D.'s feet can be seen in the left of the pic.

Just about to finish it up, everything is bolted in and ready to go.   Don D. at left.  Note the wrench in my right hand, key to getting this job done:  1/2" ratchet with a long extension, a universal joint, reducer to 3/8 drive, another short extension and the 13mm socket.  That is the only way you are getting that middle bolt in or out!  :)  I love it!

Gotta love Mr. Natural!  ;)

The finished product is a huge improvement over the old shrunken, leaky roof with the broken window.  A new lease on life, and ready for spring!  260K+ on this 1989 325iC.  

Just thought I would throw this pic in for completeness:  my two favorite E21s in the driveway.  On the left is the white 1977 320i that I used at the Holeshot Drag Race a couple of years ago:  2.0L, carbed, headers, 2 1/4 in exhaust, front strut bar, Momo 14 inch wheels, recaros, Nardi wood wheel, bumper tuck, slick top... a flat-out blast to drive!  Alpineweis, the icing on the cake.  And, of course, on the right is my 1982 323i Lapisblau Baur.   I alternate between the two of them for my daily driver.  Incidentally, the plan this spring is to build a two car garage just behind where these two cars are parked.  I can't wait!  ;)


  1. I can’t imagine focusing long enough to research; much less write this kind of article. You’ve outdone yourself with this material. This is great content.
    Roof Replacement

  2. DougMorgan7435@gmail,comJuly 9, 2020 at 6:46 AM

    So perhaps it was a Baur I saw. Maybe 1985-86 , I worked for a auto parts store and we sold sealed beam headlights along with other items to local shops doing compliance on grey market cars. This shop was fast and loose w the cars. I drove a john player special Lotus Esprit.. but they had a blue 2002 i described as a "targa" then likened it to the Toyota "Sunchaser " w a pop out top and snap down plastic window. Huh, cool

    1. Yes. The Toyota Sunchaser is discussed elsewhere in this blog as a 'Baur-type" roof design. Baur built the BMW 1600/2002 Voll (Full) Cabrio, as well as the 2002 'Cabrio Targa', which sounds like what you may have seen. It had the two-piece roof, similar to the Baur shown above: the hard 'targa' top is removed and stored on a shelf in the trunk; the rear soft-top folds down like a regular convertible top, and then can be covered by the tonneau that is visible in the very first pic above. That Baur roof design allows for 4 different roof configurations: coupe; 'targa'/sunroof ; 'landaulette; and full cabrio. Did I mention they are a blast to drive? ;) I should mention that the unique Baur roof design was developed as a 'safety' design, in response to concerns about safety for convertibles in a rollover incident. It is, in effect, a built-in roll cage..... but nobody ever mentions that fact. ;)

  3. DougMorgan7435@gmail.comJuly 9, 2020 at 9:24 AM

    found your pics blue one in Alpharetta Ga, Came thru Enzo;s compliance center on 41 in Marietta

    1. Is that the one you saw back in 1985-86? Or are you citing it as an example of what you saw back then? Not sure what you mean by 'enzo's compliance center in Marietta GA'. Is that near where you are located?
      Just curious. ;)

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