|Here is a TC2 from Scotland with a very interesting write-up. It has a little different spin on it then you usually hear from me, but it is well done, and worth the read! Check it out! |
VIDEO!! Here is a video walk around! ;)
The Baur TC2 is an interesting thing in its own right.
BMW didn't build a factory 3 series convertible until 1986. All E21 convertibles and all E30 convertibles prior to '86 were built by by Baur. So, if you wanted a convertible you had to buy the two door 3 series of your choice and then pay a significant sum to Karrosserie Baur in Stuttgart, who have a long term relationship with BMW whereby BMW would guarantee Baur's work and your convertible would be as if it were delivered by the BMW factory.
The roof came off and a "targa" style affair was put in its place with a removeable centre panel and a folding pram type rear section. There's even a bracket in the boot for stowing the panel.
The TC2 is really just exactly the same as the TC - as used on the E21. So, it makes the E30 look that little bit more "retro" in my view. Look at the Baur next to the factory convertible in the photos.
So what is rare about this? Well, Baurs are rare. They were very expensive back in the day and very few were made. This car however, is a 1989 car. Factory convertibles appeared in 1986. By the time of the E30 facelift in 1988, they were well established. The factory convertible virtually killed the Baur. Why would you spend significantly more and wait for delivery when you could buy a much better looking factory car for much less and available from stock?
There are a couple of reasons. Despite its ground breaking and leading edge design and the praise heaped on it at the time for its saloon like driving qualities, the truth is, removing the roof, despite the strengthening undertaken, does compromise the "tightness" of the shell. While far better than any other full convertible of the time, the factory convertible still suffered from the dreaded scuttle shake. The Baur didn't. To get the folding roof mechanism completely hidden to give the pleasing aesthetics of the factory convertible with the roof down, the rear seats were compromised. Two children/small adults will be comfortable for a short time. The Baur retained its full rear seat. The factory convertible was only available in certain variants. The Baur could be ordered on any two door shell. There were a few 318iS Baurs and loads of M10 engined Baurs. There were no M10 engined factory convertibles. Nor were there any 318iS convertibles
So, to buy a new Baur after 1986, you made a specific choice. "I want that one. I know it is more expensive and doesn't look as good, but its benefits outweigh these shortcomings. Where do I sign?" Obviously, as buying any new BMW in 1989 wasn't for the impecunious, buying a Baur tended to be reserved for wealthy people who knew what they wanted. Those people also tend to look after their cars.
So, what about this one? Well this car started life as a 320i automatic and spent most of its life driving up and down the Kings Road in Chelsea. It went through a few owners before ending up with a Lamborghini collector in Yorkshire who bought it for his girlfriend who didn't get on with it. In 2012 our customer bought it and we've undertaken some considerable work recently.
It has had a 325i engine conversion using a known good engine with a rebuilt cylinder head, new belt, water pump etc. etc.; the tatty leather comfort interior has been replaced with a spotless 1990 318iS sports interior; it has had 51mm 325i front struts fitted and a 325i exhaust; the cracked dash has been replaced; and, it has been under sealed and rust protected.
It has just (late September) been professionally converted to manual transmission and has had a significant suspension overhail including the rear beam bushes.
It is structurally sound, needing no welding. It is rust free in all the usual areas, floor pans, sills, scuttle, rear arches etc are all good. It is mechanically very good. Everything works as it should. The interior is very fresh and bright. The roof is in good order, though the eccentric catches could do with replacement. It is on factory 14" BBS alloys with excellent matching tyres and looks very good indeed. It has 12 months MoT.
If I was to name an E30 that I thought was worth squirrelling away with a view to seeing prices rise, I can honestly say that it would be a facelift Baur. These are rare, and while I - as a factory convertible owner myself - prefer the look of the factory convertible, the Baur definitely has its advantages and a late one like this one is definitely worth holding on to. Particularly when most of the early pre facelift ones have rotted away.
It was the standard 1980s BMW pink, so we have had it resprayed in the correct original colour and added colour coded bumpers and mirrors and it now looks superb.
As always, sensible offers and part exchanges of classic cars (BMWs obviously preferred) considered. More photos available. Any inspection welcome.
Bavarian Retro Cars & Parts
Argyle Crescent, Hillhouse Industrial Estate, Hamilton, Scotland.
tel: 07762 725041
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