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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The First Baur: A Restoration Project Pictorial, Part VIII Andreas' Story, In German and English

Also check out this new restoration post of a 1937 BMW 328:  VIDEOS!

We are now at Part VIII in this series: Andreas's story in his own words. We present two items below:  the  first is my nephew Brendan's translation of Andreas' original German text into English;  and second is the original text in German (to accomodate our German audience). 

I do not speak German, but I am very fortunate to have a very talented nephew, Brendan. Brendan spent a semester of his Junior year of college studying in Austria, and then returned to Germany after college graduation to study German for a year in Tuebingen, and another year in Bremen studying International Business. When I approached him about possibly translating this article, he enthusiastically agreed to do the translating, both because he found the story to be interesting, and because it afforded him an opportunity brush up on his German skills. I am very grateful to Brendan for his help.

Here is Andreas's story of the First and Last Baurs, presented in his own words:

This is the history of the first built BMW 3er Cabrio.
Earlier I had a 320/6 Baur and a 323i Baur (Which I still have) and was searching for replacement parts on E-bay. On a Sunday evening I was able to find one listed.
The ad was for a BMW 320/4 from 1976 and I thought that this cannot be because the Baur was first produced in 1978.
Since the price for “direct purchase” was 500 Euros and the parts for a Baur are infrequent, I thought to myself that I had to jump at the chance.
I knew that the car did not contain a motor but as the car was delivered by tractor trailer, I realized what happened to the motor:  the motor had been removed and it was used in a Formula 2 car.
At first look I could tell the car was in bad shape but I thought to myself nothing of it and figured I could bring it home to see what was still in good condition. 

As I arrived home and began inspecting the vehicle, I noticed the identification marker with 000001-01 and thought that maybe I got lucky and this was truly the first model produced.
The next week I began researching through BMW Mobile Tradition and BMW BaurTC Club regarding the car and confirmed that the car was in fact the first built Cabrio 3er.
I would normally disassemble/strip the car for parts but this case was something different. Instead I decided to first see where I could find all the necessary parts needed for restoring the car.

That was when I noticed that many of the parts in the car were different from those that were usually found in normal Baurs. 
The sun visor and the interior panels were hand sewn, the trim on the rear side windows were identical to normal models and were sawed off, under the Baur logo was the imprint with the letters HC, the hardtop was smooth on the inside while the rear window was larger than normal.

The dismantling of the prototype went quickly but exposed a great amount of rust.
The pictures of the restoration say more than words can describe and I wanted the car to be perfect using the correct original parts.

Halfway through the restoration process I received an invitation from the BMW Baur TC Club asking to show the car at the Retro Classic in Stuttgart. I was greatly inspired and accepted the invite and mentioned that the car was not yet completely finished.
The exhibition was great achievement and BMW Mobile Tradition also stopped by to view the car.
Ed. Note:  (The gentleman in the brown jacket on the left (above) and signing the hood below, is none other than Hermann Wenzelburger, the co-designer of the Baur!  So this truly does make the the #000001 Baur a 'signed original' indeed!  Wow. 
Andreas also tells me that the gentleman on the right in the picture above is the man who made the Baur roof, and he has the original roof in his basement!  What a great moment, so many years down the road!)

Hermann Wenzelburger signs the First Baur #000001

Ed. Note:  (Also, Andreas informs me that the woman in the red jacket in the center of the picture is the daughter of Mr. Baur.  She owns the first ever 2002 Baur built, and drives it daily in the summer.  Great stuff, Andreas!  Thank you!)
Jeroen from Holland was also there and he said to me that he knew where the last Baur was and I had the idea as to whether or not Jeroen could get into contact with the owner to organize a photo-shoot with the first and last of the Baur 3 Series.
Baur #4595
Two weeks later I received mail from Jeroen that the last Baur was for sale and I immediately contacted the Seller who did not know that this was the last one built.

The last owner was a Dutch car dealer and had purchased the car fifteen years ago and since that time, had only driven it one hundred kilometers.
The next year the first Baur was finished and the BMW Baur TC Club once again asked if I could bring both cars to the Retro Classic in Stuttgart.
Baur #4595 (left) and Baur #000001 (right)
After being in Stuttgart for four days, I got to know other workers from the Baur company at a dinner at the Hotel and heard plenty of stories and facts about the firm.

Baur co-designer Hermann Wenzelburger with Baur #000001

Two weeks later I took the first Baur to Essen to attend the Techno Classica (Oldest Oldtimer Exhibition in Europe) in order to join BMW Stand.

In the meantime I have taken both cars to many other exhibitions and tradeshows throughout Europe.
I collect BMW cars and everything else regarding the company such as Folder Information Material, especially from foreign countries, I would always be pleased to send materials about new models...  and have in time a couple together:
735i E23
635CSi E24
1600-2 Cabrio
2002 Baur
318is E30
Some Baur E21
Alpina B3 Cabrio E30
Alpina B6 E21
M535i E12
520A E12
316 Baur E30
323i Peters Cabrio E21 one from 10 made
528i E12
Some E21
I hope that I was able to provide some more help. I would gladly and am ready to provide other information when needed. I will also send some more photos in another email of some other cars that I own.

With gratitude to The Cast who presented this pictorial:
                                               The Man himself, Andreas T., of Belgium
tom82baur, your humble correspondent, with our first grandchild, Abe, born 10/12/2011

Brendan, my nephew and our Intrepid Translator, in character as The Muppet's Swedish Chef, at our family Christmas Party 2010
N.B.  Brendan has approved the use of this pic.  !!!


_________Happy Thanksgiving to All!___________________________________

Now all in German!

Hallo Tom,

Das ist die Geschichte von de ersten gebauten BMW 3er Cabrio.

Ich hatte schon früher einen 320/6 Baur und einen 323i Baur (habe ich noch immer) und war auf der suche nach Ersatzteilen auf E-bay und auf einen Sonntagabend sah ich aufeinmal ein

Inserrat mit BMW Baur 320/4 und von 1976 ich dachte es kann nicht sein da die Baur's erst ab 1978 gebaut wurden.

Da war aber der Preis von 500 Euro "direkt kaufen" und Baurteile sind selten und ich dachte mir was soll es und hatte zugeschlagen.

Ich wusste das er ohne Motor war aber als ich das Auto mit dem LKW geholt hatte sah ich was mit den Motor passiert war, er wurde für ein Formel 2 Auto gebraucht.

Der erste Anblick war sehr schlecht aber ich dachte mir aber was schaun wir zuhause was noch gut ist.

Zuhause angekommen habe ich alles in ruhe nachgeschaut und dann das Baurschild gesehen mit 000001-01 und dachte mir vielleicht habe ich Glück und er ist es in echt.

Ich hatte die nächste Wochen begonnen mit Nachforschungen bei BMW Mobile Tradition und BMW BaurTC Club über das Auto und bin bestätigt worden das es tatsächlich das erst

gebaute 3er Cabrio ist.

Im Normalfall würde ich das Auto demontieren für Ersatzteile aber in diesen fall war es anders und ich musste erst sehen wo ich alle Teile bekommen konnte für eine Restauration.

Jetzt sah ich erst das viele Teile auf den Auto anders waren als die von einen normalen Baur.

Die Sonnenklappen und die Verkleidungen innen waren Handgenäht, die Zierleisten am hinteren Seitenfenster waren vom normalen Model und nur abgesägt, unter den Baurlogo waren die

 Abdrücken von de Buchstaben HC, das Hardtop war innen glatt und das Heckfenster war grösser als normal.

Die demontage von den Prototyp ging sehr schnell aber brachte viel rost zum vorschein.

Die restaurationsfotos sagen mehr als worte, ich wollte es perfekt haben aber die originalen spezifischen teile beibehalten.

Bei der Halbzeit von der Restauration hatte ich die anfrage bekommen von BMW Baur TC Club um mein Auto zu zeigen auf der Retro Classic in Stuttgart. Ich war begeisterd und sagte zu

aber habe auch erwähnt das er noch nicht fertig war.

Die Messe war der volle erfolg und BMW Mobile Tradition ist auch schauen gekommen.

Jeroen aus Holland war auch da und sagte zu mir das er den letzten Baur stehen wusste und ich hatte die Idee ob er nicht mit den Besitzer kontakt aufnemen könnte um ein Fotoshoting zu

organisieren mit den ersten und letzten Baur 3 Serie.

2 Wochen später hatte ich ein mail von Jeron bekommen das der letzte Baur zu kaufen währe, ich hatte sofort contakt mit den Verkäufer aufgenommen der nicht einmal wusste das es der

letzte war und ich hatte es auch dabei belassen bis ich das Auto auf dem LKW hatte.

Der letzte besitzer war ein Holländischer Autohändler der das Auto 15 jahre vorher gekauft hatte und seitdamals 100km gefahren ist.

Das nächste Jahr war der erste Baur fertig und der BMW Baur TC Club hatte mich nocheinmal gefragt um mit beiden Autos zur Retro Classic nach Stuttgart zu kommen.

In Stuttgard waren wird dann 4 Tage und hatten beim Abendessen im Hotel noch weitere Mitarbeiter der Firma Baur kennengelernt und sehr viele Geschichten und Fakten von der Firma


2 wochen später musste der erste Baur nach Essen auf die Techno Classica (grösste Oldtimer Messe von Europa) auf den BMW Stand kommen.

In der zwischenzeit sind die Auto's auf mehreren Messen gestanden in Europa.

Ich sammle BMW's Auto's und alles über BMW wie Folder Infomaterial auch aus dem Ausland(ich würde mich immer freuen auf zusendungen auch von neue Modelle) und habe in der

zwischenzeit ein paar zusammen :

735i E23
635CSi E24
1600-2 Cabrio
2002 Baur
318is E30
some Baur E21
Alpina B3 Cabrio E30
Alpina B6 E21
M535i E12
520A E12
316 Baur E30
323i Peters Cabrio E21 one from 10 made
528i E12
Some E21

Ich hoffe das ich Euch ein bisschen weiterhelfen konnte.

Ich bin gerne bereit für andere Informationen wenn nötig.

If you have problems with de translation let me now.

Ich sende noch ein paar fotos in einen Extra Mail von verschiedenen Autos von mir.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen



  1. Fantastic story! and an amazing restoration project
    Tom, thank you for your dedication to our great cars, it is inspiring.Keep up the good work.
    Ed Poole 1985 323i Baur TC2 # B44808-13

  2. Much appreciated, Ed. Andreas (and my nephew Brendan) get the credit for this, I just gave them a place to post it! I love this stuff!

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  5. Hi.
    I have a RHD E21 318i Peters convertible.
    Is there any information you could give me to help find out more about my car.

    June 23, 2015 at 5:24 PM

    1. Hi,
      Here is an old post about the Peters:




      Check out Jeroen' site:


      I hope that is helpful. It is at least a place to start! Good luck and congrats on your Peters convertible! Tom