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.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Build Your Own Baur

Several folks have asked about the feasibility of building your own Baur.  My immediate reaction, of course, is ....ARE YOU CRAZY???


And the answer, I guess, for some folks is.... YES!    :)

So, let me preface what follows with this:  Baurspotting does NOT recommend a DIY Baur build.  We strongly recommend leaving this sort of work to the guys in the factory who know what the hell they are doing.

However, we also recognize that there are some folks out there who are skilled enough, or crazy enough, or both, to take on a project like this. So, for those folks, and for those folks who are thinking about taking on a project like this and want to be talked out of it, Baurspotting is pleased to be able to offer the following:

 First of all, here is the guy you need to talk to:

Hermann Wenzelburger, co-designer of the BMW Baur.  This picture ( by Jeroen J.)  is from the 100 Years of Baur Anniversary Show in Stuttgart in September, 2010.  
Hermann Wenzelburger at the Baur Factory in Stuttgart

H. Wenzelburger sitting in the restored Baur #0001.

Designer Wenzelburger with current Owner and Restorer of Baur #0001, Andreas T. of Belgium.

(to read more about Andreas T. and his amazing restoration of the first E21 Baur:  http://baurspotting.blogspot.com/2011/11/first-baur-restoration-project_23.html )

Signing the restored Baur #0001.

Herr Wenzelburger is getting on in years now (in his 80's I believe), and he lives near Stuttgart.  If Hermann doesn't convince you that you are crazy to take on this project.... continue reading.


Secondly, here is an interesting testimonial from a guy who formerly worked for the Griffith Company, the folks who did many conversions in the US from shops in Detroit, Jacksonville, FL and Santa Ana, CA back in the 1970's and 80s.  He does describe the actual conversion process that they used on the Toyota "Sunchaser'.
Note the similarities to the Baur conversions:  targa center piece, roll bar, folding rear soft top.

Click on the link and take a few minutes to read that.  Quite a nice little write-up.  Thanks to Mike E. of the BMW CCA Puget Sound Region for that link.

N.B.  There were a number of companies that did convertible conversions in the US back in the day.  Here is a post about a couple of conversion examples:

There are some listed here:
"Coach convertibles are convertibles built by independent shops, or coachbuilders, by converting closed cars into open ones. This practice filled, and to a small extent continues to fill a small void left by the auto industry. The coach convertible trend is most closely associated with the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the American auto industry abandoned the convertible because of low demand and pending federal crash regulations that would make the convertible seem impossible to build."

Thirdly, here is an article on how the Baur factory actually did the conversions of the BMW:

Sprecken zie Deutsch?  Yes, it is in German.  I never said this was going to be easy, right?  ;)

Next, you will need some parts:
Here is an example of a Baur frame from Baur #783 (TC1).

The 6 pics above are from a TC2 Baur that was found at a scrapyard and salvaged.
Posted by flyboyx on the r3vlimited board.
very rare E30 BAUR rescue roof retrofit. almost complete

These are just some of the parts that will need to either buy or fabricate for your Baur project.  You will find these, and more here:

The parts are not easy to find, but they do appear from time to time.  Most are still attached to the rest of the car, incidentally. Like this one:

Whole Baur for Sale in Virginia!

Thanks to HarryPR (Baurspotter of the Week!) for the heads up on this Baur being sold as a whole parts car in Springfield VA!

this is a rare 1980 323i e21 baur 5sp m20 unknown miles , disk brakes all around , slip diff. engine is in good shape its been sitting for a while , the top is in good shape just needs to be clean , recaro seats needs some work . pm for parts prices . thanks 


 OK, so...... if you do happen to find these parts still attached to the car..... BUY THAT CAR!, and restore it, ..... and forget this crazy DIY project!  You will thank me for that advice, trust me!  ;)

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