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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Freddie F.'s South African-Built TC2!

Thanks to Freddie F. of Northern Ireland who owns this South African built E30 TC2 Baur.   1985 323i right hand drive, automatic.  Freddie has an inquiry about his VIN number, and states that his Baur has no VIN plate.
Note the color of the Baur frame.

A little background is in order here, perhaps.  BMW built 10,865 TC2 Baurs between 1983 and 1991, approximately.  These were all E30 series.  BMW also arranged for 3,590 additional TC2 Baurs to be built in South Africa under license to Baur.

Here is a chart showing production numbers by year, with the South African Baurs shown in red:

Here is the issue:  Freddie has done VIN check on his car, and he gets totally erroneous information about another car:   "bmw computer says its a 2002 1985 bmw not an e 30".  His VIN starts with  "B" followed by seven numbers.  I believe most US E30 BMWs had 17 digit VINs by this time.  

So, I am actively interested in learning any info about South African-built VINs, to help Freddie with this, and for my own edification.  :)  Any input is most welcome, Baurspotters!

Thank you, Freddie, for sending these great pics!  I have wanted to post some good pics of the South African-built Baur frames for a long time..... and these are the best pics that we have received!    One of the distinguishing characteristics of the SA-built Baurs is that the Baur frames are the same color as the body.  Stuttgart-built Baurs are black.  The reason for this difference, if I recall correctly from what Jeroen J has stated, is related to the build process on the respective Baurs:  in SA, the Baurs frames were attached and painted as part of the build, whereas the Stuttgart-built Baurs were first built and prepped by BMW, then sent to Baur in Stuttgart for conversion to the Top Cabriolet, then returned to BMW.

It is also my understanding that another distinction between the Stuttgart-built vs SA-built Baurs is that the SA-built Baurs did not come with a Baur plate number.

Enjoy the pics!

And here are some additional pics that Freddie graciously sent us!

Congrats on your Baur, Freddie, and thanks for sharing the pics and info with us!  Welcome to Baurspotting!  I am hopeful that we may be able to shed some light on your inquiry about the VIN number at some point, so please stay tuned!  
UPDATE from Freddie 3pm 4/29/2014:
Auxiliary Fuel Tank in trunk

"This is another chassis stamp just below the wipers under the bonnet.  I wonder what the HR stands for?"

Freddie states that "The Baur was a barn find."  !!!  Not a bad barn find!!


UPDATE:  Thanks to Seventies Skateshop in Facebook, who also owns a South African-built TC2, and posted the following pics, showing some other SA-built features that distinguish them from the Stuttgart-built Baurs.
"SA 325i Auxiliary tank at the rear of the boot,attached to the seat back !"
(See Freddie's pic above.)

The paint label is in English.

Baur TC stamped into the soft top frame.  This may not be unique to SA Baurs.  We will have to check.

Thanks for the info, Seventies Skateshop!

Update 4/29/2014  from Baur Guru Jeroen J.:   Baur sold frames from the start of production to the BMW-plant in SA. I've seen the receipts of these and they are from '83 till '91. Since the BMW ETK only covers the German build cars, no specs will be found for these cars. The Baur-frames for SA where put on the car before painting, so the frames is in the same colour as the body. From outside you can see its a SA-Baur because of the lack of "Baur TC" on the B-sill and the windows which where produced locally (and there fore have a different text on them).

Thanks, Jeroen!


  1. BMW South Africa do not have any records ( source e30clubsa.co.za ) of any
    e30 cars produced in SA.