1986 318i E30 Baur/BMW BAUR TC2 Targa Right Hand Drive
Price: US $6,300.00 Item location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States
- Make: BMW
- Model: 3-Series
- SubModel: Baur TC2
- Type: Convertible
- Trim: 318i
- Year: 1986
- Mileage: 159,852
- VIN: wbaak320908800484
- Color: Blue
- Engine size: 1.8 fuel injected
- Number of cylinders: 4
- Power options: Power Windows
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Drive type: RWD
- Interior color: Black
- Options: CD Player, Convertible
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1986 BMW 3-Series Baur TC2
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1986 BMW E30 BAUR TC2 Targa 318i Right Hand Drive
I bought this car in Ireland and imported it myself. In the US, this car is extremely rare, as the Baur Targa was never imported here during its run. As you’ll see, I’ve spent quite a bit on it, and it’s a really solid car that needs nothing to be a nice daily driver. With a bit more work, it could make a great show car.
If you’re not familiar with the Baur Cabriolet conversions for BMWs, please do some research. Before BMW started making 3 series convertibles, and even for a bit after, there was a program wherein finished 3 series bodies were taken off of the line in Munich and sent to Stuttgart, where Kariosserie Baur put on a targa top. The top has a removable panel that has a dedicated storage space in the trunk, and the rear portion behind the panel folds down like a traditional convertible. The cars were never brought to the US, and very few are here. This is probably one of a handful of Right Hand Drive Baur E30s in the US.
Some history on the car:
I bought the car in 2012 in Ireland with 155k on the clock. In 2010 the car was restored, sanded to bare metal, rust removed from all the usually E30 locations, fresh steel welded in place, filled, primed and a given a new dolphin grey paintjob. The underbody was fully sealed and the engine given a full service.The following items were replaced.LH + RH Wishbone + Ball Joint + Rear Bush (front)LH + RH Drop Link (front)LH + RH Brake Pads (front)LH + RH Brake Drum (rear)LH + RH Brake Shoes (rear)LH + RH Brake Cylinder (rear)
I bought the car in Rosslare Harbour, Co Wexford, Rep Of Ireland Ireland, and arranged for shipping and titling in the US. As the importer, I had to jump through a million hoops to get it here, but now that it’s done, it has a regular Pennsylvania title and poses no ownership or transfer concerns above any other car. I’ve spent thousands on shipping bringing this rare car into the US. The whole process of shipping and US registration took months and cost thousands. This was in February, 2012.
I had it shipped via container to Baltimore and towed by flatbed to my mechanic in PA. I then proceeded to spend:
- Almost $10k improving mechanical items. My mechanics did an exhaustive end-to-end assessment of the car. Major items were:- New motor mounts- Most lines, hoses, belts replaced- Both electric window regulators replaced, including motors
- About $3k at an upholstery shop having them- Replace the back portion of the top. When the car arrived, the rear plastic window was a bit torn at the seam, and instead of fussing with it, I replaced the entire top.- Bought the correct Tonneau cover- Installed a set of E30 Recaros that I had purchased from Aardvark racing - the seats it came with were thrashed. These seats have been recovered and are spectacular. I had them from an earlier project, but their replacement value is probably an additional $2k.- Refurbish the steering wheel- New gators for handbrake, shifter- Replaced one section of worn carpet
Over the last few years, I’ve treated it to a few upgrades- new CocoMats- Refurbished M3 steering wheel (looks spectacular)- Leather M3 shift knob
The car came to me without any badging on the trunk lid other than the Roundel (I think I replaced both Roundels), so I placed “318 is” badging on it. It is NOT a factory “IS” car, but a factory “I” car, but this was the badging that I found. Looks great.
The result is a car that is a great daily driver. The 2010 paint job is holding up very well - it’s shiny and nice and keeps a polish. The only downside is some surface paint peeling on both left and right sill panels. I’ve tried to highlight it in one picture.
The top mechanism works like it should, and this car turns heads everywhere - both for being a rare Baur Targa configuration, and for being a right hand drive car in the US. I’d never driven a right hand drive car here before, and it’s a breeze, and also completely legal here in Pennsylvania (please check for yourself, but I believe they’re legal everywhere).
The 1.8 engine didn’t win any speed contests when it was new, and it doesn’t now, but like all 3 series BMWs, it has a way of “feeling” faster than it is - it’s hard to describe, but it loves to be revved hard and driven aggressively.
Some positive notes:- The front plate (and I have the rear as well) are the original Irish plates. At some point, someone had the windows engraved with the plate number, and they match these plates. In Pennsylvania, only a rear plate is required, so it’s great fun to have the real original Irish plate on the front.
- It has a European Blautpunkt radio which I would date from the 2010 restoration. It plays CDs, and gets US FM radio.
- The tires all around are new relatively new Hankook Ventus tires that I put on, and they have lots of life left.
Downsides:- The two areas of paint peeling on each sill panel - one the size of a dollar bill ripped into quarters - one the size of a dollar bill ripped in half)- I backed into a pole once and there is a slight dent in the rear bumper. It’s pretty slight, and I’ve never thought to fix it. You can see it in the pictures. My guess is that it will pull out if you care about it.
- It came to me with a pile of keys. Among them are the original key and the keychain from the Irish dealership that was the original seller. Over time, though, various lock cylinders have been replaced. The main key works the ignition and doors. Another key works the trunk, and finally a third key operates the locking gas cap. (You could, of course, get rid of the locking gas cap). I’m pretty happy to have the original keys
- The wheels that it came with seem to me to be knock-off Alpina wheels. Over time, all four Alpina hub covers have come off. I haven’t found the right replacement wheel covers, and you’ll see that I have a set of cheap caps directly covering some of the hubs. The wheels are cosmetically nice, but it probably should get all new hub caps or have all of them popped off.
- When I got the car, the trim panel under the steering wheel was loose, so I just pulled it off. You’ll get it with the car. I tried to put it on once, and there seems to be missing some sort of faster in the rear of the footwell above the pedals. You don’t see it unless you happen to be crawling around the driver’s footwell.
- There are two dash cracks (nicely covered with black sealant) that you’d expect from an E30 of this age.
- There is a small dent in the hood where a piece of fruit fell from my tree and hit it in the driveway. It’s small and should pull out. It just hasn’t bothered me.
So, please - ask any questions. I’ve been lucky enough to own three Baurs (two E21s, and this E30), and this is my last. Why am I selling? A daughter starting to drive who doesn’t want anything to do with manuals, much less a right hand drive manual - so she needs a new car, and something has to go to make room.
I’ve always used this as a weekend car, and that explains putting so few miles on it. Still, it was driven and enjoyed regularly.
Check out my feedback. I've bought and sold a few cars on eBay over my time - all personally - and all to happy buyers. Car is in the Philadelphia suburbs. You are responsible for transportation. I think the car could be driven anywhere, and if you want to drive it home, I'd arrange to pick you up at the Philadelphia airport or train station. Of course, I always recommend shipping, and I will coordinate with your shipper (although I will not arrange one for you).