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A Grand Monday: BMW 316i E36 Coupe

Published 26 March 2018

The two-door E36 was BMW's first proper coupe since the iconic shark-nosed 6-series, so it's no suprise that the model became an instant hit.

Offered across the 3-series range, the coupe body style was available as everything from a 'cooking' 316i up to a flame-grilled M3, and accounted for around 10 per cent of 3-series sales across Europe.

But like all E36s, they do like to rot - and that makes finding a solid example quite a challenge these days. afer all, it's 20 years this year since the E36 went out of production, and eight more since it was first launched.

Despite the passage of time (or perhaps because of it), the E36 still has an air of handsomeness about it, along with an enthusiastic following.

BMW 3 Series E36 (4)

If you're looking for a good one for less than a grand, then prepare to be challenged. But this example, which we found in the classifieds, looks like it could well be worth a look, especially at the giveaway price of £850.

We'll get the bad news out of the way first. It's an entry-level 316i, and it's not the most popular colour. It also has a couple of rust scabs, which the owner has photographed and added to the advert - from what we can see, they're nothing to worry about - and for an E36 that's very good news indeed.

On the plus side, it's original and completely unmodified, with gorgeous factory alloys, six months' MoT and quite a bit of service history. 

At this price, it's an absolute steal - whether you want to keep it original (which is what we'd do) or use the solid shell as the basis for the restoration of a more performance-oriented example, it's well worth a closer look.

BMW 3 Series E36 (2)


Pug RCZ    on 29 March 2018

At only £850 it's just a weeks/fortnights/monthly wage ...

I do think you need to factor in the same amount per month to keep her on the road.

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