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1997 BMW 328i

1997 BMW 328i

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Details

Price: SOLD

Mileage: 212,000 Miles

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual

Exterior color: Black Metallic Exterior (Cosmosschwarz, 303-9)

Interior: Black Napa Leather Interior (P7SW)

Additional features:

Sport Package (M Sport suspension, Sport Seats, etc)

Cold Weather Package (Heated Seats, washer nozzles, mirrors, etc)

13-Button On Board Computer

Harmon Kardon Premium Sound

16” Style 30 Wheels

Tinted Windows

Excellent Mechanical Pedigree

Fantastic Condition Inside and Out

Colorado Car

No Accidents / Clean Carfax

General

1997 BMW 328i exterior photo

This 1997 BMW 328i is in incredible condition. The most important element in any used BMW is the previous owner’s stewardship. This car presents like a much younger car with considerably less mileage due its care. It was originally purchased at Gebhart BMW in September of 1997 and serviced correctly there for the next 10 years and 130,000 miles. The second owner (technically the 3rd on the Carfax due to the dealer that bought and sold it) continued the proper maintenance pedigree using Gebhart BMW, Schomp BMW, and BMW independent guru’s Autosport Werks. I’m selling it on consignment for the 3rd owner, a master BMW technician who bought it because of its condition. In preparation for the sale he brought it further up to spec, installing a new clutch kit, a complete suspension refresh including front and rear shocks, shock mounts, and front and rear control arm bushings. Records since 2010 are in hand, along with detailed descriptions since new on the Carfax. It’s got a fresh oil change and is ready for another 200,000 miles.

We specialize in older BMW’s and love E36 sedans (1992-1999 4-door BMW 3 series). I own a 1998 E36 M3 sedan, along with two other M3 sedans that I am currently selling in addition to this 328i. The population of good E36’s has been decimated by age, use, inattention, and entry-level buyers — finding a good one is getting harder and harder. The E36 is the sweet spot of BMW 3-series evolution. It is relatively small and light resulting in a connected and visceral driving experience, yet offers performance and luxuries that took other marquees years to introduce. The driver-centric cockpit is one of BMW’s finest. This one is made more comfortable by power heated sport seats, dual automatic climate control, premium Harmon Kardon sound, and a 13-button on board computer. All of these features work. Power from the inline 6-cylinder M52B28 engine reaches the road through the first multi-link rear suspension found in a 3-series. The design makes it highly competent, yet easily predictable allowing drivers of all skill levels to enjoy driving dynamics that are definingly BMW. Time has been kind to the E36 design. It has grown into a modern classic. This one drives fantastically. The steering, suspension, brakes and driveline are all tight and correct. It is going to make someone very happy!

Mechanical

 engine photo

E36’s are one of the most reliable BMW’s. They come from an era of significant technological advancement, but before over-complication hurt longevity. Properly maintained they will last well beyond 300,000 miles, and this one is proper. None of the common E36 issues are present. The VANOS does not rattle, the cooling system as been overhauled, the cam sensor has been replaced, the timing chain guides are quiet, the secondary air pump works, the PCV is not clogged, and there are no running issues due to unmetered air leaks or bad O2 sensors. The gearshift selector is tight (not the spoon in a bowl of spaghetti that so many are) and it always re-centers below 3rd thanks to healthy shift pin bushings. There are no check engine or SRS (airbag) lights or codes. The check panel shows no failures (the brake light switch and coolant level sensor have both been replaced). The clutch, suspension, and suspension bushings have all been recently replaced, as noted in the first paragraph. There are no excessive wheel bearing, driveshaft U-joint or center shaft bearing vibrations. The heat blows warm and the air conditioning blows cold. The only issue I could find is the right rear door lock actuator is intermittent when it is cold (the driver’s has been replaced). Like any used BMW it will certainly need continued care and preventative maintenance, but at present it is sorted.

Exterior

1997 BMW 328i exterior photo

The cosmos metallic black paint and tinted windows over silver Style 30 wheels are an eye-catching combination. The paint and clear coat are in good shape with no major issues or lifting. You can tell it has been garage kept. I am very critical of our cars. Close examination reveals multiple chips, dings, and scratches consistent with mileage, but nothing too offensive. The worst areas are dings and scratches on the lower doors and pitting on the lower hood and front valence. Some of the scratches could be corrected with a proper detail, but I wouldn’t. From a few feet away it looks great. It has just enough imperfections to present well, but be a guilt-free “driver.” I have photographed the car in sun and shade and there are multiple close-ups on our website if you are reading this elsewhere. The trim, front fascia, sideskirts, and rear aprons in all intact. The glass and window tint are good, as are the headlight and indicator plastic. The Style 30 wheels are very good, with no curb rash or significant scratches. The tires all have at least 75% tread remaining. *The rear roundel is faded in the pictures, but has since been replaced.

Interior

 interior photo

The interior is very good compared to most E36’s. It has been protected from UV exposure by living in a garage and window tint. It does not have the typical wear issues that plague even low mileage cars. The leather is in great shape, with no tears or separated seams. The seat bolsters have surprisingly minimal wear, even the driver’s side (which is usually the worst). The carpets are clean and there are no odors. The headliner does not sag, nor does the glove box (both very common). The door cards are intact. All functions and switches work correctly, including the blower motor final stage resistor (another common issue). The biggest nag I could find is a driver’s side seat bushing with slight play, but it only shows up during hard cornering. There is a small crack in the back of the passenger seat at the headrest post. There is a broken trim ring on the driver’s door tweeter. The radio display backlight bulb is a burned out, but can be fixed inexpensively. *The passenger side door handle trim is missing in the pictures, but has since been replaced.

Summary

 interior photo

Below is a list of options and BMW codes based on the VIN.

  • Leather Steering Wheel (240)
  • Passenger Airbag (243)
  • Double Spoke Alloy Wheels (277)
  • Heated Windscreen Washer Nozzles (314)
  • Paint-Matched Bumpers (341)
  • Power Sunroof (401)
  • Power Front Seats (458)
  • Fold Down Rear Seats (465)
  • Front Armrest (473)
  • Sport Seats (481)
  • Heated Front Seats (494)
  • Automatic Climate Control (534)
  • Cruise Control (540)
  • On Board Computer (554)
  • Harmon Kardon Premium Sound (674)
  • Diversity Antenna (686)
  • CD Changer (692)
  • M Sport Suspension (704)
  • Main Battery Switch (818)
  • Shipping Protection Package (925)