BMW pays tribute to the E30 325i Convertible, which reintroduced convertibles to the U.S. after new safety restrictions had virtually eliminated the option.
Cast your minds back to the 1970s. With accident figures hitting alarming levels, the authorities in the US introduced the FMVSS 216 safety standard. This involved driving a heavy ram onto the roof of every new model – and that meant the party was over for convertibles. In Europe, the grieving began as drivers braced themselves for the legislation to cross the Atlantic. At Stuttgart-based coachbuilder Baur, however, there were tears of joy: its “safety convertible” appeared to be the only remaining route to open-top motoring.
Fast forward ten years and enthusiasts could hardly believe their eyes as they contemplated one of the most alluring four-seater convertibles of all time, the E30-generation BMW 325i Convertible. Nothing got in the way of the view to the sky, the soft-top roof slipping away without trace beneath a flat cover, leaving only the windscreen to inconvenience the onrushing air. It was like there had never been a fabric barrier separating man and heavens. With over ten thousand orders placed in its first year on sale, it was a best-seller straight out of the blocks. But how exactly did convertibles get this far?
This classic automobile remains popular today as those in good condition have increased in price in the past three decades.