When this E36 was built in 1997, the current owner Scott was in his final year of high school in Brisbane. This was the sort of car only the wealthiest family would own. Small and impractical, a convertible was peak excess of the 80s and 90s.

This specific BMW is an Individual spec. For the uninitiated, this is BMW’s option to custom order you trim, finish, paint and wheels in your own combination.

Ordered into Beverly Hills, a suburb of Southern Sydney seemed appropriate. Those of a similar age would recall a popular show of the time, Beverley Hills 90210, where the character Kelly Taylor drove a mint E30 convertible.

Delivered in Orinoco Metallic, the paint has a touch of green and blue depending on the angle. Freshly resprayed in the original colour by Mangano Body Repair in Brisbane, they took great care in returning the car to its original glory.

The car has a small drop with a set of Bilstein suspension, to soon be replaced by Bilstein coilovers to bring the car a touch lower. Another 20mm at the front in particular, to get the cat to sit just right, but still be usable for daily duties.

Interior wise, the first thing to go was the factory steering wheel, replaced by a period correct MOMO wheel. A set of Sparco adjustable bucket seats will replace the front seats. Aging the leather is tired and rather than trying to match, a straight swap solves the problem and adds to the OEM+ look.

The keen observer may also notice that while the car was in for bodywork, the entire car had all dents removed and to accent the clean hip lines of the convertible, and the rear antenna was deleted.



Those who have owned an older BMW in Australia would be aware that their German Clear Coat is simply no match for the harsh Australian sun, brutally ripping it to shreds, with peeling clear a common complaint.

This car was no different and when Scott purchased this car from his friends Alex Lawton and Tyler Hood, it was part of his vision, to build a 90s period-correct OEM+ build.

The first change was somewhat controversial, replacing the iconic M Spec Style 24 wheels with the AC Schnitzer wheels. At 18×10″, both front and rear requires a light stretch on the Michelin Pilot Sport tyres to fill out the guards.

Packing the M52 six cylinder paired with the automatic gearbox and delivering around 200hp, it’s not a fast car, but has enough punch to keep it exciting. The glorious part of these cars is the magic of the six cylinder that BMW mastered. No vibration, instant torque, linear power and a magical exhaust note. You feel connected to the car in a way modern cars have completely lost.

Future plans for the car are to simply tidy up anything that needs attention, then just drive it.

To celebrate a time when BMW was solely focused on producing the ultimate driving machine.

Sincere thanks to Sean McLauchlan, Brody Brown and Daniel Stewart from CBD Auto for mechanical work. Ben Nothling from CoolDrive – Project Mu and Racer Industries for his support. Gary Choi for his problem solving and spanner spinning and Mangano Body Repairs for the bodywork and respray.

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