BMW 330 Ci SE CONVERTIBLE AUTO, E46 facelift, 2003(03), 101k MILES, £SOLD 

Stunning condition, gorgeous car throughout, enthusiast owned and maintained, outstanding specification with £11k of options when new. Drives superbly, and huge specification including fully electric folding hood, sat nav, upgraded harmon/kardon multi-cd system, full leather upholstery, heated electric memory seats, xenon headlamps etc etc etc… incredible.

This car has been owned for the last eighteen months or so by my good friend Nick. I’ve been privileged to sell cars for Nick previously – they are always in outstanding condition and top specification. Nick is a full-on BMW aficionado, and travels a long way to get the right car – and this one is no exception. It has an incredible specification, full service history, and is in stunning condition throughout. There might be cheaper ones on sale elsewhere, but I very much doubt you will find a better one.

In the details below, you’ll find full details of the specification, vehicle history and a thoroughly detailed condition report. Twenty-four large-format photos also below!

I’ve known Nick for more years than I care to remember, first as a work colleague and ever since as a friend. Nick is a true BMW enthusiast – what he doesn’t know about them isn’t worth knowing – and he has worked his way through top examples of every bodystyle of 3-series. This one is the rare and stunning 330 Ci SE Automatic convertible.

So let’s start with the history:- According to Nick’s researches, this car was originally bought by a property developer who pretty much ticked every available option in the book (more on that later!). He went to Germany to collect the car and drove it back. It was owned by his company for about a year, and then he sold it to himself as a private car, keeping it for a further five and a half years. It then went through another couple of private owners, before being bought in 2013 as a “graduation present” for a lady Doctor in West Wales. She owned it for another couple of years until, blessed with a new baby, she found it too hard to keep manhandling a babyseat into the back of the car – so she sold it to Nick in May 2015 (4000 miles ago).  True to form, Nick was fastidious in selecting this car before purchasing it, researching its build specification thoroughly and rejecting many other poorer examples. This makes it now an amazing opportunity for a fellow enthusiast – or indeed anyone who recognises when a car is just “right”.

The car looks drop-dead gorgeous, finished in Orient Blue Metallic (code 317), set off by the full Montana Beige Leather Upholstery inside. The colour choice is then topped off by the colour coded blue fabric hood and the immaculate BMW M Double-Spoke (10×2) 18” alloy wheels (style reference 135M). Inside, the leather trim is coupled with the Myrtle wood dash trim. We’re already up to £2700 worth of options (Leather, upgraded alloys, metallic paint, wood trim), and we’ve hardly started. This car also benefits from Automatic Steptronic Transmission (£1370), Electric multi-way adjustable front seats including electric lumbar support (£1395), heated front seats (£320), professional navigation system (£2445), upgraded Harmon Kardon Hi Fi system with boot-mounted 6-CD autochanger (£870). Just to complete things, there is also the folding electric mirrors (£190), Climate comfort windscreen (£190), adaptive xenon headlights (£990), Bluetooth phone preparation kit (£350), hardtop preparation and wind deflector (£265), and – just to finish it off neatly – a set of velour floor mats (£75) – all in all, something like £11,200 worth of options on top of the list price at the time of £30,165 – making this car over £41k when it was new! Apparently, the first owner effectively ticked every option in the book, with the exception of the Ski-flap …. Because the Harmon Kardon sub-woofer is located in the boot right behind the rear seats (you can see it in the photos) and it wouldn’t look good with a pair of skis shoved through the middle of it!   Given the choice, I know which option I would have picked too – this guy made the right selection!

The overall condition of the car matches the specification. It is in outstanding condition throughout. I couldn’t find any trace of rust anywhere. Being very fussy, there is one minor scuff on one corner of the rear bumper (see pics) – and that is hard to see.   Apart from that, there are just a few stone chips on the front and a couple of light scratches to evidence the age and mileage. The paintwork has a beautiful deep lustre to it and is glassy smooth. Nick has paid proper money to have the wheels refurbished to remove the few small marks and digs in them – so they now look perfect too. The leather seats have just the right amount of patina to them – no horrid scuffs, rips or wear – and the carpets have been protected since new with OE overmats throughout. If it wasn’t for the registration number, you’d never think that this was a 13-year old car (which is partly why Nick was running it on a personalised registration!)

Mechanically, it’s also “on the money”. Everything works as it should. The hood has never given Nick any problems, and apparently the lady Doctor had the hood pump motor replaced because she thought the hood was operating “a bit slowly”…. The tyres have only done a few thousand miles, the battery was replaced earlier this year, and a set of BMW mudflaps have been fitted. There is a full complete service history with nine stamps in the service book (full details below). Every MOT certificate since new is with the car. As with all BMW, the camshaft is chain driven, so there’s no cambelt to worry about. All our cars come fully valeted, with a 100-point mechanical and functional inspection report, and with an Experian Data Check (like HPI) which is clear.

On the road, this car performs fabulously. I drove it the 60 miles or so home from Nick’s house, and it was just a joy to drive. The engine has a deep, muted growl, and the power just keeps coming and coming like a non-stop turbine. The SE-spec seats are outstandingly comfortable and the Harmon-Kardon stereo has to be heard to be believed – unquestionably one of the best stereos I’ve ever listened to anywhere. All the controls fall to hand and work as they should – and as you would expect from the Driver’s Car reputation that BMW has, the cornering, roadholding and driving dynamics are top notch. It’s a super-comfortable effortless cruiser when you want it to be, and a chuckable hard-charging blaster when you’re in a fiery mood!

Awarding this model an enviable, and almost unheard of, 5 stars out of five, Parker’s Car Review Guide comments:-

If you’re looking for a convertible that performs as well as it looks, then the drop-top 3-Series is for you. It’s pricey, but it offers status, a superb range of engines and a rewarding drive. What a way to let the neighbours know that you’ve arrived. This generation of 3-Series Cabriolet has grown up, but is still one of the best driving machines you can buy and there are still plenty of kicks to be had. Like all BMWs, it’s rear-wheel drive, but it’s not as tail-happy as previous models. Dials are perfectly sited and all major controls have been positioned to deliver a sporty ambience – ready for action. The driving position can be tailored to suit most needs but base models feel a bit spartan. You won’t get a cheap one but it’s a very sensible purchase that will provide enjoyable and trouble free motoring

The RAC buyer’s guide concurs:-

“Make no mistake – the 3 Series is top dog on merit. Ever since BMW took over building its own drop-tops, the 3-series version has always looked sleek with the lid off. Take one look at the convertible and you appreciate the trouble BMW has gone to make the two-door models lower, wider and longer with a more steeply raked windscreen. As with the previous generation version, no fixed rollover hoop or bulky tonneau cover disturbs the lines of the E46 Convertible. However, should the standard automatic traction control and stability systems included as standard not be enough to prevent the car flipping over, strong steel beams instantly shoot out from behind the rear head restraints to protect the occupants’ skulls. When folded, the hood sits neatly under a metal cover. Redesigned front seats, unique to the convertible, incorporate the seatbelts into their structure, rather than attaching them separately to the car body. This, says BMW, allows a better fit, easier access to the rear and stops the passenger belt flapping in the breeze when you’re cruising alone, top down. Speaking of the top, this is another completely redesigned part of the car. The triple-layer hood itself has a padded lining to reduce wind noise and there’s a proper glass rear window, with demister, in place of the old, easily scratched plastic pane that annoyed previous generation 3 Series Convertible owners. BMW engineers have also come up with a sneaky hood stowage system that houses the whole convertible roof unit in a removable cartridge. With the roof up, you can fold the container out of the way where it extends into the boot to gain 30 per cent more space than in the old model. Overall: It seems convertible buyers respect a meritocracy. The BMW 3 Series Convertible is the best in the business and reaps the reward in sales. Don’t expect to find any cheapies washing about the used network, but overall running costs needn’t be punishing because of the steady residuals these cars command. Best buys are probably the early 323Ci if you’re on a tighter budget or the 330Ci if funds are slightly less of an issue.”

The 3-series convertible is just a fabulous way to soak up the best of the summer – and the 330CI SE is a great combination of engine and trim level. The Orient Blue metallic paintwork, Montana Beige leather interior and blue roof work well together with the upgraded 18” alloys to make this just look the part. The enormous specification of this example, with satellite navigation system, fabulous stereo CD-changer, electric heated seats, xenon headlamps, power folding mirrors etc etc just puts the icing on the cake! Add in its great condition, full service history and MoT through to next April and it all comes together to make this particular example hugely desirable.

If you wish to do so, you can also optionally purchase a comprehensive Gold vehicle warranty. Due to the age of this vehicle, I can arrange this through Warranty Assist at a cost of £249 for 6-months or £289 for a year with a £75 claim excess.  Please check out their website warrantyassist.co.uk for more details.

 

EQUIPMENT AND FEATURES

> Finished in Metallic Orient Blue (code 317) with Blue fabric roof
> Leather upholstery in Montana Beige, with charcoal carpeting and dashboard, with full BMW overmats in charcoal and Myrtle Wood dashboard trim
> 2,979cc 6-cylinder in-line 24-valve multipoint petrol injection engine, producing 231bhp and 300Nm torque > 5-speed automatic gearbox with Steptronic tiptronic function and “Sport” settings
> Fully automatic electric folding cabriolet roof, with glass heated rear window and hardtop preparation
> Automatic climate control
> Built-in BMW Professional Satellite Navigation system
> Power Assisted Steering (PAS)
> 18” twenty-spoke (10×2) 135M-style alloy wheels with ultra low-profile tyres
> BMW upgraded Harmon-Kardon audio sound system, with RDS-EON radio, boot-mounted 6-CD changer, steering-wheel mounted remote radio controls, cassette player, and rear-wing mounted bee-sting aerial
> Bluetooth telephone preparation equipment (untested)
> Rear parking distance sensors
> Electric green-tinted windows front and rear, with Climate Comfort Windscreen
> Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control and Cornering brake control
> Cruise control
> Headlamp washers
> Automatic Adaptive Xenon headlights
> Body-coloured electrically-operated and heated door mirrors with automatic power fold-back
> Remote central locking, with two full remote-control keys
> Multi-function trip computer with numerous functions and readouts
> Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
> Electrically multi-way adjustable, front seats, with memory functions and electric lumbar adjustment
> Heated front seats
> Seatbelt pretensioners
> Rear seats fitted with two 3-point seat belts and integral head restraints
> Removeable wind deflector, complete with storage bag
> Driver’s, passenger’s, and side airbags
> Front and rear fog lamps
> Door deadlocks, alarm and immobiliser system
> Original equipment carpet overmats
> First Aid Kit
> Full BMW tool kit and warning triangle in boot-mounted tray
> Boot-lid mounted spoiler 

HISTORY AND DOCUMENTATION

The current mileage is showing as 100,805 miles which is warranted as correct.
> The BMW comes with its V5 registration document.  It was first UK registered 28th July 2003
> The V5 shows six former owners – the first from new through to August 2003; the second through to January 2010; the third until June 2012; the fourth until June 2013; the lady Doctor until May 2015, and Nick since then. Please note that the car was held on a personal registration number during its first ownership, and during Nick’s ownership
> Whilst the car was collected from Germany when new, it is an original UK-spec RHD drive, and was declared new at first registration in the UK
> The current MoT expires 6th April 2017.  It was issued 6th April 2016 at 99,618 miles. The last MoT advises slight play in a pin/bush on both sides of the front anti-roll bar, some wear to both front brake discs, and slight corrosion to the casings of both front shock absorbers. The MoT station advised Nick that they were obliged to mention these items, but wouldn’t recommend taking any action.
The DVLA MoT history check shows MoTs completed as follows:-
20,633 miles; 31/07/2006
27,318 miles; 02/08/2007
35,828 miles; 07/08/2008
47,679 miles; 04/08/2009
51,480 miles; 13/01/2010
63,472 miles; 27/01/2011
75,064 miles; 14/02/2012
78,737 miles; 19/02/2013
87,761 miles; 19/02/2014
96,671 miles; 07/04/2015
99,618 miles; 06/04/2016
Every MoT certificate since new is with the car
> The car has a thorough service history, with service intervals shown by an indicator in the car. Services are stamped up in the service book as follows:-
Pre-delivery check – BMW 17/07/2003
16,438 miles; 25/08/2005 – Oil Service
39,598 miles; 05/11/2007 – Inspection I (see note below)
51,480 miles; 13/01/2010 – Oil service
56,263 miles; Undated – Oil service
64,609 miles; Undated – Inspection II
75,901 miles; 02/06/2012 – Oil Service
84,796 miles; 07/11/2013 – Inspection II
95,065 miles; 24/11/2014 – Inspection II
99,618 miles; 06/04/2016 – Oil Service
The servicing has been performed by a mixture of independent garages, BMW specialist and quality main agent marques (Jaguar, Audi)
The service record in 2007 appears to have an incorrect mileage record as it is inconsistent with the MoT records. Throughout this period, the car was in one ownership, and averaged 7500 miles per year; it’s likely therefore that in November 2007, the mileage was 29,598, which is consistent with the MoT records
The current in-car service indicator states that the next service is due in 14,700 miles
> The car has been Experian Data Checked (similar to HPI), and the buyer will receive a copy of the report – which shows no problems.
> The owners handbook, book pack and radio guide are present

BODYWORK AND INTERIOR CONDITION

> As the pictures show, the car’s Orient Blue Metallic paintwork bodywork is in excellent condition. There are a few isolated stone chips and a couple of light scratches to evidence the mileage, but nothing of any significance.
> There is a minor scuff to one corner of the rear bumper (see photos)
> The interior is in very good condition throughout, with no damage
> There is no damage to the fabric hood

MECHANICAL CONDITION AND WHEELS/TYRES

> The car has covered just over 100,000 miles.  It performs fabulously on the road – it runs, steers, and goes round corners even better than you would expect!
> All the interior warning lights come on and go off as they should and everything works as you would expect it to!
> The 18” alloy wheels were refurbished in April and are therefore in excellent condition, with no marks or damage
> The road tyres are all Dunlop SP Sport Maxx. The front tyres are 255/35 x18 with 6mm of tread, and the rears are 275/35 x18 with 5mm of tread. The wheel refurbisher has commented that the rear tyre size is incorrect and that these should be 235-width tyres. As these are optional upgraded 18” wheels, that is hard to verify – but in any case I’m sure that they would not be 235-section as this would make them narrower than the front tyres! In any case, they grip the road very well indeed, and there is no contact between the tyres and bodywork, so they fit fine! The spare is a barely-used space-saver Continental with 3mm of tread.
> The tools, jack, wheelbrace and locking wheelnut key are all present
All in all – this is an outstanding opportunity to get into top-quality motoring in time for the rest of this summer. Nothing beats open-top driving in a powerful BMW. This example looks gorgeous, is in terrific condition throughout, and all the immediate expenses are taken care of with ages to go before it needs servicing or MoT again. This car has an incredible specification and full history – so I’m not expecting this car to be here for long….!!

If you have any questions, please mail me or call me on 07917-234897.  Any inspection or accompanied test drive is welcomed by appointment.