Despite the introduction of the official E30 Cabriolet in 1987, BMW’s long history with Baur meant that the TC2 conversion was still available as an option for Saloon models for the entirety of production, finishing in 1991. While never as popular as convertibles, it is still possible to find Baur versions of the entire E30 model range, from the 316 to the 318iS, and even an M3 version was constructed.
As a respectable coachbuilder, Baur put a lot of time and effort into the design of the TC2. The aim was to build more than just a cabriolet; their roof design would also offer targa- and landau-style open tops as well.
This meant that the soft fabric roof would be split into two parts, with the division across the B-pillars. These two parts could then be individually removed. In that way, removing the forward section offered the same roof as Porsche, who owned the copyright to the “targa” name, while removing just the rear section offered a landau rear opening. Removing both sections converted the car to a full cabriolet.
To do this, it was necessary to stiffen the shell so that neither safety nor performance would be compromised once the roof was removed. Baur therefore designed a “cage”, a reinforced frame that runs under the roof gutters and C-pillars, connected across the boot and roof by lateral bars to form a roll-bar. Two holes are drilled in the frame of the side windows to locate the frame, and then the whole construction is welded to the existing E30 structure.
This early Baur conversion, based on the six cylinder 320i, was first registered in the summer of 1983, and has clearly been cared for extremely well during its life. Finished in a supremely stylish combination of dark blue with a matching blue velour cloth interior, the car is offered with a full service history, which includes the relevant books. These Baur cabriolets offer high levels of refinement and practically, with the wind-in-the-hair fun of a full convertible – an excellent example and really the best of both worlds.