Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Neeb’s wheels 3

Not quite a genuine Neeb’s wheels catch, at least I don’t think so, the BMW Cabrio seen below was caught while visiting a nearby house, so I took the chance of nipping out to catch it, having not noticed it before, or since.

Listed as a 1993 BMW 3 Convertible Lux A with a 1796 cc engine, this E30 series car reminds me of the one my former boss bought for his wife… oops, did I say that out loud? I meant, this reminds of the company car our company’s personnel officer drove, and we saw for a few hours when she turned up to mark everyone present or absent, and work out their wages.

While it looked very nice from the outside, the interior was relatively primitive, with the inside of the convertible roof resembling a cheap pram. It seemed to have no lining or soundproofing, while all the mechanism was exposed. I never saw it down, and could never find out if it was manual or powered. Inside the car, I could see it was quite poorly finished and fitted, with gaps big enough to see through while sitting in the car, and the lack of any soundproofing or lining making it a pretty noisy place to be when the car was on the road.

The car came with a peculiar factory-fitted immobiliser, intended to protect the car when the roof was down, but it seemed to be of similar quality to the roof. I seem to recall the BMW service car (fortunately this service was included in the car’s price) was a frequent caller at out premises, as she frequently inserted the special key into the door (needed as well as the standard key) only to find it was ignored, the car stayed locked, or would not start when the door opened.

I’d have to say that despite appearances, this car was a disaster and seemed to be no fun. At least not in that hands of that particular owner, on whom I think it was wasted, and she might as well have been given a shopping trolley, for all the use she made of it. It even had M-series badges and fittings added pre-delivery – but a quick look under the bonnet showed this was all fake even if it was fitted by BMW, as they forgot the main part, an M-series engine.

By way of contrast, a Saab 9-3 convertible I had a few years later was a gem. The hydraulic roof looked after itself without fuss, and I was most surprised at how effective the lining and soundproofing were. Once raised, there was little or nothing to show internally that the roof folded, and the quietness of the interior was uncanny. Just to rub salt into the wound, there was nothing wrong with Saab’s handling either, something I would not have believed had I not been the one driving it.

That’s not to say I would turn down such a BMW if the opportunity arose. The insults generally levelled in their direction may be true as regards the drivers who have come to covet them nowadays, such has been the company’s success, but the cars are not the drivers, and the cars remain rewarding for the correct owner/driver.

BMW cabriolet

1993 E30 BMW 3 Convertible Lux A 1796 cc


Never seen it before, now seen it twice.

Went whizzing past me with the roof down, while I was wobbling home from the shops in the sudden burst of sunshine we enjoyed today.


June 12, 2013 - Posted by | photography, Transport | , , ,

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