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    Seems spring has arrived early

    CAR: 1989 BMW 320i Convertible
    OWNER: Glen Waddington
    PHOTOS: Robert Hefferon

    / #1989-BMW-320i-Convertible / #1989 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B20 / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet / #BMW-E30-M20 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet-M20 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet-E30

    This Time last year we had snow. My 944 had just recently blown its rep by blowing out its own electrics, and the Beemer was tucked up safely in my garage. Where it spends too much time. But I don’t like taking it out on wintry roads, because it’s nearly 30 years old, factory-original and in damn fine fettle.

    As I write this on the last day in February, I’m looking out onto a sunlit garden, daffodils swaying gently in the breeze, birdsong drifting through an open window. Two record-breakingly warm days preceded this one. But tomorrow it’s back to normal. Whatever counts for normal in 2019.

    Anyway, I’ll stop wittering, because my point is that this is the first winter during my eight-year tenure of the BMW – today is its anniversary – during which it’s been driven with anything like regularity. I was even out giving it an early spring clean last weekend, ahead of driving it to Bicester Heritage for an editorial meeting with the #Drive-My team. And I drove home with the roof down. That has rarely happened this side of April. I’m generally an advocate of use rather than storage, although I admit that when the BMW crept past 50,000 miles last year, I fleetingly wondered if I should mothball it. Winter hibernation can cause the odd issue: I’ve lost count of the new batteries I’ve fitted (even if the last one was terminally discharged when I left the bootlid slightly ajar – can’t blame the car or the weather for that one), plus I’ve been through a master cylinder, a clutch slave cylinder, a heater blower motor and a seized brake caliper. All these failures occurred within the first post-hibernation drive.

    There have been no such problems this year, and I’ll count my sunburnt forehead as a freak of the highly unseasonable weather. We’ve had a lot of frosty nights, mind. Frosty enough to make the 944 a tardy starter one morning. Rather than drain the battery, I reached for the Energizer 400A jump-starter kit I got late last summer. It wasn’t cheap at around £100, but it’s about the size of a large smartphone and can be used to charge one of those so you can cycle its battery between boosts. Connection is easy – it’s great not having to lug something heavy around – and the 944 sprang instantly to life. Indispensible for any car that is parked up for just a touch too long.
    So I’m glad I’ve got it, ready for when we have snow in June…

    Above and below: BMW bowls along at Bicester; it was joined by editor Elliott’s Triumph not-2000 – and a McLaren 12C Spider.
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    Time for the autumn chill-out

    1989 BMW 320i Convertible Glen Waddington

    / #1989-BMW-320i-Convertible / #1989 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B20 / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet / #BMW-E30-M20 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet-M20 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet-E30

    As I write this the sun is shining outside. It’s bloody cold, though. Autumn is setting in quickly and suddenly and it’s only just over a month since I spent a balmy late-summer evening with a whole bunch of BMW convertibles near Henley-on-Thames, as regular readers might remember. I had a fantastic time piloting such beauties as a BMW-328-Roadster , a #BMW-507 , a #BMW-Z1 and a #BMW-Z8 (see right), before sunset called a halt to proceedings.

    Thing is, I’d already had a fabulous drive down there in my own #BMW-Convertible . And no matter what the charms of those other cars were - only one of which I could even imagine owning, if you bear their market values in mind - mine more than held its own. In fact, it was rather enjoyable to have some of the other assembled journalists take a look over it; one or two of them even assumed it had been brought down as part of BMW’s own fleet!

    The journey was a hundred miles or so, much on trunk roads plus a spell on the M40. But the scenery turns bucolic in a major way on the stretch south from Stokenchurch, narrow lanes winding and plunging through dense woodland with the sun barely filtering through at times, thee leafy smell and the birdsong make a convertible a real treat to be in - quite a different effect from the more usual roof-down/howling exhaust scenario.

    A few hours later I had to think about my route home, those thread-like lanes could easily hide the occasional inebriated local, lurking in a 4x4 without thought to a delicate 1980s soft-top, so I headed out of Henley towards Nettlebed and Watlington and was treated to some fabulously sinuous B-roads, perfect for the innate balance and modest yet useful power of my 320i. Even the roundabouts on the A43 past Brackley did their bit to make this a properly life-affirming high-speed late-night trek. One I’ll remember during the winter evenings ahead.
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    CITROËN CX GTI TURBO ( #1985 - #1989 ) / #Citroen-CX-GTI-Turbo / #Citroen-CX-GTi-Turbo / #Citroen-CX25-GTi-Turbo / #Citroen-CX-GTi-Turbo-Series-1 / #Citroen-CX / #Citroen

    Citroën owners are passionate ones. They get the brand; all its pitfalls suddenly become attractive characteristics that make the brand stand out. The Citroën CX GTI is certainly amongst Citroën’s quirkiest models, and the CX itself is often regarded as the last proper Citroën before its takeover by Peugeot.

    The CX took over the big saloon gauntlet from the DS within the Citroen family. It was praised for its free-revving, long legged performance even before the GTI model arrived. The addition of the turbocharger in the 2.5-litre CX boosted power to a healthy 168bhp and top speed reached 135mph. While the speed aspect isn’t something to shout home about, it’s enough to help the CX along the way. Besides, its good looks are enough to woo you anyway.

    Today, finding a CX GTI is difficult enough, let alone one in RHD. We found just one example for sale, which resided in sunny Spain; a left-hand drive, automatic example which had covered almost 90,000 miles priced at just under £14,000.
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    At the doctor’s for a check-up

    CAR #1989-Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Convertible-R107 / #1989-Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Convertible / #1989 / #Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Convertible / #1989-Mercedes-Benz-300SL-R107 / #Mercedes-Benz-300SL-R107 / #Mercedes-Benz-R107 / #Mercedes-Benz /

    OWNER Samantha Snow

    I’ve owned my 1989 #Mercedes-Benz-SL R107 for almost two years now and I wish I could find the time to drive it more. Because it was bought from a senior member of The Mercedes-Benz Club I’ve never really had it checked out properly, and during a chance meeting with Sam Bailey, owner of The SL Shop, based in Warwickshire, he mentioned that I should get the car inspected so that I would know exactly what I have got.

    The company offers a health check that provides a 300-point report of the car using a traffic light system: green for ‘good’, amber for ‘might require attention soon’, and red signifying ‘get it sorted now’. It costs £594 including VAT for R107s like mine and, as The SL Shop’s Bruce Greetham lifted my car on a garage ramp to begin his inspection, I was a little nervous about what might be unearthed.

    The first part of the examination covers brakes, suspension and steering. Unless the car is used on a regular basis, brake calipers can seize and the squeaking noise from my front brakes signified that the pistons inside the calipers were on their way. The options are either to renew or rebuild, and both are fairly expensive – £491 for a new caliper, £200 for a refurb.

    Fortunately my master cylinder and brake discs were all OK. The front suspension is complex and there are a lot of bushes and rubber components that will perish over time, all of which are critical to the car’s handling and ride comfort. The engine subframe bushes also play a key role in reducing scuttle shake, especially when the hardtop is off. Fortunately it was a green light for mine.

    However, the offside front shock absorber is leaking and will require replacing at the next service. The quality of the tyres makes a huge difference to how the car drives, but mine is on Michelins that are apparently as good as you can get.

    My 107’s engine bay looked pretty much concours to me but Bruce picked up a few issues. Timing cases tend to weep oil on 300SLs and mine is no different: it’s a small leak but labour-intensive to fix, taking up to three hours. The coolant also needs renewing. It’s often forgotten about, but its condition is important because it contains a corrosion inhibitor to prevent waterways furring up.

    Despite my car being one of the last 107s to be sold in the UK, it’s showing rust in the nearside passenger footwell where it meets the sill and this needs further investigation.

    Bulkhead corrosion is one of the most expensive problems to put right on a #Mercedes-Benz-SL-R107 and can cost thousands, but mine has been treated with seam sealer to prevent further deterioration. The whole car had already been entirely Waxoyled underneath in black, too, including the inner wheelarches where, annoyingly, you cannot now see the paint colour of the car.

    At the end of the inspection – which covers much, much more than I can describe here – comes a road test. Bruce reported that there is some play in the steering, although it’s not too bad. A refurbished steering box would cost £474 and another £373 for labour. He also picked up on the hardtop release cable, which looks like it has been repaired poorly.

    This is important because if the cable fails it will be impossible to release the hardtop. Chalk up another £72 for the cable and £107 for labour at the next service.

    Despite a list of things to do that’s rather longer than I’d have liked, Bruce cheered me up by saying that generally the car is in excellent condition and that, if he were to put it up for sale in his showroom, it would be at around the £35,000 mark.

    That puts the cost of the inspection into perspective. In my opinion, it was well worth doing because I now know everything about the car and how I can improve its condition over time. And I’ve learned that I need to drive it more!

    Left and below More frequent driving will prevent the brakes from seizing, one of several faults revealed by The SL Shop’s check-up.

    ‘DESPITE MY CAR BEING ONE OF THE LAST 107S TO BE SOLD IN THE UK, IT’S SHOWING RUST IN THE NEARSIDE PASSENGER FOOTWELL’
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    Glen Christie with his smartlooking 635CSi in New Zealand

    CARPET-BAGGER, HOPEFULLY!

    / #1989-BMW-635CSi-E24 / #1989-BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #1989 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW

    I’m looking for some help in the form of a referral. I’m a long-time reader of BMW Car and have it ordered through my local magazine agent in Ponsonby Road, Auckland, New Zealand.

    I have a one-owner (plus me) 1989 BMW 635CSi, and I need to order new moulded carpets for it; it’s a right-hand drive car. I understand the carpet can be purchased in a pre-made kit-type format, but I’m completely unsure where to go?¬ Thanks for a great magazine and it’s good to see that Bob Harper is still a contributor; I always enjoyed hearing about his, since-sold, M635CSi, although I’m not a camping fan! (That’s the latest I’ve read from him).
    • We haven’t had any direct experience with specialists making vehicle carpet sets, Glenn, so it’s difficult for us to make a firm recommendation. HowevWe haven’t had any direct experience with specialists making vehicle carpet sets, Glenn, so it’s difficult for us to make a firm recommendation. However, one wellestablished company that we came across, and which lists your 635CSi among the vehicles it caters for, is Wigan-based Coverdale (UK) Ltd (tel: 01942 255535, email: sales@carcarpets.co.uk, website: carcarpets.co.uk).

      The set for your car is listed as costing £266 (NZD507) but you’d need to add a delivery charge to that price which, to New Zealand, isn’t going to be cheap. It may be more cost-effective for you to find a specialist supplier closer to home although, having said that, we didn’t have any luck with a search on Google. There are a number of moulded carpet set suppliers in Australia, but BMW coverage seems very limited with them all. Maybe our readers will be able to recommend a supplier in your area?
        More ...
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    Renewing the vows

    OWNER: Glen Waddington

    CAR: #1989-BMW-320i-Convertible / #1989 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B20 / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet / #BMW-E30-M20 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet-M20 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet-E30

    Sometimes I find it difficult to believe that the Beemer is 28 years old. The body’s in such fine (and still original) fettle, it’s such a vivacious drive, and it’s still got less than 50k on the clock. I love it to bits, but I use it sparingly.

    A little too sparingly over the last year, though. Life got in the way, in exactly the manner described by John Simister in his How to reconnect with your classic piece in #Drive-My . The 320i had languished over winter yet flew through its MoT in April, though when I wanted to press it into service for a rare romantic weekend away with Mrs W, a shudder through the steering the night before we headed off put paid to that. And I’d already been putting up with a non-functioning heater blower for 14 months or so. So I booked it in for a once-over with my mate Stuart Templeton.

    The night before it headed off to Templeton’s Garage (www. templetonsgarage.co.uk) I washed and buffed the bodywork: step 1 of the reconnection. And it came back a few days later, following a short service and with the maladies rectified (step 2).

    The shaky wheel? A seized brake caliper was the culprit, as Stuart had diagnosed on the phone. With that replaced (on exchange), plus a new blower motor, the Beemer was back to singing along. Just in time for the early-June heatwave.

    And so step 3 of the reconnection was suddenly there for the taking: get back out and enjoy the car, reminding myself what it was I always loved about it in the first place.

    This is our seventh summer together. I always said it’d be a keeper. And that remains true, especially now it’s running that little bit sweeter – amazing what fresh oil can do, even if it’s all in the mind. And yes, I’d swear it’s that little bit faster too.

    As a family, the four of us headed down to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the Beemer, roof-down for the stretch across the Downs from Winchester. Reconnection complete.
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    / CAR: #1989-Porsche-928-S4 £22,000 / #For-Sale / #Porsche-928-S4 / #Porsche-928 / #Porsche-928S4-Automatic / #Porsche / #1989 / #Porsche-928-S4

    Smooth and sinister in jet black, this later evolution of Porsche’s front-engined GT has a lot going for it, says Nigel Boothman

    The 928 never fulfilled Porsche’s plan for replacing the air-cooled, rear-engined 911, but it carved its own niche as a flagship grand tourer that gave Mercedes, Jaguar and even Ferrari lots to think about. This one is a second generation, launched in 1986 with a five-litre, 32-valve #Porsche-V8 and smoother styling.

    It’s a deep and glossy black, benefitting from a recent professional machine polish that has removed any distinction we could find between original paint and the one or two panels apparently resprayed. The finisher strips above each door sit slightly proud – not uncommon on 928s – but otherwise there are only small scratches and a star-crack on the lower rear nearside quarter, with a tiny paint wrinkle near the offside rear light unit. The rear spoiler is unmarked, as are the 17in Cup 2 alloys from a 928 GTS, a modern but popular upgrade. They’re wrapped in 255/40 R17 Michelin Pilot Sports with almost all tread remaining. There’s a collapsible Vredestein spacesaver under the boot carpet; probably now better regarded as a period novelty than a genuine get-you-home option. The engine bay is rather a let-down after the immaculate exterior but repainting the flakey inlet manifold would improve things a great deal, as would a bit of general detailing and touching up of surface rust on brackets and catches. Oils and coolant levels are all where they should be.

    The black leather seats are piped in red and though in generally good order the driver’s right-hand side bolsters would benefit from a bit of recolouring and feeding. Carpets are smart and the myriad electric assistances all work, including a new Porsche Classic sat-nav/digital radio unit in the stereo slot, which blends well with the look of the dash and cost as much as a tatty 928 did until recently. When we drove the car there was a faulty brake light and the driver’s door card caught on the sill when the door was opened, but we are assured both issues will be remedied.

    The Porsche’s big V8 started promptly and ran perfectly from cold with no howling noises from slipping belts or power steering pumps. On the road it rides more firmly than earlier 928 models but feels unflappable and utterly planted, without any thumps or rattles from the suspension. It gathers pace relentlessly rather than savagely – despite its size, the engine saves a lot of its drama for peak revs and the weighty, insulated feel of the 928 blunts the sensation of speed. The brakes do their job perfectly with no grabbing or deviation even when worked hard.

    This is a very good example that’s clearly been well cared-for. There is a file of history including the original books that supports the 116k miles and the original toolkit is in the boot. There is still room for improvement here and there but even as it is, it should continue to satisfy as a capable weekend GT. And the auto box suits it.

    CHOOSE YOUR 928

    The 928 is launched in 1977 with an aluminium-block V8 engine of 4.5 litres with one overhead cam per bank and 237bhp. It uses a transaxle between a kind of passive rear-wheel steering arrangement for impressive stability.

    The 928S of 1980 has front and rear spoilers and a larger engine, now 4.7-litres and 297bhp. From 1984 the model is called the 928 S2 for the UK market, bringing a small power hike to 310bhp and a four-speed automatic to replace the previous three-speed.

    The 928 S4 debuts for the 1987 model year with four valves per cylinder, more capacity (five litres) but only 10bhp extra for 90kg of weight gain. Styling is smoothed out.

    1989 brings the manual-only 928 GT, a more sporting variant offering 330bhp, Cup Design alloys and the option of Boge gas dampers. 1992-1995 sees the run-out 928 GTS with 5.4 litres and 345bhp along with wider rear wings, but very few RHD cars make it to the UK.

    1989 Porsche 928 S4

    Price £22,000
    Contact Investor Classics, Edinburgh (0131 510 7131, investorclassics.com)

    Engine 4957cc #V8 qohc
    Power 320bhp @ 6000rpm
    Torque 317lb ft @ 3000rpm
    Performance
    Top speed: 161mph;
    0-60mph: 6.2sec
    Fuel consumption 17mpg
    Length 4520mm
    Width 1836mm

    928 GTS but look great. The engine would benefit from tidying. Aside from some bolster wear, all is fine in here.

    Quote £484.68 comprehensive, 5000 miles per year, garaged call: 0333 323 1181
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    / #Jaguar-XJ-S-V12 / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-V12 / #V12 / #1989-Jaguar-XJ-S-V12
    Year of manufacture #1989
    Recorded mileage 72,861
    Asking price £15,000
    Vendor Adrian King, Bucks (private sale); tel: 07973 669967

    WHEN IT WAS NEW

    Price £18,950 (’1981 UK V12-version )
    Max power 291bhp
    Max torque 317lb ft
    0-60mph 7.4 secs
    Top speed 151mph
    Mpg 17


    This Jag really is registered XJS 53L. Incredibly, when owner King checked with the DVLA, the number was available, so he snapped it up and is selling only because he wants another classic. The car has clearly been well fettled, with minimal mileage on the MoTs after clocking up 55,000 in its first decade (the one aberration of 97,253 recorded in 2015 must be an error).

    The body is straight and almost rot-free, with a couple of dings in the driver’s door and a smaller one over the offside arch. There are bills for sill and wheelarch work in ’2002, and it’s been painted up to the waist. The only notable flaw in the paint is a dull patch on the nose of the bonnet, which also sports a few small bubbles – plus there are a few others at the bottoms of the rear quarters. The wheels were refinished in 2013, shod with General Grabbers that have lots of tread, and an aged NCT on the spare. The bumpers, too, were new in 2013, and are still excellent.

    Inside, it’s similarly good. The seat leather is lightly creased, with the outer-side piping on the driver’s seat worn through. The centre console veneer was new in 2014, and is a notably stronger colour than the dash. The instruments are all excellent, including a functioning trip computer. The electric windows work, but the electric seatback adjustment doesn’t.

    The motor is tidy, with various new pipes, valves and clips. It was last serviced (and all the belts changed) in March 2017 and the oil is still cleanish and to the top mark on the dipstick. We couldn’t see the coolant and the automatic gearbox fluid looks ‘used’ but doesn’t smell burnt.

    There’s some evidence of new paint on the inner wings, with some small rust bubbles above the right front damper mount.

    It starts instantly and drives well, with the typical XJ-S slight float but no wallow. The V12 provides relentless prod, the kickdown works okay, and the smooth brakes are nicely weighted. Oil pressure on the move reads 45psi, with the temperature a third of the way up the gauge. Interestingly, the average mpg reads 17.4, which is exactly what the books say these do.

    The XJ-S is better than average for its year, and the MoT runs until June.


    SUMMARY for XJS 5.3L UK reg

    EXTERIOR Partial respray; minor blemishes
    INTERIOR Leather upholstery mostly wearing well; new centre veneer
    MECHANICALS Excellent ongoing care
    VALUE 9/10
    For That number!
    Against Minor rust bubbles need sorting before they grow

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    No major issues and at about £10k the XJ-S looks quite good value. The other £5000 is for the number, which may be available separately
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