The BMW Cabrio For Sale Ad

As posted on RetroRides on 4th October 2013.


1997 E36 BMW 328i Cabrio Auto. Red like a Ferrari not a Batmobile. Private Plate. £806

Convertible for wind (and rain) in your hair motoring

Following on from the success of the last discount sale (the VW Passat-branded shed), I bring you another irresistible offer!

It’s red, like a Ferrari.
It’s RWD, like a Ferrari.
It’s got SIX cylinders, like half a Ferrari.
It’s got a soft top, like some Ferraris.
It’s got leather seats, like a Ferrari.

So very much like a Ferrari, then!

It sadly is missing the Ferrari badge, and some plonker in Munich stuck a spurious-looking propeller badge with “BMW” onto it.

However, he then proceeded, with ruthless and infamous German efficiency, to actually put it together properly (unlike a Ferrari). Which probably explains why this car has been incredibly reliable, and actually driven a lot rather than providing shelter for the garage spiders.

A few more details.

1997 BMW E36 328i Cabrio
Private plate included L111LCE
Hellrot red (apparently that means Light Red red, but Hellrot sounds better)
Automatic with sport mode
Black heated leather interior
16″ Genuine BMW wheels
Rear parking sensors
18 Button OBC
Around 103k miles

MOT – May 2014 (will confirm)
Tax free! No, I don’t mean that tax costs £0. I just mean it hasn’t got any tax (SORN’d last week)


So, it’s raining, which is good news for convertible owners. Because you’ve not got a roadster, you can simply drive with the roof up. Sorted.

I took this car as a swap with a fellow RetroRider for my 740iL barge back in May when it had a full years MOT and a few months tax.

Used it for a few months in summer, but my car collection has grown somewhat now, and given I already have another girl’s car (TT roadster), this little gem needs to go. I would’ve loved to swap it for something interesting, but I have no space at all, so no swaps unfortunately.


Its glamorous points:

To be honest, it’s been a great car and is completely original save for the wheels (which are genuine BMW ones off an E46 I believe), and probably the most reliable car I’ve owned. It’s got no boy racer mods, hasn’t been “pimped” “stanced” “decked” “cambered” “stickerbombed”, bombed, crashed, or set on fire.

It’s even got the original rechargeable BMW torch in the glovebox, warning triangle and the original windbreak, which does render the rear seats unusable, but protects whatever extravagant hairstyle you may be sporting from aerodynamic disturbance.

Nothing has ever gone wrong, it always starts first time, engine runs beautifully and has more poke than a poking stick, gearbox is fabulous, and the interior is in excellent condition.


It will comfortably sit four people, and actually has a decent sized boot.

It’ll drift if you want it to, and is no Costa Concordia when it comes to cornering!

On my average driving cycle, which is probably a bit more thirsty than most people’s, it returned a (calculated) average of around 26mpg. Will easily top 30 on a motorway cruise.

It’s rather solid all around, except for the arches (see below). The roof works, all four electric windows work, and the horn works. Useful for “greeting” “fellow” motorists.

It’s got a lovely M-sport leather steering wheel, lovely heated leather seats with no rips that adjust to suit anyone from Warwick Davis to that Troll from Harry Potter.


So. We all love a discount. So this is how it works.

This car, on a good day, when the stars are aligned in such a way that they resemble the outline of Joe Pesci’s face, would have been up for sale for…

£1295 – already, approximately a 95% saving on Brand New Retail, I’ll have you know.

But this wouldn’t be Pavel’s car sale, if I wasn’t far-too-honest and discount further because of its few less glamorous points:

1) I’ve not washed it. Neither have any of the lovely local Polish people who are a dab hand with car polish. Perhaps that’s where the name comes from? – Reduced by the £10 cost of a car wash down to £1285

2) The ABS and Traction control lights come on occasionally. This is clearly a wheel sensor somewhere, as it’s an intermittent problem, and is a slightly less dangerous game of Russian roulette as to whether it will illuminate or not. Both ABS and traction control work a treat when functioning! – Reduced by £85 down to £1200!

3) The roof elastic strips could do with reinforcing (please use the power of the world wide web and google bungee cord roof BMW E36) – this involves no disassembly, simply tying a few bits of flat bungee around the roof bows. Currently, when the roof is only used rarely, the tonneau cover lid catches the roof slightly when lowering/raising. Since I have no shame, I drove this car with the roof down 90% of the time, and if you use it frequently, this problem is small enough to never have bothered me. – Reduced by £100 down to £1100. If I find the bungee cord I bought, I’ll up the price by £2 and throw it in. Only fair.

4) The front headlight bulb is out. I may replace it, I may not. I like that the OBC tells you that the headlight bulb is out. Price reduced by the obscene £7.99 that Halfords would charge for a light bulb. We’re down to £1092 already.

5) It’s automatic. Following on Ferrari’s strategy of charging you more for removing features (like aircon), I adopt a similar approach, and discount for additional features. It’s automatic, so have £50 off. £1042 now!

6) It’s got a few car park door dings on it, and a little bit of bubbling at the top of the rear wheel arches. No, it’s not crunchy like Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut and won’t scare off any aliens. It’s minor, as are the dings and scratches. We both know you’re not actually going to have them repaired, but have £50 off anyway. £992 now. We’re at less than £1000!

7) It’s got that 90’s red paint fade-to-pink colour thing going on, but only on the plastic bits (spoiler!) The paint on the body is as bright as Professor Brian Cox (why is he not a Doctor if he’s so bright?!), and the pink polishes up beautifully. Have £6.99 off, as that’s the cost of T-cut/polish at Halfords. £985 now.

8) The Odometer only displays the top half of the digits, most of the time. It’s like a puzzle really. Except you can cheat and push the “reset trip” button rather firmly, and the whole thing will illuminate. It’s a dodgy contact. I’ve had one of those, could never get hold of him, kept going through to voicemail. £1 off for your inconveinience, sir. £984

9) I think the spare wheel is flat. Punctured. Holed. Nor does it match the other 4 wheels. Come to think of it, I’m not sure it even has a spare wheel. But given that it was flat, you’re not losing much. £12 off for AA breakdown cover. £972 the price!

10) It’s got a CD changer. It’s connected to the head unit. As are two phone microphones in either corner of the dash (not sure why you need stereo microphones, maybe this was owned by an aspiring musician). Either way, neither the CD changer nor the microphones do anything. They’re like still life. You can paint them. £25 off for a decent CD head unit off ebay. £957

11) It was in the past owned by a woman called Louise who purchased the private plate that now resides on it. Given that L111LCE looks more like LICE than LOUISE, I suspect one of two things about this woman’s hair. Either she had lice, or she was rather blonde. If you too are a blonde woman, no discount for you. If you’re a hairy bloke, have a tenner off. That’ll pay for blonde hair dye. £947

12) AC works, but only when outside is very cold. Probably needs some gas. Or an AC compressor. Or it’ll never work. I can show you the button that opens the roof though, it’s a decent substitute. £30 off for a re-gas. £917.

13) In heavy rain, with the winds just right, you will get the occasional drop (and I do mean drop, not Niagara Falls) from the top of the driver’s door. An umbrella would be unwieldy, so £1 off for a small towel, if it bothers you enough. £916

14) Airbag light has been painted. No, I’m not drunk, it really has. You can only really see it if you start the car up in the dark without the lights on, the little man with the red balloon trying to shine his way through what looks like permanent marker. Why somebody went through the effort of taking apart the binnacle and then decided to paint over the icon rather than take the bulb out is beyond me. I only noticed this a few weeks ago. Which airbag doesn’t work? Who knows. Part two of the aforementioned Russian Roulette. £5 off for a new permanent marker. £911

15) The car has an alarm, with a siren under the bonnet and a keyfob. This keyfob has a broken plastic corner which means you can’t keep it on a keyring, which is why I never bothered to replace the battery in it. If you want remote central locking, have £3.99 off for a battery. You’ll need to glue it to your hand if you don’t want to lose it though. I can give you half a keyring fob from my Rolls Royce. Maybe you can stick them together and make a Frakenstein BMWRR fob. £907

16) There are two bits of plastic trim that are slightly coming off – one on the glovebox, and one on the headlining on the passenger front corner. You probably wouldn’t even notice these for a while, but have £1 off to buy either superglue or gum (which is probably what the previous owner used to try and stick them back). £906

17) Saw a Xmas advert. Ridiculous. It’s OCTOBER. Anyway, have £100 off. Merry Christmas! £806

So there you have it.

A lot of car, with a lot of MOT, for not a lot of money.

I honestly don’t know of anything else wrong with this car, and it really is lovely in all of its Hellrotting glory.


I have ears, so will listen to *REASONABLE* offers. I don’t need the money as much as I need the space, but don’t like to encourage curse word-taking either.

IMG_2002_zps9f37f8ac (1)

Really after a quick sale as I need the space on the drive – it’s preventing me from getting my other car on the road.

Honestly cannot consider *ANY* vehicle swaps on this. But am willing to part-ex with interesting parts for a Westfield/locost, Silver Spirit, Gen 3 Prius or Audi TT (yes I’m perfectly aware of the randomness of my car line-up).

I’m based in Mickleton, Cotswolds. About 10 miles south of Stratford-Upon-Avon.

You’re welcome to come and view it pretty much most weekdays after about 6pm.



This car was subsequently listed on ebay, with minor alterations to the ad to accommodate the “peculiarities” of our favourite online auction website:


Honestly cannot consider *ANY* vehicle swaps on this. This isn’t a winky face or implication that I want a swap, nor is it a way to get around ebay rules. I DO NOT WANT ANY SWAPS. I’m based in Mickleton, Cotswolds. About 10 miles south of Stratford-Upon-Avon.You’re welcome to come and view it pretty much most weekdays after about 6pm. Please feel free to come and view the car before bidding. You’ll have to pick the car up in a reasonable time frame, before I grow a moustache for Movember. Also, for anybody not familiar with timekeeping, 6pm is 6 o’clock in the evening. I work full-time, so cannot be at home during the day. You can discuss this with my boss if you wish. 

Which brings me onto my favourite section. I pray thee, please don’t waste my time.  If you bid, you buy. You show up with cash, and you pay me for the car. No more haggling, no discussions, we shall not be having a political debate or discussing how the One Pound Fish Man actually manages to make any profit margin on his £1 fish.

Please pay £100 via PayPal within 24 hours of listing end. The rest, cash on collection only. CASH. ONLY. I don’t accept credit cards, cheques, gold dubloons, monopoly money or anything that looks like monopoly money.

I shouldn’t have to specify this, but this item is COLLECTION ONLY. You hear that, Nigerian royalty? Royal Mail has now been privatised and I fear the CEO might need a triple bypass (and a healthy bonus!) if I try and post this thing. Even if I had enough bubble wrap to package this car, I think I’d spend the next 19 years popping all the bubble wrap instead.
What resulted is some interesting correspondence with potential buyers:
Q: Just want to say that I love the ad for your Ferrari. I laughed like a horse. Whilst I regret that I am not in the position to purchase said vehicle, I thought I’d point out in a particularly un-condescending fashion that those two “microphones” you’ve mentioned are, in fact, most likely the ultrasonic sensors for the alarm system that you have also mentioned. Cheers! 23-Oct-13
A: Dear HC8713 (that name just rolls off the tongue, like a square wheel), Many thanks for that info, didn’t even occur to me they might be the alarm sensors, due to their slightly Halfords-esque appearance! So there you have it folks. No non-functioning stereo microphones, instead the car uses ultrasonic waves to sense if some intruder has decided to have a sit down in those comfy leather seats. Come to think of it, don’t bats use ultrasonic waves to detect things? If so, perhaps this car is more like a Batmobile than I first thought. Time to up the price methinks. P.S. I’ve not heard a horse laugh, but I can’t imagine it’s delicate. Perhaps speak to a doctor? 😉 Your knowledge and clarification is very much appreciated! Kind regards, Pavel
Q: Would you take a monkey for it?* 23-Oct-13
A: Thank you for the offer – I’ve always admired monkeys. Can I have a few more details please? What year/registration is it? Any tax/MOT? Does it come with a fez? As you can probably tell, my experience with monkeys is limited at best. Regards, Pavel
Q: I know you said NO SWAPS, but my vehicle will need very little space. Would you be interested in a Kawasaki GTR 1000, 1989 f reg, with tax and mot, full luggage, and insured with an agreed value of £2500. Working near Kettering at moment, if interested would do the swap on Sunday. Cheers Mick. 23-Oct-13
A: Hi Mick, thank you for the offer – I’m incredibly tempted and it sounds like a lovely machine. However, I don’t possess a motorcycle license and I fear that even though your GTR1000 wouldn’t take up much space, the ambulance that I’d have to have permanently parked outside my house would. I’m clumsy, like a giraffe on an ice rink. Without ice skates. As you’ve piqued my interest, I’ll keep this in mind though if I don’t get any other reasonable offers. Regards, Pavel
Q: Will you accept a swap? 22-Oct-13
A: I will. How much cash would you like to swap for the car? Regards, Pavel
Q: I don’t want this car so you could ask why I even read your ad…. but I did and it made me laugh….. I need that with my wife. thanks. 21-Oct-13
A: Thank you for the kind words. However, I fear you may have dismissed the vehicle prematurely given your circumstances. You can purchase it for your wife. £806 is short change for the peace and quiet you will endure when this ever-reliable car whisks her to far away lands. If she has a real reason for objecting to the car (perhaps she doesn’t own Hellrot Red fingernail polish), then YOU can drive away from her. Win-Win. If you ever do need to take a trip together, a simple lowering of the roof, and you’ll hear nothing but wind. And we all know that intolerable wind noise is infinitely preferable to intolerable wife shrill. In a traffic jam, you can distract her with the glovebox-mounted torch. More win. You’re a winner here. Finally, if all else fails, I know I said no swaps, but depending on baking skills, I may consider your wife? So long as I don’t need a space on the drive for her… Regards, Pavel
Q: Sorry I am not interested in buying but I must say that I spent a very enjoyable 10 minutes reading through your ad. I wish you luck in selling. 21-Oct-13
A: Thank you very much for the kind words and all the luck wished upon the sale. Now all I have to do is find the anti-you – someone who isn’t interested in the ad but wants to spend an enjoyable 10 minutes buying my car! Regards, Pavel


The car eventually sold to a gentleman (via ebay) who offered £750 to pick it up the same day. The car was promptly loaded onto a trailer and went off for export to Lithuania. Another hassle-free sale, with cash handed over and no haggling or arguing. 

*I have since learnt that a “monkey” is in fact cockney slang for £500. I did not know this, and was rather excited by the prospect of getting a real monkey.


Categories: For Sale Ads, Pavel's Garage

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