General information about the BMW E36 Convertible

The BMW E36 Convertible was announced to the international press in February 1993 and presented at the Geneva Motor Show on March 2, 1993. Production had already started and the delivery of the BMW convertible of the 2nd generation with the designation E36 began immediately. Many are now wondering, 2nd generation convertible? … Well, the first 02 convertible and all convertibles that preceded the E30 convertible were not built directly by BMW, but by the Baur company. They initially obtained the vehicles as 2-door sedans for the convertible vehicles directly from BMW and then converted them. BMW later sold these convertibles under the name Baur Cabrio itself through its own dealer networks as part of a contractual cooperation with Baur. The BMW E30 Convertible was therefore really the first convertible that BMW built in its own factory in Munich. Therefore, the E36 convertible was the 2nd generation of convertible.

Towards the end of production, BMW brought out the BMW E36 Cabrio special models variant 1-9 South / Southwest in order to boost sales figures again.

In 1995 BMW built some real special models for the convertible models, such as the special model “Rene Magritte” or the special model “Paul Klee”, which we have already listed in other articles here on our website and not here want to go into more detail, but want to refer to these posts.

Most of the special models that were offered by BMW consisted of simply taking equipment packages that normally had to be paid for at a high price, such as the Exclusive Package or the Sports Package, and then packed them “free”, so to speak, at no extra charge in the vehicle equipment. These vehicles were usually simply produced and sold. Usually, because even during such an “offer” the customers who wanted to buy a vehicle while the vehicles were being produced and the offer was valid also had the option of booking or deselecting additional equipment features that were not the special offer concerned themselves. You could also z. B choose styling 24 rims or a CD radio. It is therefore really difficult to differentiate whether this is really an actual special model or just a “special offer”. With a few exceptions, the equipment variant does not provide any information as to whether we have a special model or not.

The E36 convertible special models variant 1 to 9 south / south-west mentioned in this report are also equipment variants that could be ordered with existing equipment packages that could be ordered for all vehicles at an additional cost. BMW only specified the variants here. E.g. with variant 1 exterior color Cosmos black interior red. This could then also be combined with e.g. bi-color leather from the individual list. The customer decided not to buy variant 1 as a special model for the “special model”, but was sold the variant depending on the exterior color that he selected when ordering. So he did not know whether he would order or get a variant 1 or a variant 8 .. Therefore, these variants are not really special models in the actual sense, in which parts were installed that were only available in these models, but the The term “special offers” would actually be the correct term. This is also the reason why there are no sales brochures for these vehicles, e.g. for the special model Rene Magritte.

Also under the, admittedly, rather strange-looking designation Variant 1 Sales West / Southwest, Variant 2 Sales West / Southwest and Variant 3 Sales West / Southwest up to variant 9 built. All 9 variants were designated under equipment PA253 with the corresponding variant suffixes 1, 2, 3 – 9 and a total of 4115 vehicles were built in variants 1 to 9. The variants – differences are therefore primarily to be seen in the combinations of the exterior colors of the car with the leather interiors, the customer simply got more equipment for the basic price.

All “special models” or better “special offer variants” were delivered as standard with the rims, mostly Syling 32, in 16 inches. Mostly because BMW left the styling to be determined by the customer, who could choose if the vehicle was to be made for him. In addition to the vehicles that were built without direct individual customer orders, the Styling 32 in 16 inches were always installed. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to sort all 9 variants in the order of the exterior colors. So far, we have only been able to reliably and specifically determine the color of the first five variants.

In the meantime, thanks to a reader of our website who owns a Variant 8 vehicle and kindly provided us with the data, pictures and his research on his vehicle for our article, we now also have the Variant 8 special series WEST/ SOUTH WEST SPECIAL SERIES identify all features. At this point we would like to thank you very much for your help and for providing this information.

Furthermore, another reader of our website who owns an E36 convertible of variant 1 and to whom we would also like to thank at this point for providing the information, the data of the variant 1 SPECIAL SERIES DISTRIBUTION WEST / SOUTHWEST was provided.

In this special series west/southwest, the chrome door handles were also installed as standard and all variants had the “BMW INDIVIDUAL” control with the corresponding sign which is also attached to the vehicle.

The differences between variants 1 to 9 can only be seen in the vehicle color and the color of the interior fittings or their combination with one another.


Version  1 

Exterior color Velvetblue – Metallic – Interior in ink blue, here additionally with the seat in the special leather pattern “PABLO” (a very rare color combination) .



Version 2

Cosmos black with black / imola red leather with black piping and decorative stitching in black or bi-color red / black.


Variant 3

Dakar yellow with black leather with yellow piping and decorative stitching in yellow or two-tone yellow / black


                                                                                                                                Ore like her  Bi – Color 

Variation 4

Estoril blue with black leather with blue piping and decorative stitching in blue or bi-color blue / black

All vehicles had the carbon equipment (carbon door sills, center console, glove box strip and ashtray) of the M3 GT installed ex works.

Variation 5

is fern green leather Champagna with Mexico green piping and wood in the color poplar natural, or other wood variants

Variation 6

Boston green with saffron leather or Modena (similar color) with green (Mexico green) colored piping, with wood applications.

Variation 8

Leather nappa gray (8 174 057) piping in Santorini blue (2 136 739) floor covering and floor mats in fabric velor II graphic, (is the carpet which was also used in the Plaul Klee Edition – see picture below).
Exterior color Estoril blue metallic color code 7370, fine wood veneer “birch anthracite” color number 0690

E36 Special Edition Variation 8 süd / West

E36 Special Edition Variation 8 süd / West

E36 Special Edition Variation 8 süd / West

All variants could also be ordered with the bicolor option, which makes it all the more difficult to assign them, they were then given the addition Z1XX in the equipment production list.

Like the Touring variant of the E36, these convertible vehicles were also available with the “Paul Klee” carpet offered by BMW Individual, although it should be said that if such a carpet is installed, it is not necessarily the special “Paul Klee ”has to act. In the case of an E36 Touring, a sedan or, for example, a coupe, it is even completely impossible that it is the special Paul Klee model, as the Paul Klee special model was only available as a convertible version! This “Paul Klee” carpet could also be ordered as an optional extra for all BMW vehicles via BMW Individual.

These special packages could then be partially combined with other packages that did not cross the package contents.

The exterior color was then also listed as a special request color PA 490 and the interior as a special request option SA 940 or special upholstery Z1XX (which is the designation of the BMW INDIVIDUAL equipment), although these are already recorded or respectively in the packages variant 1 to 3 in the PA253 were included.