You and Your BMW 3-Series - Buying, Enjoying, Maintaining, Modifying

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  • You & Your BMW 3-Series: Buying, Enjoying, Maintaining, Modifying
  • You & Your BMW 3-Series: Buying, Enjoying, Maintaining, Modifying
  • You & Your BMW 3-Series: Buying, Enjoying, Maintaining, Modifying
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By: Richard Dredge .

Book Description

If it wasn't for the introduction of the original BMW 3-Series in 1975, and its immediate enormous popularity, there's a good chance that BMW wouldn't be here today. But not only is the company still here, it is still independent and hugely profitable. The enviable reputation gained by the 3-Series after more than a quarter of a century and four generations has seen it firmly established as the benchmark by which all rivals are judged.

You & your BMW 3-Series all-colour book concentrates on the third and fourth generation 3-Series models, beginning with the E36 cars introduced in 1990 which paved the way for the later E46 range, launched in 1997. Richard Dredge tells the story of the creation and evolution of BMW's best selling model range, and provides a flavour of the 3-Series in all its forms. In addition to a model history and details of all E36 and E46 variants, including the Z3 and Z4, there is practical advice on what to look for when buying a 3-Series, as well as details of maintenance and modifications. An essential guide for all 3-Series owners and enthusiasts.

This publication is an essential guide for all 3-Series owners and enthusiasts giving advise on buying, enjoying maintaining and modifying your BMW.


There is a very simple basic law in trading which says the value of any commodity will be dictated by the balance between supply and demand. The more demand there is for something, as long as supply can't quite match it, the values will remain high. But somehow the BMW 3-Series manages to buck this trend, and it is for one reason - image. BMW's marketing gurus have somehow managed to put BMW into the position that every other car maker wants to be in - that of being able to constantly ramp up production yet continue to charge premium prices because everybody still wants them. Millions of examples of the 3-Series have been produced and if it wasn't for this model, BMW probably wouldn't be here today.

The huge success of BMW's compact executive is held up as one of the great marketing and manufacturing case studies of all time. While there are those who actively shun the notion of driving a 3-Series because 'everyone drives one nowadays', there can be no denying that in the compact executive sector, BMW's rivals have a very hard time trying to compete. In 2002, the BMW Group broke all records to sell more than one million cars for the first time. Within the UK it sold more cars than ever - a tally of 85,567 was the most cars it had ever shifted in that market. But the incredible thing was that despite the 5-Series, 7-Series, X5, Mini and Z3 all being in the BMW line up, over 60,000 of the cars BMW sold in Britain in 2002 were examples of the 3-Series. That's how crucial the car is to the company, and with four generations produced so far, there's no sign of its popularity waning.

When the fourth-generation 3-Series was launched in 1998, the MD of BMW Great Britain made a very odd comparison, but one that withstands scrutiny. He stated that a modern tennis racquet is clearly related to its ancestor of 50 years ago, although it has undergone tremendous change and that the same is true of the 3-Series - it is familiar, yet all-new. Obtuse yes, but by standing an E46 (fourth-generation) 3-Series next to its E21 (first-generation) predecessor, the likeness is immediately apparent.

As this book goes to press, the first artists' impressions of the fifth-generation 3-Series are starting to appear. While they may be more daring than has been seen before - thanks to the very creative input of BMW design chief Chris Bangle - there are several things that can be taken for granted before the car officially sees the light of day. One is that it will be a fantastic car to drive. Another is that it will be superbly engineered with top-notch engines and transmissions along with peerless build quality. And a third is that once more, BMW will shift every one it can build, thus ensuring the company continues to be one of the most profitable car makers around.


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