The history of BMW convertible tops
Upon closer inspection, BMW's iconic blue and white logo resembles a propeller, which shouldn't be a surprise given that the company began as a manufacturer of airplane engines. Only after the company Rapp Motorenwerke changed its name to BMW - Bayrische Motoren Werke - in 1917 and a ban on the production of aircraft engines was imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, did the company begin to take a new direction.
In 1928, the BMW acquired the Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach and turned its attention to automotive engineering. In the early years, it manufactured vehicles under license from the Austin Motor Company, but from 1932 the company began developing its own vehicles.
In the pre- and post-war period, the Bavarian automobile manufacturer produced many beautiful convertibles - be it the BMW Wartburg, BMW 327 or the 1602-2002 convertible. However, these models are rather rare nowadays. Instead, you're more likely to come across the following convertibles:
The 3 Series
In 1983 the E30 was revealed to the world.
This convertible was initially only available in the Baur Targa version (with roll bar), and then was also made available as a full convertible in 1986. Whether with or without roll bar, the E30 is a classic automobile that has convinced passionate convertible fanatics and newcomers alike since its introduction.
With a sleek design and mechanics that emphasize driving pleasure, it's no wonder the E30 is hailed as a trailblazer for the convertible boom of the 1990s. Even many decades after this BMW 3 Series first hit the streets, this car model still enjoys great popularity. We offer the E30 soft top for both manual and electric frame in a variety of colors.
In 1990, the aerodynamic successor was introduced: the BMW E36
After the huge success of its predecessor, the new E36 had big shoes to fill when it was launched in 1990. Great expectations can sometimes become a problem, but the company was aware of this and produced the most luxurious and comfortable version of its convertible range to date.
The E36 was more aerodynamic than its predecessor and also raised the bar in terms of technical performance. Whether the E36 convertible top is closed or tucked away in the convertible top compartment, driving pleasure is always a priority with this vehicle type.
The BMW E36 soft top is made of the durable Sonnenland A5 fabric and is available in a variety of special colors in addition to the classic colors (black, blue and brown).
E46 with special rear windshield
The fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series, the E46, was a good deal larger compared to the E36 and E30. The model followed the design concept of the BMW E36, which is evident by examining the roof. It is slightly more curved, providing more headroom and at the same time setting new accents for the overall appearance.
Naturally, you only get optimal headroom when opening the convertible top - something that seasoned convertible enthusiasts have known for a long time.
In addition to the soft top, wind deflector and headliner, EUROTOP also offers a repair kit designed to reinforce the new headliner. A special feature of the E46 soft top is the rear windshield, as a conventional windshield system is used for the windshield of the replica, so that no frame is visible from the outside. By contrast, the original soft top has a so-called "foamed" frame visible from the outside. There is no difference in durability between the two window systems.
The Z models
This convertible is one of a kind: Z1
If ever a convertible deserved to be called a roadster, it's this one. With its unique vertically retractable doors, you feel closer to the road than in any other convertible.
The Z1 was created as a research vehicle by BMW Technik GmbH, a subsidiary of Bayrische Motoren Werke.
Since the Z1 was relatively expensive and limited to only 8,000 units, the demand for the Z Series was by no means satisfied, which is why its successor was eagerly awaited.
The Z3 became an all-time classic
In 1996, 5 years after the production of the Z1 had ended, the BMW Z3 was finally launched on the market and wowed everyone who had enjoyed the Z Series from its very introduction.
Thanks to clever product placement, the BMW Z3 was introduced to a wider audience in the movie GoldenEye.
In contrast to its predecessor, the quantity was not as limited, with over 100,000 vehicles being produced in the first two years.
With its elongated hood and low seats, the Z3 epitomizes the basic concept of the roadster and entices you to open the top to experience the convertible driving experience in its purest form. The side air intakes are an homage to the BMW 507 and further distinguish the car, as does the Z3's soft top.
The BMW Z3 featured a decidedly sporty design and was fully suitable for everyday use right from the start, making this version extremely popular with experienced convertible enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
The successor models: Z8 & Z4
The BMW Z8, of which only 6,000 vehicles were produced in its brief 3-year production period, was followed by the BMW Z4. This model incorporated a completely new design approach.
The surface contours of its sides were a bold choice and intended to convey just that: a masculine determination.
At first glance, the two-seater introduced in 2002 may have seemed an unexpected departure from the previous models, but as soon as you got behind the wheel it was clear that the Bavarian car manufacturer had put the focus on an excellent driving experience.
This was partly due to the fact that the chassis was based on that of the Z3, but with further refinements.
The Z4 was designed as a roadster from the very start, and it shows. The soft top of the Z4 offered by EUROTOP is available as a pre-assembled replica modeled on the original or in its original version.