1993 BMW 316i K790 XPH

The E36 BMW 3-series is no longer a common sight on UK roads and low specification cars such as this 316i are considerably rarer still.

First registered in March 1993, K790 XPH can almost be considered a lightweight specification thanks to its body coloured nothing, steel wheels and 1.6l four-cylinder engine.

Like the relatively low spec BMW E34 520i I spotted a short while ago, I can’t help but find a certain charm in base model or poverty spec cars from this era.

Despite the clean white paint It looks like the dreaded tin worm has started to set in on the rear arches of this example, with rotten jacking points causing an MOT failure earlier this year. Regardless of that, the car was obviously adequately patched up and remains a lot better than most E36s of this age.

I’ve actually driven a car that looked almost identical to this. It must have been about ten years ago now during a skid pan session at Castle Combe Circuit. I seem to remember being pleasantly surprised by the similarly low spec white BMW 316i that was used for that day.

For those who don’t know, the skid pan is an area with a special low grip surface that can be used to teach drivers about the delicate art of car control. Being rear wheel drive and devoid of most driver aids, the entry-level E36 was the perfect way to learn the reality of oversteer and understeer on the skid pan.

The surface is so slippery that all the action occurs in second gear and at barely above walking pace, meaning the weedy output of the 316i is perfectly adequate for some lurid powersliding.

Castle Combe still offers the course – which I’d highly recommend as a gift for a petrolhead or anyone who likes their driving. Judging by the pictures on their site, the people over at the skid pan have since upgraded to an E46 318i.

  • 1993 BMW 316i K790 XPH front
  • 1993 BMW 316i K790 XPH white rear
  • 1993 BMW 316i K790 XPH side white
Registration Number:K790 XPH
First registered (UK):30th March 1993

More cars from the ’90s

Oli Woodman

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