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Dismantle or Save: 1972 BMW 3.0CS

This desirable BMW 3.0CS coupe has been sitting since the 1980s, and unfortunately, shows some of the classic signs of rust damage all too common with the E9-chassis cars. This example suffers from the added detriment of being equipped with an automatic, but its overall completeness may save it from a parts car fate. The seller oddly says he will “…hear your arguments” on whether it should be parted out. Find it here on eBay for $8,100 or best offer.

The fact that the seller will consider different points of view on how this 3.0CS should be used is an interesting tactic to drive a conversation with a potential buyer. Frankly, there’s not much here that I can see being worth the trouble of selling the car off piecemeal; the interior is torn up, the automatic a nonstarter and the bodywork is suffering from rust at almost every corner. As a whole car, however, a buyer might materialize who just wants to pick parts as needed.

This level of rust is not uncommon to E9s, sadly, and both fenders appear quite porous (this is the passenger side, with the power antenna mount). Other areas of concern include the lower doors, sunroof panel and C-pillar. The seller doesn’t include photos of key floor areas, including the cabin and trunk, so it’s hard to discern where else rust bubbles may be hiding. Given the propensity E9s have for rot, it’s likely lurking in other places.

The seller says the car was parked due to an “…engine issue.” It’s unfortunate more detail isn’t provided, as the lack of a functional powertrain limits the 3.0’s appeal even further as a builder or parts car – especially at the current asking price. E9s are funny in that their perceived value is fairly high, but it takes a car without any of the issues seen here to reach those prices. Too much for a parts car and not desirable enough to restore – how should the seller proceed ?


  1. Nsuracer

    I am a believer in taking the value of a perfect car, subtracting the cost of getting it there, that being the value of the subject. If that takes it to a negative value, there is always crusher price. I am not trying to be an anal orifice here, but the price of rusted out junk has just gotten insane over the past two years.

  2. Redwagon

    rust in and around the shock towers. I would pass. Seller has it correct in the description, “This is a salvage parts vehicle.”

  3. Steve R

    When a seller starts an ad by telling you it’s a parts car it’s wise to listen.

    Steve R

  4. m vickery

    Not even a very good parts car. With an automatic, a bad engine and a toasted interior, there’s little left.

  5. fahrvergnugen

    The rule with E9’s seemed to be: take the amount of visible rust, and triple it.

  6. James L

    Car is beyond hope. These cars rust from the inside out. Visible rust is tip of the iceberg. If it sat in the elements for 30 years then most likely the rockers, pillar supports,and floors are rusted out (leaking window gaskets and inherent window gap drain issues). $2,500 – $3,000 in parts. The dash looks like it may have somewhat survived. Door panels, center console look good ($1K together.) All the glass would be worth another $1K. Maybe the hood and trunk lid? The rest of the body is scrap. Bumpers look so-so. Mechanics junk.

  7. Luki

    Ill buy the wheels if he wants to part it out.

  8. wuzjeepnowsaab

    There’s very little left to this. Sad that it’s been allowed to get to this state. I’m not seeing much more than MAYBE 2K in parts plus another 100 or so in weight.

    Prepare for this to have multiple “the seller relisted this” tags

  9. Redragula

    Why 2 side marker lights on the front fenders?

    • Dale

      US spec. front side reflector in addition to the turn signal/parking light.

  10. RockNRoll

    Not worth saving…

  11. Rex Kahrs Member

    Yeah, we’ve talked a lot about the E9 and their rust issues. Some commenters have written off better looking cars than this…WAY better looking cars than this.

    But classic cars attract a lot of dreamers (I’m guilty of it too), who will take a chance on a car like this. I suspect that usually the outcome is the same: either the dreamer realizes he’s in over his/her head and then sells the car, OR, the car sits outside for 30 years and turn in to a pile of hopeless rust. Just look at the big Mopar stash from yesterday. Same story.

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