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Euro-Spec: 1972 BMW 3.0 CS Project

The venerable E9 was born in 1968 when BMW introduced the 2800 CS. With its long engine bay and hood, the car was the perfect cradle for the new M30 six-cylinder engine that launched BMW head and shoulders above much of its competition. The next iteration of the E9 was the 3.0 CS/CSi, which cemented the company’s performance heritage. Too, the shark-nosed, pillarless coupe was one of the best styles designer Wilhelm Hofmeister ever produced. Here on eBay is a Euro-spec 1972 BMW 3.0 CS coupe for restoration, bid to $16,100 in a reserve auction. This car is located in Burbank, California, and you’ll need a trailer to bring it home. The seller notes that while the car has some rust, it’s been in California since the 1980s.

No doubt this car is a project. The carbs and intake come with the sale, and the air cleaner assembly (as well as the tool kit) is in the trunk. It’s also a four-speed manual – a big advantage over the automatic in the marketplace. But it hasn’t run in years. When it’s resurrected, the 3.0-liter twin-carburetted engine with its 9.0:1 compression ratio will produce 180 hp. Or, you can swap the whole mess for a later engine with even more power. Graceful as they are, these cars are also very competent on track and rally circuits – you don’t even need a CSL!

It’s difficult to see, but the speedometer is calibrated in km. The heater controls are marked with universal icons; US delivery cars have English lettering. These and the lack of side marker lamps are hallmarks of Euro delivery specifications. Other than the upholstery, much of the interior is tolerable. even the headliner isn’t bad.

Though I don’t care for silver, this car’s Polaris paint job is classic and plenty of collectors love it on a German car. The seller does not include photos of the underside, but rust can be seen on the driver’s side flank, the front edge of the hood, and the door bottoms. The car’s original steel wheels and hubcaps are present, though one roundel seems to be missing. The seller does say the car is 100% complete, so perhaps it’s in a box somewhere. E9s have skyrocketed in value in the last few years, to a somewhat depressing extent. Here’s one that needed more than $62k to go to a new home, and six-figure prices are not uncommon. While restoration is a daunting task and there’s much we don’t know about this car, at least finished-car values offer some headroom for an ambitious restorer if the reserve is reasonable.


  1. G Lo

    I’m afraid there’s no such thing as “some” rust with an E9-it’s the whole iceberg cliche, and you’re guaranteed to only see the tip.

    Like 14
  2. Bullethead

    +1 What G Lo said. I’ve owned half a dozen E9s when they could be had for peanuts, all used as dependable daily transportation. They ALL had rust at some point, two of them terminal. Also owned a CSL which had the least cancer, but it was there. My last Euro 3.0CS ($4200 eBay purchase 15 years ago) sold on BaT as a project with all the needed sheetmetal and rubber included for just south of $30K. It was nicer than this. Because they’re finaIly bringing serious money I suspect this one will be rescued as well, even though resto costs will be insane. I love these cars but the “buy the best you can find” rule is sage advice.

    Like 6
  3. RichardinMaine

    Love these, such an elegant design. Wouldn’t consider buying one in any condition other than completely restored. Like early 911’s, you can park one in your garage, turn off the compressor, and listen to it rust.

    Like 2

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