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Mom’s E9: 1974 BMW 3.0 CS

BMW E9 series coupes are normally considered prized possessions, but that fact didn’t stop one retired nurse from leaving her’s in the garage like yesterday’s newspapers. After retiring in 1997, she drove this 1974 BMW 3.0CS into the garage and left it to gather dust. Now her son has decided that it must go, so he has listed it here on eBay with no reserve. The car is located in Norman, Oklahoma and bidding is currently at $2,800. Although it’s an automatic, this is still one the most desirable BMWs ever made.

Although expensive to buy and pricey to restore, this ’74 looks reasonably complete. While there’s no way to know the specifics of this car’s history, the seller’s knowledge of which specialists maintained it in the past is encouraging. The CS stands for “Coupe Sport” and this version comes with two down-draft Zenith carbs. With only 85,516 miles on the clock, there’s plenty of life left in that M30 straight-six.

Though the seller doesn’t  mention if it’s currently running, the missing ignition key likely indicates that no one has tried. However, the laser-straight body lines, presence of the factory tool kit and rust-free shock towers speak to the car’s careful ownership. The seller does acknowledge that the rear wheel wells have some rust bubbling through, and we can spot some surfacing on the lower sills. The car has been resprayed, hiding what appears to be its original Nacht Blau paint in the engine bay.

The interior has seen better days, but the relative completeness supports its two-owner history. The seats will need to be re-trimmed, but the carpets, door cards and dashboard can hopefully be saved. We’d swap out the steering wheel for a more sporting unit, and either restore the seats or find a parts car with a tan interior to complement the non-original exterior finish. No word on whether the odometer still functions, a common BMW failure.

Finding a two-owner CS is a rare event, and even better when it’s as original as this one. Though the repaint is a shame, bringing it back to the original shade would be a good excuse to fix the rust. At the same time, swapping out the U.S.-spec bumpers for the slimmer Euro units and deleting the sidemarkers could make this shark quite a stunner. While there’s likely a fair amount of reconditioning needed before it hits the road, the current bid could make it a steal.


  1. Don

    Having owned and restored a “72 CS, I have great empathy for anyone undertaking a “rustoration” of this car. The typical rust through problems are at the junctions of the inner fenders with the outer panels. These a hidden areas and, in my case, caused a second attempt at correcting – very difficult. It was a fun car while it lasted, but the tin-worn finally did me in (that and a spun bearing at 145,000 mi) and I dumped the car! This car’s going to need a minimum of $20,000 to $30,000 to restore the cosmetics, at which point the mechanicals can be addressed – strikes me its a money pit.

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  2. mario

    very interesting, too bad, I’m the other side of the world, in Italy. project is very interesting and valid. I console myself with my cs original model L E9 Lightweight

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  3. Vov Denton

    Having lusted for one of these in the early seventies, what comes to mind now is, “I wonder why.”

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  4. Ron Southan

    That trans is awful. Even with the gas pedal floored it upshifts at about 3000 RPM.

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  5. Al

    I agree with parts of the first comment.
    While one of BMW’s most beautiful creations, it is rust prone even in dry climates.
    The aforementioned front fender construction is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Adjoining front strut supports and rockers, rear shock towers, A-pilars and wheel wells will follow….
    There is no half-hearted effort, that will do this car (or the owner) any good.
    Drive it the way it is (if you can) or really restore it (with the above mentioned investment and then some).
    This is a car not for the faint of heart or frugal restorers.
    The prices are going up on these, AS THEY SHOULD !
    I am glad I got mine before they did.

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  6. J. Pickett

    What Al said.

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  7. CoolHluke

    Mom got hungry & devored the interior ..bless her heart…seriously what did parking it in the garge in 1997 exactly preserve…looks like all it did was take up space..IMHO I don’t Like hoky description filled with excuses blaming others….

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  8. BradL

    I seriously doubt the seller is the son of the retired nurse. There are too many cars and parts in the seller’s history for this 3.0 SC to have sat in his mom’s garage this long. My guess is, he’s a flipper.

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  9. Al

    Flipping a car he probably doesn’t even own ?

    That would be flipper with some balls.

    Wouldn’t surprise me.

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  10. BradL

    I surmise he bought the car from the retired nurse and is trying to flip it. The “Mom” story is the fake part.

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  11. Jeff

    Agree with prev comments on restoration, big job. Beautiful car, back in HS I just luved the lines of the 6 series (633csi, 635csi), I believe the Barvaria was the sportier one.

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  12. Mike

    So pretty it could almost be Italian. Parts car?

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  13. Tom Dove

    The Barvaria was a little lighter

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