Never Wrecked: Rusty BMW 3.0CSI

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It’s amazing to see what sellers will cling to when a car is such a basketcase it truly has no redeeming qualities. This BMW 3.0CSI here on eBay is sold as a rolling shell, but really it should be used as a teaching tool demonstrating how badly these cars can rust away. The seller says it’s a race car project that never moved forward, and he wants $3,000 OBO for this rusty carcass. 

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This is one of those cars where you have to ask yourself just how much of a privilege would it be to own a classic E9 BMW. Let’s say you bought it for $300 – would it be worth it, or is there so much work required that even the price of “free” would make it tough to justify? I’m not sure, personally, unless I knew I could manage some of the metal work myself. Regardless, the seller may want to consider a lower asking price given how little is left.

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These early BMW coupes had a serious tendency to rust, which is why you should always buy the best example you can find. In the case of this car, I’m not sure what you do with it. The drivetrain is gone, the interior stripped and the corrosion is so bad I fear it may break in half. The seller holds out hope, however, that his suspicion the car has never been wrecked will be a compelling enough reason for someone else to take on the project.

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Part of me wants to be the eternal optimist and believe that with enough time and money, it can be brought back. What other fate seems appropriate? To the non-BMW enthusiast, just scrapping the shell probably seems like the most sensible option. But for those of us who know how rare these 3.0CSI’s are, it seems downright shameful to not at least try and make this E9 presentable enough that it passes inspection. How would you play it?

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  1. rustylink

    a flipper’s lottery pick…this guy found a rusted shell of a desirable car and has his fingers crossed some dreamer will come along…..

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    • wd roberts

      basket case minimum of 50k in repairs once those rears go the rest is a nightmare.!

      Like 0
  2. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Have we not seen a steady parade of 356s , (in worse condition than this car), fetch big money?

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    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

      There are LOTS better opportunities for carnuts than this one….

      Like 0
  3. Pope Paul II

    Recycle and let it be made into something useful.

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  4. zaphod

    Put it on EBAY! Someone will want it! These are worth $100 grand when restored.
    Better yet, put it back in the barn and wait another 35 years. Hey an, you’d be crazy to sell that car. I’m telling you people are going nuts for them! …and other pat BS lines associated with rubes.

    Like 0
    • rdc

      Seriously, if you do not need to sell and have a safe dry space, put it away. Meanwhile, continue your investigations for a potential high dollar buyer.

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  5. Bob S

    Way harder to restore than the average hobbyist thinks. You have to rebuild the hidden structural box sections on an E9. The only way it would make any sense is if it was a CSL.

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  6. DolphinMember

    Seller says “I was going to mount this on an e30 iC floorpan.”

    (Allow me to finish that thought)

    “until I realized that they were both unitbody cars, so it would involve lots of precise metal cutting…..but then nothing would line up anyway…..and it would have almost no value even if I got a few welds to stick…..”

    “So I cracked open a Bud instead.”

    Like 1
  7. rdc

    Perhaps BMW might want it. They rebuild cars for their Museum and private customers. Who knows.

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  8. Michael

    Just thinking of the effort it takes to call the scrapper to come and take it away is more life energy than that it is worth, in my book. There is one down the street from me covered in dirt, weathered sun baked but since its in California no rust that I can see when the guy offered it to me to just get it out of his driveway ” since I was interested”
    I thanked him and passed.

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  9. RichS

    But it *HAS* been wrecked.

    By the tin worm and those that stripped it down to nothing. Were this a complete, it would probably be worth it as a parts car

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  10. jbbush

    This is being sold by Al Taylor. Al is The Man. When he says he was going to mate the body with an E30 pan and race it, there can be no doubt he means it. His other race cars have included a BMW Bavaria and a BMW diesel-powered E30 convertible. So why not? What the heck else have you got to do in Whitakers, NC?

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    • Jamie Palmer JamieStaff

      I’ve met Al and actually purchased Triumph parts from him. I have no doubt that he could mate the two if he wanted to. Whether it’s a good idea or not is something else, but I agree, when it looks like this, why not? :-)

      Like 0

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