No Reserve 1970 BMW 3.0CS Project

BMW’s E9 grand touring coupe is one of the company’s most prolific models in its history. Like most BMW models from its time, you’re either paying an arm and a leg for a Concours-quality all-original example, or you’re digging into a project and hoping for the best. Though it has various changes from its stock form, this 1970 BMW 3.0CS that’s available here on eBay with no reserve is excellent for anyone seeking an E9 project.

This E9 is available in Salem, Oregon with a clean title, and it spent most of its life on salt-free roads in the Pacific Northwest area. The seller mentions that they found this example in a barn a few years ago, but they haven’t had the time to get it running.

The exterior has some flaws, but you can expect that from a project vehicle. There is some rust in the rockers and a previous owner performed other repairs, but the shock towers are in good shape.

Additionally, the front bumper is missing, the trim on the driver’s side front fender is also absent, and I also wonder if there is a 4th Ronal R9 wheel included with the vehicle’s sale.

Inside the cabin, things are a bit of a mess. There are parts strewn about, exposed wiring and a failing headliner. However, there are some positive attributes to the interior, such as door cards in good condition, a D&W/Momo steering wheel, and a pair of Recaro Classic seats up front – which were one of the company’s top-of-the-line products during the 1980s.

The drivetrain on this E9 isn’t original, nor does it run, but it appears the engine installed is a later variant of the M30 engine that this car left the factory with. The vehicle’s odometer reads 37,830 miles, but the seller does not believe this is an accurate number.

Bidding on this no reserve auction is at $5,100 at the time of publication. Personally, I enjoy the period-correct modifications this BMW has, such as the Momo steering wheel, Ronal wheels and Recaro Classic seats. These items weren’t cheap when new and still hold their value to this day, implying that this vehicle was once someone’s pride and joy. What would you do with this project E9?


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    I would not even consider this even if they paid me to restore it. The inner structure of these cars are boxes and when they trap moisture they rust from within. TOTAL NIGHTMARE

    Like 4
  2. Russell Thomas

    Yes, but that’s a gorgeous car. Blew my chance to buy one from family 25 years ago. Kicking myself still.

    Like 4
  3. HBChris

    It’s been stored outside for years and is very rusty.

    Like 2
  4. Bruce

    There are few German cars that have a rust problem as serious as this series of BMW. They are amazing rides but I totally agree with OIL SLICK that the inter structure is a nightmare to put right and I see enough rust and bad paint on the lower doors and fenders to scare the crap out of me and I will restore almost anything.

    I love these cars and I wish BMW would remake the body with better design and materials. They would sell a bunch of them without any problem. They are beautiful, elegant and surprisingly useful. Huge trunk, good back seats and enough power to get you arrested in any state in the Union. I have driven a few back in the day but unless I knew the history of one or had a long and serious review of one I am not certain I would even drive one today. Yea it is that bad.

    Like 3
  5. Rx-7 TurboII

    I would give my left nut for those Recaro classic power seats! My Rx7 needs those badly!

    • Geoff

      Keep your nuts to yourself. Let’s talk cash!

      Like 3
      • Rx-7 TurboII

        Geoff, are you the seller?

  6. Will Owen Member

    I have long taken it almost personally that the CS cars are so riddled with design flaws of the kind that either kill longevity or compromise the driving experience. Side windows that pull away from their frames at speed and structures designed to trap moisture where it’ll do the most harm are almost a road-going parody on the theme of the High-Maintenance Girlfriend.

    I’m sure it didn’t have to be that way. The first CS I knew well enough to look over regularly was run by a woman faculty member at a Jr college I attended outside of Sonora, CA. The owner lived in San Francisco and commuted most days to Columbia and back in her tan 2000 CS – yes, the kinda ugly one with the curved-up chin and glassed-in headlights. As I recall, the drive was around 150 miles each way, and she allowed as how she figured on something under two hours per run, SF traffic and all. It was a nice, solid little car, about as fancy as its sedan siblings if you looked at it hard enough, and I suppose the stylists’ yearning for those delicate lines and lovely big windows forming the greenhouse took their air-over-steel preferences into dangerous territory with the six-cylinder coupes.

    2002s are fragile enough, thanks.

    Like 1
  7. djjerme

    oooooooo…. So tempting and not much of a drive.

    Like 1
  8. Pat Gill

    The body was built by karman and was not cavity rust protected, also a complex design with many hidden moisture traps, rather like a Mk2 Jaguar, yes I own one of each! but what a great drive, I have just returned my 3.0CSl to the road and every time I drive it at least three people stop and talk to me about it, my only gripe is the wind noise from the front windows, the alloy door flex so it is very hard to get a good seal, new rubbers just make the doors hard to close……

    Like 3
  9. Will Owen Member

    I had forgotten that Karmann had made the bodies. That explains a lot. “Beautiful and flimsy” was pretty much their business plan; we know of a woman whose K-G VW was broadsided at relatively low speed with fatal results to her and the car. The one I drove frequently for a while would skitter its front wheels badly over any rough paving, with some obvious flexing going on up there. Unlike some Beetles I’d driven it was the front end that wanted to go loose first; those wheels were skipping around like crazy, while the typically wayward back ones tracked perfectly.

  10. Ward William

    I love these cars but this is a parts car. It’s far too butchered to be worth it.

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