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Original Paint! 1974 BMW 3.0CS Survivor

When it comes to E9 BMWs, buying a project-grade specimen really isn’t the way to go unless it’s free or has zero rust. Rarely, do those two paths come together, and while a finished car will cost you a fair amount of cash, it’s still likely the smarter option against restoring your typical project, which almost always has cancer. This 1974 3.0CS coupe is a stunning survivor, wearing original Jadegrun paint and benefiting from a lifetime of maintenance and recent interior restoration. The seller notes he has an appointment scheduled to convert the factory automatic to a manual but is selling the car before this appointment to fund the purchase of a Mustang 428CJ Fastback. Find this BMW in the Barn Finds Classifieds or here on eBay where bidding is over $30,000 with no reserve.

As someone who spent many years chasing classic BMWs, the E9 was always the proverbial unicorn or the diamond in the crown. Enthusiasts love the E9 for its striking looks, pillarless design, and relative ease of maintenance ownership due to the robust inline-six drivetrain. The trouble is, these cars are extremely prone to rusting out in areas of the bodywork that are essential to maintaining structural rigidity. If you want to experience shock and awe, look at a neglected E9 that’s been exposed to weather and see how pervasive the rust becomes in short order. There are entire restoration shops devoted to servicing the E9, so that should tell you something about the vulnerabilities of the model.

Fortunately, this example has none of those issues. The seller’s description is exactly what you want to see when considering owning an E9, as the features he prioritizes in the listing reflects what every car shopper should be looking for when seeking a BMW coupe of this vintage and style. While the exterior hasn’t been touched, some sensible big-ticket upgrades have been tackled inside, including a rebuilt automatic transmission and recently-completed interior refresh to the tune of $18,000 for both new upholstery and fresh rubber seals. The fact that the automatic was rebuilt even with the prospect of a manual conversion looming goes to show you that this E9 resided in a blank-check household when it comes to upkeep.

The seller doesn’t go into great detail about the history of the engine, but these are fairly stout drivetrains and generally the least of your concerns when restoring an E9. But with a car like this – that has clearly been lavished with care and attention – the mention of a healthy stack of maintenance records is generally all you need to feel comfortable that no shortcuts were taken. The seller does mention a new exhaust, brakes, and general tune-up, along with other fixes like new window motors and an R134A conversion. The seller is including a set of European-market bumpers to replace the clunky U.S. units, and that along with a manual swap and some upgraded OEM wheels would take this survivor E9 to the next level in a heartbeat. Perhaps buying an example like this will be an even smarter option given the automatic may keep bidding down a touch – or is that just wishful thinking?


  1. Avatar photo alphasud Member

    Beautiful classic BMW nice open greenhouse along with the Hoffman kink that became a stying trademark. These old BMW’s love to rust and even rusty E9’s bring good money. I would also consider a manual swap retaining the original parts in case a purest wanted to return it back to original. Unfortunately ownership won’t happen with me since prices for a nice E9 has risen to nose bleed levels.

    Like 8
  2. Avatar photo stanley kwiecinski

    Love the car. wish i had money to throw away on a whim. 20k int. etc. 30k asking?

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Skorzeny

    One of the most beautiful coupes ever. I have been a BMW fan since I was a teen. I grew up up in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, Sears Imported Autos was the dealer… I would ride my bike there and steal the BMW literature. Memories…

    Like 5
  4. Avatar photo Jasprr

    Always a great looking car. The big bumpers can’t even spoil the look. Cool color combination. The floor mats are a nice touch too. Hope it’s as decent as presented.

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Bigcat Member

    Love these and in the same town, used to drive by the photo site nearly every day. Not a professional but I’d be happy to inspect for fellow Barn Finders. Will be curious to see the underside, seat out and spare out pics.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Geo

      Hey Bigcat, my name is Geo and I’m interested in this car but I’m in California and am always nervous about buying ” site unseen”
      I would certainly prefer a manual with FI but the price is right. How far is the car from you

      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo matt grant

    a real pity it’s an automatic. I have had 8 BMWs, used to work for BMW and this car was MEANT for a stick shift. otherwise, the nice example I have seen for sale in years. if I lived in the states, I would be bidding.

    Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Daniel Gavin

    One of the most beautiful cars ever produced (in my opinion). I purchased a new 2002 in 1972….paid roughly $4,000.00. If I remember correctly 3.0CS were selling for around $10,000.00 ( I may be wrong about that) at that time.
    I remember drooling in the showroom over the 3.0CS on the floor.
    I recently saw a 1972 CS in Malaga red for sale in New Cannan, Ct. for $95,000.00……breathtaking car and I think worth the $$.
    I wasn’t aware that automatics were available in this model.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Stan Marks

    Exquisite Beamer. Worth every penny.
    If I was 50 years younger, I would prefer the stick. But at 77, I would keep it an automatic.

    Like 1

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