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Restoration Debate: 1970 BMW 2800CS

BMW’s beautiful E9 coupe is one of the fan favorites of the vintage Bimmer crowd, but finding the right car is essential for a happy ownership experience. The mechanicals are not complicated, but the bodies are extremely prone to rot. This 1970 2800CS here on eBay presents a quandary, as much of the car is good but there are still troubling rust issues to address. It’s listed with a $13,500 Buy-It-Now. 

As you can see, rust is prevalent throughout the doors and rear quarters. Based on the top photo, the front fenders are also in need of serious repair. That’s the trouble with these pretty cars – they will rust right in front of you if you don’t take care to preserve the delicate sheetmetal. This car has had some level of rust repair attempted, but it doesn’t look it really solved any of the body’s corrosion issues.

Here’s where the conflict develops for me: that interior is gorgeous, and it’s a manual transmission example. The door panels are just as preserved as the bucket seats, and the carpets look good, too. The seller points out this is a northern car, so it’s a phenomenon I see often: horrible body, but an interior that hasn’t been dried out by the sun or otherwise subjected to extreme changes in temperature.

The engine bay looks tidy and the seller notes this E9 will run once the carbs are primed. It has some period modifications in the form of an exhaust, headers and aftermarket ignition. The seller claims the car has been sitting idle in a garage for the last 20 years, so at least it’s been stored indoors. But the question in front of the next owner is this: is it complete enough to warrant restoration, or do you swap the good parts into a better body? I hate seeing E9s cut up, so I know what my answer is; what about you?


  1. BiggYinn

    So why call tjem bimmers ??? Sounds stupid Beemer makes more sense

    • Nathan Avots-Smith Member

      A Beemer is a motorcycle; a Bimmer is a car. Don’t know why, that’s just the way it is!

    • giade Flightning

      i dont care for ANY of those references. Being a LifeLong erotiQrafT Fanatic, i call them BMWs, Bayerische Coupes, etcetera .. .All the other references are very DISrespectful to me I actually have a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Italian Cafe Racer ‘Eclection’, yet always seem to have an Earlier 6cyl Bayerische Automobile or 2 around as well. Theyre Excellent
      Devotamente ~ giadeFLIGHTNING NM’FL USA
      : i Dwell withIN the ’69 VolksQrafT in the background of that picture ~

      • DonC

        In English please? Sorry but it was hard to understand your point after bragging about your cars.

  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Thank you BiggYinn for saying something I’ve thought for a long time! “Bimmer” sounds stupid. We were calling BMW cars “Beemers” back around ’84 when a friend bought a 318i, and I will continue to call my ’75 2002 a Beemer, thank you very much.

    Oh, and yes the conventional wisdom on these E9s is that they are probably the most rust-prone car ever built, and difficult (if not impossible) to rid of rust.

  3. Dale Olson

    Want to see what can be done with the BMW E9 coupes? Check out the work of this guy:

  4. Luki

    Did anything from the Karmann factory not dissolve before your eyes?
    Fools did nothing to preserve their work from the environment.

  5. Dolphin Member

    These can be fixed, but since a lot of the rust happens internally, panels need to be removed and portions cut out and repaired, or some panels replaced. Very labor intensive.

    If this car is as rusty as many of them, it will take someone who is dedicated to bring this car back. It looks do-able but it will probably take a very dedicated body man to do it. It would help if it were a 3.0CS instead of a 2800 because the values of the 3.0s might make it more worth the effort and expense.

    As for the ‘Bimmer’ tag, a lot of cars get tagged with a shorthand name that’s often affectionate, so Bimmer (and Beemer for the bikes) aren’t unusual. If someone doesn’t like BMW cars, it’s fine for them to have that opinion, but the cars aren’t the tags they sometimes get.

  6. Karguy James

    I’ve been eyeing two of these sitting for years side by side in a local garage with an eye towards building a street beast out of at least one of them. Such a beautiful design.

  7. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Bimmer, Beemer, Bummer. I agree with Rex, all the BMW cars and scooters are Beemers. The first time I heard the term Bimmer was here.

    • DonC

      We’re having company over and every person said Beamer. “What the hell is a bimmer?” was the main reaction. But hey……a rust bucket by any other name….Lol

  8. pat gill

    It is very rusty, the sills (rockers?) are totally the wrong shape and what is going on with the floors and chassis rails? but it does have a lot going for it, over here 2800cs models are very rare as they were only made up to 1969-70, only difference to a 3.0 is the smaller engine and rear drum brakes, the A posts will be rotten but almost every repair panel is available from Walloth Nesch in Germany, they are rising in value every day, worth putting away for a while and gathering parts for a future restoration or look for a better shell………..a far nicer car than the 6 series imho, Pat (UK)

  9. cptndon

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned the TRIPLE WEBERS!
    They’re probably worth more than the car.

  10. alan

    Yup! Those rockers were someones attempt to start a cover up. The rockers normally have a screwed on panel coated in black body shutz.

  11. tje

    Rust bucket. Floor pan has some dicey looking ‘repairs’.

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