Monday, March 16, 2015

Show Car Sunday/Monday returns with a lovely little sapphire delivered by L.A. Rob

BMW E9 3.0CS
Some cars are so beautiful that they instantly make every other ride in the parking lot look like a dumpy clunker. The car featured today is just that; a 1971-'72 BMW 3.0 CS as discovered by L.A. Rob in the automotive nursery of Southern California. I say '71-'72 because starting in '73 the U.S. cars had larger bumpers due to safety regulation.
This fresh little number is a step in the evolution of the E9 series for BMW, which ran from '68-'75. There were 16 different variants, each with monikers starting in either 3.0 or 2800 depending on engine size. From there on it's a matter of CS, CSA, CSI, and so on (listing them all would guarantee a nap for the reader). The paint we're looking at here is most likely Bermuda Blue, but in classic BMW minutiae they offered 12 different shades of blue(!). One gets the impression that BMW does what it does so well that they just expound on a theme ad infinitum.
My guess is that this was a car originally designated for the U.S. as these rear side marker lights weren't on the German edition in '71-'72. The wheels are aftermarket replacements but the owner stuck with heritage in that they are from BMW. The original wheels on these rides are a nice blend of classy and sporty though that it's kind of a shame to see these.
These steering wheels without the BMW logo in the center seem to be only for 2002s and 3.0s of this vintage. It's interesting to note that even though the gearshift is in the console there is a rectangular attachment on the top of the steering column that displays the gear you're in.
It is a busy console though, with power window switches, ventilation knobs, and the radio all sharing a tight space with the shifter. If this were a manual transmission car it would be even more desirable.
That round plastic knob on the door panel opens the small vent window with a few cranks. Looks like genuine wood on the panel due to the wear of the finish.
The seats look like they've been freshened up on this ride.
Fit, finish, and paint are all great, as is the chrome. These rides can sell in the $15,000-$25,000 range easily, especially in this condition.
We'll wrap it up here with a shot of the vent grills that look very much like attachments for hair clippers. Due to the tight spacing and conspicuous nature of taking pictures in a parking lot we weren't lucky enough to get a pic of the front, but no matter. I would absolutely love to own one of these beauties! In the early to mid '70s these cars were serious contenders in all manner of European track racing, usually with an enormous wing and spoiler attached. However, it's just these everyday versions that remain within reach of the normal buying public. For the price of a 5 year old Honda you can be riding in style!

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