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Selling on Saturday Evening

1972 BMW 3.0 CS

  • The E9 body style was a limited production model
  • 1 of a purported 450 cars produced for the U.S. market
  • Equipped with factory air-conditioning
  • 3.0L/190 HP inline six-cylinder engine

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BMW returned to six-cylinder power for its top-of-the-range models in 1968 with the launch of the 2500 and 2800 sedans together with the stylish 2800 CS coupé. Designated 'E9', the latter was powered by the 2800 sedan's M30 engine, though it's running gear had more in common with the existing four-cylinder 2000C/CS. The 2800 CS's replacement by the similarly styled 3.0-litre CS in 1971 brought with it numerous improvements, including four-wheel disc brakes in place of the old disc/drum combination. With plenty of power on tap, the 3.0 CS was good for more than 130 miles per hour. The E9 moved BMW up to directly challenge the fastest sports cars in the world. Successful competition appearances include the European Touring Car Championship ('73, '75, '76, '77, '78 and finally '79 – some years out of E9 production) and class victories at Le Mans, Spa, and Daytona. These triumphs had coincided with the growth of some of BMW's most significant tuning partners; Schnitzer Motorsports and, of course, Alpina.

With the announcement of the new 3.0-litre, six-cylinder range in 1971, BMW refined the existing six-cylinder 2.8 cars while retaining many of their most successful features. The sporting and elegant two-door coachwork reflected strong Bertone influence while Karmann reworked the chassis which now incorporated most of the suspension parts from the luxury 3.0-litre sedans. The 2,986cc, six-cylinder, single overhead camshaft engine now developed approximately 190 HP at 5,800 rpm for 1972 U.S. spec cars while power for the CS models was transmitted through a four-speed manual gearbox. The supremely stylish coupé coachwork was built by Karmann and, in the configuration of the car offered, a top speed of 131 mph was on tap with 0-60 mph acceleration in just 8 seconds.

This fabulous 3.0 CS combines this fantastic sporting DNA with Wilhelm Hofmeister's fabulous Teutonic styling. The trunk affixed CS badge stands for Coupé Sport, indicating the sporting intentions of this beautiful two-door hardtop. Beautifully finished in Chamonix (white), named after Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps. This highly desirable BMW is one of approximately 450 3.0 CS models produced for the U.S. market. As a U.S.-edition, E9 3.0 CS, this BMW is one of the rare examples delivered with a much-preferred four-speed manual gearbox as well as the desirable carbureted six-cylinder engine. This made the 3.0 an excellent choice for cruising the back roads or comfortable enough for long-haul road trips.

Benefiting from decades of proper care, this rare CS is highly original, as opposed to having been taken apart and restored. This condition is much sought-after by many enthusiasts but rarely exists. The car appears to have received a quality paint refinishing many years ago that at a glance looks to be original but is indeed a gracefully patinaed repaint. The brightwork and trim are in great condition, having aged at the same rate, but both paint and trim present well.

The interior is highly original with some light character marks in the rich, blue leather that are another indication of the well-preserved state of this rare car. The interior wood trim is just starting to show some aging, adding to the charm of this Bavarian beauty. At some point, the car acquired a period-correct three-spoke wood steering wheel that complements the cabin’s elegant design. The jack and tool kit still reside in the trunk. Factory air-conditioning, power steering, and power brakes all add to the comfort and enjoyment while driving this classic BMW.

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