The BMW 3.0CS is a favorite amongst BMW faithful and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a stunning looking thing, a design that’s been revered since its inception in 1971. The 3.0CS was basically just a 2800CS whose engine had been bored out to give it a 3.0 liter displacement. It was then fitted with twin carburettors and pumped out 180hp. That may only be ten more horsepower than a current Volkswagen Passat 1.8t, but in 1971, that was a big deal. It could get to 60mph in around eight seconds and had a top speed of 130mph.
Of course, there was the 3.0CSi, which came later and was fuel injected to give it 200hp. But there’s something so wonderful about the feel and sound of a carburetted engine. If you’re going to go and buy a classic car, buy one that feels classic. And if you’re in the market for a BMW 3.0CS, does this one tickle your fancy?
This particular model is a 1972 BMW 3.0CS in Euro specification, meaning it has the European bumpers, CSL wheel arches and higher compression pistons. This example is absolutely stunning, in its gorgeous Verona Red color over black leather interior. It’s in excellent condition, despite having quite a long life. It’s had five owners in the past, though they are all documented and have the mileage given for each. It’s been completely restored as well, in 2004, and almost looks like it just rolled off the assembly line in 1972.
Now, this car isn’t a perfect numbers-matching classic. It’s had a transmission swap done, from an automatic to a 5-speed manual, an A/C blower motor fitted in the trunk and a new stereo head-unit. So while it isn’t the perfect collector’s car, I actually think it’s more appealing than a perfect example. It isn’t perfect, so it can be driven…a lot. Which is what these cars are meant to do. BMW’s aren’t meant to sit in a garage under a cover, waiting for their owner to find the right time to sell. No, BMW’s are meant to be driven hard, rev high and clip apexes. So while this car isn’t absolutely perfect, it looks incredible, is mechanically sound and can be driven hard. So it’s better than perfect.
The only problem I can see is with the price. At $58,000, this 3.0CS isn’t cheap. You can get a lightly used 2014 640i coupe for that kind of money. However, if you can afford to buy this 3.0CS, you’ll probably get more pleasure out of owning it than you would a 2014 640i. It’s a wonderful car and one all BMW fans would feel lucky to own. So, is this 3.0CS with its long history, restoration and modifications worth its steep price tag?