HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: Is this the last affordable BMW E9?

Pick of the Day: Is this the last affordable BMW E9?

OK, it has an automatic transmission, but don’t let you from enjoying such a car


Of all the cars that BMW has built since launching its own  branded car in 1932, one of the most beautiful has been the E9 coupes. Built from 1968 through 1975, these stunning GT cars have all the style and elegance you could want, combined with strong performance and a winning reputation on the race track.

I’ve owned them myself and, ss with all things in the classic car world that are beautiful, well built, and strong performers they have become legendary and much sought after by collectors.

Sadly, this also means that they tend to cost quite a bit of money.

However, in perusing the advertisements on ClassicCars.com, I found what might just be the last affordable E9 coupe available, so I’ve made it the Pick of the Day, a 1974 BMW 3.0 CS finished in Verona Red over a Sand Beige leather interior. 

BMW, Pick of the Day: Is this the last affordable BMW E9?, ClassicCars.com Journal

The Beverly Hills, California-based dealer offering this BMW describes it as a gorgeous and mechanically sound 3.0 CS with an automatic transmission. The ad does not feature a lot of info but does state that this car comes with receipts totaling more than $2,000 for a correct interior refit.

There is quite a lot to be careful about when buying an E9 coupe and the first, second, and third things to look for are rust, rust, and more rust. For whatever reason these coupes tend to rust in some of the oddest places. So besides the usual places ,such as shock towers, rocker panels, and floors, E9 coupes rust their cowls out. I have been told that this is due somewhat to the material BMW used to cover the cowl area can trap water behind it. 

You do not ever want to buy a E9 with a rusty cowl unless you enjoy lighting $100 bills on fire at the same time you are beating yourself in the head with a hammer. If they are rusted badly, you likely will discover rust everywhere else as well.

BMW, Pick of the Day: Is this the last affordable BMW E9?, ClassicCars.com Journal

On the other hand, these are basically bulletproof mechanically, using the BMW M30 SOHC straight six, spiritually the BMW equivalent of the Chevy small block. These engines are overbuilt and can live for hundreds of thousands of miles with routine servicing. Consider that the M30 engine in this car is a 3.o-liter, and the same engines later were bored out to 3.5 for us in in BMW’s 6 Series and still were under stressed.

The cars other mechanical components are pretty simple and available should they need to be replaced. The interior being redone on this car is a nice bonus.

The many pictures of this 3.0 CS appear to show a car that, while not a show car, looks to be an excellent example of a driver-level vehicle Arriving in one of these elegant coupes makes even a trip to the grocery store seem like an occasion. 

BMW really got it right in the design and BMW fan young and old love and appreciate these coupes.

The asking price for this specific car is a low $44,500. That is likely due to it having an automatic and not a more desirable manual gearbox. 

Many people will tell you that the manual is a better car but, in all honesty, the E9 coupes, with the exception of the 3.0CSL, are GT cars and I find no issue with a GT car having an automatic. Sure, the manual is more desirable, but the price difference between just does not make sense. 

Buy this one and be the guy that owns one of these cars, not the guy who doesn’t but goes out of his way to tell you the manual is better. Besides, how would they know? They don’t own one, but you can.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


    • My 8 year old 3.0 CS was auto., I had earlier (& foolishly!) refused a pristine Bavaria for same reason, the E9 remained great GT even with the automatic – cut my Ottawa-Toronto trip in half (still autobahn engineering), came within 1 point of losing my license (I was younger), road tripped 5 of us with luggage to Myrtle Beach from Ottawa (we were younger) & later to 🇨🇦 Maritimes. Some cars need stick., this isn’t 1 of ’em. F1, Ferrari & Lamborghini have all moved on from manuals, y’know. Predictably it was rust what got it, transmission was fine.


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