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1974 BMW (E9) 3.0 CS

1974 BMW (E9) 3.0 CS

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Details

Price: SOLD

Mileage: 40,000 Miles

Engine: M30 Inline 6-Cylinder Engine (3.3-liter Conversion)

Transmission: 4-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Baikal Blue Metallic Exterior (042)

Interior: Tan Leather Interior

Additional features:

Original Options:

—Power Sunroof

—Power Windows

—Limited Slip Differential

Complete Mechanical Restoration by Korman Autoworks

3.3-Liter Korman BMW Stage 2 Dyno-Tuned M30 Engine (250 HP)

Balanced and Blueprinted

Lightened Rods

Ported and Polished Intake and Head

Triple Weber DCOE Carburetors

Ported and Polished Weber Intake Manifold

Schrick 282 Cam

Stahl Headers

Spin-On Oil Filter Conversion

Krinkle Finish on Valve Cover

Solid State Electric Ignition

Electric Fuel Pump

Lightweight Flywheel

Heavy Duty Clutch

Short Shift Kit

Korman Roadsport Suspension (Bilsteins, Springs, Larger Sway Bars)

Stainless Steel Brake Lines

Original Window Sticker

Original Bill of Sale

Older Repaint in Good Condition

Excellent Reupholstered Front Seats

All Documentation Since Restoration Included

14” FPS BMW Wheels

Michelin Harmony All Seasons Tires

Illinois / North Carolina / Colorado Car

3-Owner Documented Car

Background

1974 BMW (E9) 3.0 CS exterior photo

The legendary E9 coupe was one of the most significant models in BMW history. It marked a turning point for BMW that saw its transformation from a struggling German marque to a dominant force in both the luxury sedan market and motorsport with the genesis of BMW M with the 3.0 CSL. The CS stood for sport coupe, and offered an athletic alternative to Mercedes, without compromising luxury. The E9 was an evolution of the Bertone-influenced “new-class” coupes and can thank its graceful lines to Wilhelm Hofmeister. Regarded as one of the most beautiful BMWs ever, the Karmon-built coachwork had purpose underlying its design. The long hood housed a 3-liter engine that propelled the coupe confidently well beyond 120 miles per hour, thanks in part to its relatively light 3100 pound weight. BMW described the E9 in terms of formal attire; “The missing B-pillar and small window posts accentuate its light weight, but conceal, as in the case of a true gentleman, what is hidden beneath the sheet metal tuxedo.” An advanced Macpherson / rear semi-trailing arm suspension allowed handling that was unmatched by the E9’s contemporaries. This contributed to the 3.0 CSL’s domination of both the European Touring Car Championship and DTM predecessor Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft. The same group of engineers responsible for the 3.0 CSL’s success went on to become BMW M GmbH.

Summary

 exterior photo

This 1974 3.0 CS in Baikal Blue Metallic over tan leather is an excellent example. I would describe it as a Hagerty Grade 3+ car using their definition standards. This is thanks to its documented history, an older high-quality repaint, and a comprehensive mechanical restoration with significant performance upgrades by E9 specialists Korman Autoworks. It was imported by Matt Hoffman of Hoffman Motors Corporation and sold to the first owner by Capital Chrysler-Plymouth of Springfield, Illinois on May 10, 1974. The original window sticker and bill of sale are included with the records. The actual purchase price before tax was $14,611.05 ($73,500 in today’s money)! A recall letter from BMW of North America and a dealer service voucher for vehicles “equipped with power-operated window systems” (recall 77V-066) is included from the original owner. Another bill of sale shows it going to the second owner in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana on December 29, 1978 with 8,188 miles for a purchase price of $16,000. It remained with that owner for the next thirty-one years. In 2001, it underwent the mechanical restoration by Korman Autoworks that was nearly $30,000 and took 168 hours in labor to complete. This included a blueprinted and balanced Korman 3.3-liter Stage 2 motor (built from the original motor) that produces 250 horsepower—40 more than the original 3.0 CSL. In addition to the engine, the restoration included a heavy duty clutch, short shifter, and an upgraded suspension. Since coming to Colorado it has been owned by an E9 enthusiast who drove it regularly, but sparingly. We are selling on consignment for him to start the next chapter in its story.

Impressions

1974 BMW (E9) 3.0 CS exterior photo

At rest, the 3.0 CS is a beautiful car. It does not have a bad angle. The pale hue of Baikal Blue shows subtle bodyline creases that are omitted by other colors. Even when parked, the 3.0 CS implies motion. Your eyes cannot help but flow from the shark nose through the long hood, into the airy green house to exit at the overhanging crease in the trunk. A full-length beltline accent strip with integrated door handles guides your eyes over subtle fender flares, side grills, and under a C-pillar mounted Roundel emblem aft of Mr. Hofmeister’s kink. The 1974 model year U.S. market crash bumpers are akin to graffiti on fine art, but the 3.0 CS is so attractive that they are forgiven. The first thing I would do would be to replace them with earlier bumpers, or simply remove them. Open the door and the driving quarters have an open, spacious feel thanks to slender pillars and copious glass. Soft tan leather and thickly woven brown carpet wonderfully contrast the light blue exterior. A tiered dashboard with wooden inlays adds a classic theme, but a 150 mile-per-hour speedometer makes no mistake this is a driver’s car. Fire the engine and there are no external clues that it is a built motor. The idle is not lumpy like some cam’ed engines, and the exhaust note is very quiet—perhaps too quiet. It is not made clear until the open road that the full potential of the Korman 3.3-liter breathing though one carburetor barrel per cylinder can be realized. I have to admit that when I first drove this car I didn’t know about the upgraded motor and may have uttered a few profanities in shock of how fast a “stock” 3.0 CS was. The intake noise through the triple Weber carburetors is intoxicating. Legal highway speed limits can be reached in second gear, and I am confident that the top speed is well above the published 128 miles per hour. The E9’s lack of weight is felt most in the corners, where the Korman improvements allow composure that should not be possible from a luxury car of this vintage. It doesn’t take long behind the wheel to realize why the 3.0 CSL was so successful in competition.

Exterior

1974 BMW (E9) 3.0 CS exterior photo

I strive to be extremely critical of our cars, good and bad. The Baikal Blue paint is in very good condition. It is an older repaint, but it looks original (in a good way). The only clues are discrete paint lines on the inner fenders and an area of lifting paint inside the engine bay on the left front fender. It is only visible with the hood open. I paint gauged the entire vehicle and it was consistent between 11 and 13 mils. A paint gauge report is posted in the pictures. Overall the paint condition is very good, but close examination does reveal minor imperfections. The worst are small nicks and chips on the passenger side door and rear fender. They look to be caused by the door of a car parked too closely in the garage. The right rear fender has a few chips, too. The sunroof panel has a few small scuffs on the upper surface. There is also a visible ripple in the roof surface behind the right rear corner of the sunroof panel. There is one small rust spot in the left rocker panel well below the paint line, just aft of the left front wheel. It is only visible from beneath. All trim is intact and in good condition. The metal finish of the rear bumper is slightly cloudy if viewed in direct sunlight. The trunk Roundel emblem has slight fading in the white paint (easily replaced). The headlight, indicator, and brake light lenses are in good condition and crack-free. The windshield glass has no cracks, and the side window and rear glass are in good shape. There is slight glazing on the windshield under the wiper travel arcs. The wheels have no bends and no curb rash and the center caps are present with good Roundel emblems. There are a few marks on the passenger side rear wheel from wheel weight mounting. The tires are Michelin Harmony all seasons with good tread remaining.

Interior

 interior photo

Overall the tan leather interior is an excellent shape. It is largely original except for the driver and passenger seat, which the current owner had recovered by a high-end interior shop. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpet has no stains or tears. The front seats are in perfect condition and are the most defining element in the interior. The rear seat leather is original, but very presentable. The fold down center arm rest has some discoloration on the front. Integrated rear side armrests are an intriguing design feature. The door cards are in good shape, but there is some wood panel flaking in the aft trim pieces. The driver door chrome trim strip is detaching near the forward portion, but can be tucked into the map pocket. The passenger side strip is completely detached, but included with the sale. The dashboard covering has one small crack on the driver’s side, left of the instrument cluster. The wooden dashboard inlays have multiple small cracks and flakes along the grain of the wood. The steering wheel leather is in good shape with no glaring wear or failed stitching, but there is some discoloration along the bottom edge. All instruments work except for the clock. The odometer just crossed 40,000 miles as I write this. The radio is a dated, but modern aftermarket unit, which I would replace with an updated unit or retrofitted original. All power window and sunroof functions work. The rear passenger side window takes some time to roll up, but it works. The heat blows warm and the air-conditioning blows less warm—I wouldn’t call it cold, though. The blower motor chirps at low fan speeds. There are two small stains on the headliner near the rearview mirror from toll road transponder velcro. The trunk flooring panels and trunk lid liner are present, the tool kit is complete, and the spare tire and jack are present.

Mechanical

 engine photo

All records and invoices dating back to the Korman Autoworks mechanical restoration are included with the sale. When it came to Colorado the owner had the carburetors jetted and tuned for altitude. It also had the valve cover and oil stand gaskets done. There is a canister oil-filter adapter to allow a modern oil filter. Going back further in the records it had the left rear window switch and odometer gears replaced in 2009, shortly after the current owner’s purchase. The Korman receipts are detailed and thorough, listing all items that were replaced over the nearly two year long restoration. When I took delivery of the car, I had it inspected by an old-school BMW specialist (the same person who re-jetted the carburetors in 2009) and we found no mechanical issues. The M30 fires on command, idles smoothly, and pulls strongly to redline. The transmission shifts smoothly and the shifter bushings are tight. The suspension is firm and compliant, and the brakes are strong with lots of pad thickness and rotor run-out remaining. There are no driveline or wheel bearing noises or vibrations. It passes emissions in Colorado. If taken to sea-level the carburetors will need to be re-jetted for increased air density, so plan accordingly. The tire DOT dates are from 2008, but there is no dry-rot or sidewall cracking.