I have had ownership/stewardship privileges of this beautiful 1972 BMW 3.0 CS for over 7 years.
I purchased the car from Edward Lo in Seattle, and his father, who had collectively owned the car since the 1980's, and I believe were the second owners, making me the third.
I have purchased many classic cars from afar, and my general experience has been that even so-called fully-restored cars almost always have issues upon my acquisition. For that reason, I usually shy away from driving an unknown, untested vehicle for an extended distance immediately on taking possession.
However, some inner voice told me that this little coupe would do just fine on a long haul, so, on a brisk spring day back in 2008, I arrived in Seattle and took possession of my new jewel, striking off for Austin well before daybreak.
I am happy to report that, as expected, the 3.0CS performed flawlessly all the way home, and brought me safely back to Texas.
Even more surprising, I found upon detail inspection that this car needed very little attention to meet my usual picky expectations. The only physical deficiency was that the original seats were in less than perfect condition, so in short order I had them recovered locally (both front and rear, to insure exact match) with top-quality leather, duplicating the original style and feel almost exactly.
This car is just a joy to drive! The 5-speed overdrive transmission shifts flawlessly between every gear, and the synchros are perfect.. never a grind nor gear clash. The power steering is the perfect combination of light assist combined with excellent road feel. The suspension is tight and agile, and brakes are perfectly balanced and effective.
This is a European version of this model, which means the speedometer is marked in kilometers instead of miles, and the car is not burdened with the ugly US DOT-mandated 5 mph bumpers or bulging side lights:
The original Zenith carburetors have been upgraded with a trio of Weber DCOE40 side drafts, and they operate flawlessly, with no trace of the frequent Weber "dead spot" between low and high speed circuits. And, of course, the engine compartment is just a clean and flawless as the remainder of the car, and comes complete with all original-style placards and stickers. At full throttle, the glorious induction sound from those 6 Weber throats reminds me of the sound of my same-year Ferrari V12.
The car features manually operated front windows (believe me, with the notorious reputation of the original BMW electric motors, this is a plus), whilst the rear quarter windows do feature electric activation, and those function perfectly. The sunroof, as well, has the optional electric motor.
The trunk is in near-perfect condition, including all the very fragile plastic panels.
The original under-deck-lid tool kit is pretty much complete, missing only one or two tools.
The interior wood has all been refinished, and glows beautifully.
I replaced the original Becker mono radio, which functioned but had poor sound quality, with a modern but period appropriate radio/CD which fits perfectly in the existing radio opening, and creating matching wood trim panels for a professional and appropriate look. Additionally, I installed an electric antenna which operates automatically when the radio is powered on. The original Becker WILL be included in the sale to the new owner.
The car retains the beautiful wood-rimmed Nardi steering wheel with custom BMW logo, as received from the previous owners:
The exterior trim is mostly either aluminum or stainless, and all bits were either polished or rechromed (such as the bumpers) by the previous owners. As well, the coveted, expensive, and difficult to source CS wheel arch trim is in beautiful condition for all for wheel openings:
This engine has always run extremely cool. Even in the dead of Texas summer heat, I have never seen the temperature gauge venture much past the center position.
Speaking of gauges, everything works as original, (even the clock!), except for the odometer, which was not functional when I acquired the car, and I have never taken the effort to remove the speedo and have it repaired:
I did investigate installing an original-style CS air conditioner unit, in respect to Texas heat, but all my research showed these units to be notoriously ineffective, due to the very limited console space available for the evaporator. Wanting true cool air, I opted to install a modern, trunk-mounted unit (which takes negligible space in the far forward nook of the trunk), and powered by a modern Sanden compressor, using the OEM stock compressor mounting points on the lower passenger side of the engine. Air exits from outlets in the rear parcel tray, with fan speed control integrated into the center console:
Underneath the car, the condition belies the fact that I have driven this car frequently during my ownership (but only on dry, clear days, on pavement!). In typical BMW fashion, the engine never leaks a drop of oil, nor uses any. There is a very minor leak at the differential pinion seal, which my BMW shop advises to not touch.
I installed an aftermarket cruise control unit in this car shortly after purchase, and it worked fine for a couple of years but then quit functioning. Unfortunately, this particular Audiovox model has been discontinued, and I never investigated getting it going again. All the components are properly installed and connected, including a console mounted control unit, but I will have to leave it up to the next owner to decide how, or if, to resolve this.
In summary, this car represents the absolute best that BMW offered in 1972, and the last of the near-hand-built-in-Bavaria models. The appropriate (and sought after) modifications to this car only enhance its usability and value to the next level. In particular, the triple sidedraft Webers add reliability and tuneability while yielding gas mileage in the 20mpg range, and a horsepower increase to well over 200 (by projection). Additionally, the smooth shifting 5-speed manual transmission allows highway cruising at 75mph at well under 3,000 RPM.
As I have prepared this car for sales photos, I ask myself what possible reason would I want to sell this car. Honestly, I can't find an answer! It is without doubt the most beautiful and best-preserved vehicle in my small collection, but, sadly, I suffer from a life-long disability of short attention span. I always seem to be on a quest for the next unusual car, and the garages are currently full yet the bank account is not, so this car will go to the next deserving owner, leaving me on a quest to experience yet another extraordinary vehicle.
To see additional photos of this extraordinary car, please visit the following personal online galleries:
and, courtesy of Petrolicious.com:
(for best viewing, select the SLIDESHOW button in upper RH corner)
Additionally, you can read my own description of my ownership of this special car on my blog at:
In the interest of full disclosure, here are the only deficiencies I know of with this car:
- About 2 years ago, an object fell from an overhead location at my shop, and landed on the roof of the CS, just aft of the A-pillar on the driver's side. The damage was repaired professionally by my favorite classic body shop (the same shop that painted my concours '72 Ferrari 365GTC/4, later passed along to a new owner). This repair was covered by my insurance company, and as standard practice, they recorded an 'accident' against the national database for this car, which will most like show up on a Carfax report.Recently, on closer inspection of the repaired area, I have noted some very slight imperfections in the preparation underneath the paint repair (the paint itself is perfectly intact, but the underlying surface is not glass-smooth like the rest of the car). This is a very minor detail, most likely never noticeable by the casual eye, but I felt it worthy of noting
- The after-market cruise control unit does NOT function at this time
- The air conditioner system seems to have a very slow refrigerant leak which I have not been able to track down, and so requires recharging periodically. Just prior to delivery to the new owner, I will insure a fully charged system
- While the speedometer functions perfectly, the odometer does not work.
- There is a very small pin-head sized dimple in the rear trunk lid, near the trailing edge. It is too small to show in a photo, but it is there, non-the-less
I am always happy to work with the shipper of your choice to coordinate shipment to your hometown (shipping at buyer's expense, of course). Additionally, for a potential buyer who would like to inspect and drive this car first hand, I will be happy to pick you up at the Austin-Bergstrom International airport and bring you to my home for inspection (we live about 30 minutes from the airport).
I do have clear title free of any liens so a sales transaction can be made with minimum issue.
I will require a $1,000 Paypal deposit to consummate a purchase, with the balance in verifiable funds (preferably bank transfer) within 7 days.
Feel free to call my mobile phone if you have questions or want other pictures:
Phil Auldridge 512 517-0055
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