It is odd how many great cars go almost wholly forgotten by the collective memory of the automotive enthusiast community; truly wonderful cars like the Jaguar Mark X/420G, the Volvo P1800, and the BMW 3.0 CS and Bavaria. Incredibly desirable and possessing plenty of cachet, each of these cars represent an epiphany in their respective manufacturer’s histories. For the 3.0 CS, that epiphany was accompanied by a period of motorsports dominance and critical acclaim that BMW really hadn’t known until then. One of the best looking BMWs arguably ever produced, the E9 (BMW’s internal name for the two door coupe platform) was also largely responsible for rendering the German brand into its modern, driver-oriented image. Offering between 180 and 200 horsepower (180 being the power rating for the carburetor-equipped, 9:1 compression ratio CS, 200 for the fuel injected and 9.5:1 squeezing CSi), and being considered one of the best suspended cars of the time, it was a true pleasure to drive. I can personally vouch for this, having had the pleasure of operating one of these fine vehicles on a few occasions. Sounding glorious, the 3.0L inline six is a real gem of an engine, but for the modern driver, it will be the effortlessly graceful manner in which the car conducts its business combined with the ridiculously excellent visibility afforded by the spidery pillars and huge windows that will really impress.
Of course, that’s only when they’re working… not that they’re terribly unreliable. In fact, if you ever have a chance to delve into the mechanics of one, they’re thoroughly impressive. Again, personal experience tells me that the drivetrains are amazingly robust (I’ve seen one come back to life and move down the road in 10 minutes after sitting untouched for two decades), but the running gear and electrics can be a little finicky as the suspension, steering, and brakes are as complicated as they needed to be to set a new standard for the world. However, that isn’t the bad news: here in BC, these things have a nasty habit of turning to dust. Partly the contemporary steel and partly the stupidly solid way in which they were made facilitates thirty years’ worth of moisture working its way into every nook and cranny without the possibility of drainage. The sills and quarters are particularly targeted by the process of oxidation. Also, any potential buyer should also take a quick gander at the interior, as trim pieces can be somewhat hard to locate. With just two pictures available of this particular silver example, it’s impossible to truly tell its condition, but it looks pretty decent and is just one 267 CS’ to roll off the line in ’74, making it an excellent (and classy) way to jump into the Bimmer club.