1974 BMW 3.5 CSi E9 Sunroof Coupe
5-Speed Manual with Cold A/C
VIN # 4335120
Less than 1,000 Miles Since Restoration
Fjord Blue Paint on Two-Tone Ivory and Sable Leather
Tan Wilton Wool Carpets
5-speed Manual Transmission
3.5 Liter Fuel Injected Straight-6 Engine
Clean and Clear California title
Full Restoration Documentation
As early Porsche 911s continue to grow in value, we are beginning to see movement from classic BMWs. The 2002s have started to see a shift, as have the E9 coupes. Many collectors and enthusiasts are beginning to see these big coupes as a great alternative to some of the other vintage sports cars. They are extremely comfortable and have quite a few standard “luxury” items like power windows, a/c, leather, and power steering that are missing from their Stuttgart siblings. Plus, they are not only easy to drive for long touring events, but they still have that legendary BMW handling which makes them a blast in the twisties. These really are the best of both worlds and a good addition to anyone’s early German automotive collection.
Right now, the values are very attractive. However, with CSL prices exceeding the quarter-million dollar mark, the supply may not be able to keep up with the demand. The most difficult challenge with finding one of these Karmann built coupes is locating a good, dry, straight, and solid chassis. Or, as is the case with this example, someone willing to tear a car down to a bare chassis and start from scratch.
The restoration journey for this E9 began nearly 20-years ago. The owner is a West Coast vintage auto enthusiast who wanted to build a special BMW. His goal was to create something that very well could have been built by the factory as a modern day interpretation of the legendary 3.0 coupe.
The car he started with was a 1974 U.S. 3.0 CS coupe that had a dealer-installed sunroof. The car was located in Washington. He purchased the car at the end of 1995. It was then delivered to Sean Johnson of The Austin Healer in Okanogan, Washington. Sean is very well respected for his concours winning body and paintwork on classic cars. The first step was to strip the car down to a bare chassis and garnet-walnut blast the body to see where there was rust. A correct restoration of these cars involves bringing the car down to metal inside and out to eliminate rust, removing numerous body panels to expose areas that cannot otherwise be seen, and installing new panels where appropriate. In this case, any areas with rust were replaced. In all, 10 new panels were meticulously installed to assure that the car was bone dry and rust free. Furthermore, all coupes with sunroofs installed blindly drained water into the rocker panels and, therefore, have "factory installed" rust. The sunroof drains on this car were extended and externalized. The rear differential mounting area was reinforced to accommodate a more powerful drivetrain. Also, the rear shock towers were reinforced. Interior body panel seams were reinforced and seam welded. Front fenders were rolled to improve clearance for the wider factory Alpina wheels. The engine compartment mats were replaced. The body was modified to allow retrofitting with early-style bumpers. Finally, the entire unibody structure was acid etched, rust proofed, and primed. New undercoating was applied to all of the undercarriage and fender well areas. Once the bodywork was finished, the car was prepped for paint. PPG Deltron urethane two part finish paint was used. After two years of extensive work, Sean finished the body and it was delivered to the owner in a rolling chassis form.
The project was suspended for a period of seven years while the owners were living abroad. During this time the car was carefully packed away in dry storage. The project was resumed when the owners returned to the United States. Once back in the U.S., the project was reassembled in Southern California. With some finishing touches by Paul Cain (well respected early BMW enthusiast/Head Concours Judge of the Legends of the Autobahn Concours), the final details and assembly were completed.
The engine long block is a late model B35 /3.5 Liter motor from early nineties BMW 5 series, representing the last iteration of BMW’s highly efficient and legendary M30 family of in-line 6 cylinder motors. Talented engine maestro, Andy Koutsoudis of Bullet Performance in Costa Mesa, CA built the motor. Andy builds some fantastic race BMW engines for Bullet and certainly knows how to get reliable power. This engine offers the best of BMW's most modern internals with the vintage look of the original 1970's D-Jetronic injection combined with Bosch's (1990's) Motronic 1.3 engine management system allowing modern 'chipping'. After some mild Dinan tuning, this 3.5 put out a very respectable 211hp at the rear wheels.
The rear end has 3:64 limited slip differential. The ratio was chosen to better accommodate the Getrag 5-speed gearbox conversion and enhanced power train. The car moves along at 75-80 mph at relatively low rpms in 5th gear. In terms of the suspension, all suspension arms are rebuilt but stock. Front and rear spring sets are custom. They are stiffer than stock springs and are not as high as the factory springs. The result is that the coupe sits about 1 inch lower than the original (hence the reason for the rolled front fenders). The car has new performance Bilsteins all around. The brakes are rebuilt original/stock system with steel lines.
The engine bay was then detailed and sorted by Sean Casey of Casey Motorsports in Petaluma, CA. Sean took care of fixing all of the engine bay details including reworking the air-conditioning system so that it would blow ice cold.
Many of the parts for this restoration came from classic BMW guru Carl Nelson of La Jolla Independent. Carl worked with the owner to help him make sure he was buying the best quality parts for this build.
By 2010, the car was finished.
The owner was truly committed to this project. Although there were countless delays and setbacks, he never gave up on his dream on a great modern-day E9. He was fortunate to get help from some of the best people in the business. His patience and determination certainly have paid off. The end result is truly exquisite.
The car looks and drives like it just rolled out of the Bavarian factory floor. Everything is tight and feels new.
The paint job is excellent and since there are less than 1,000 miles on the car since it’s been completed, it looks like new. The factory Alpinas and European ride-height give the car just the right stance. The interior is spectacular. Supple ivory leather with sable leather accents was used throughout. All the surfaces are covered in leather. The burled wood dash compliments the two-toned interior nicely. Custom sheepskin front seat tops were made to protect the front seats while driving. The carpets are tan Wilton wool. Also, custom plaid floor and trunk mats were installed. The Nardi steering wheel was refinished to match the other wood trim in the car. The end result is a wonderful cabin that is unique and fitting to the car. The underside of the car is equally nice if not better. Everything has been either powder coated or ceramic coated. It looks like the car just rolled off of the Pebble Beach Concours lawn.
California registration is good through December 2014.
This Coupe comes with an owner’s manual, extra keys, car cover, front seat sheep covers, stacks of receipts, build photos, and a complete tool kit.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paul at 714-335-4911 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For tons of photos, go to: www.AutoKennel.com
This vehicle is sold “as-is” with no warranty, written or implied. In some cases, the vehicle does have the remaining factory warranty still in place and will be described above if that is the case. All taxes and fees are the responsibility of the buyer and are not included in the listed price. All vehicle sales will require a $65 document fee. The vehicle listed is described to the best of our ability. We are not responsible for errors in our description of options or any other details. The above-mentioned vehicle is used and can be expected to show some wear and tear. It is not a brand new vehicle. We do our best to accurately describe the vehicle. We do welcome all local pre-purchase inspections on vehicles in order to verify condition.