1973 BMW 3.0 CS / E9 Coupe 360HP 6-Speed Full Restoration

  Stock #1129   10,600 Miles on Full Build/Restoration   Chamonix White on CSL Black Corduroy Interior   6-Speed Manual Transmission   Clean and Clear California Title   BMWCCA Member Owner
Available Soon

BMW’s CS/E9 line was produced from the late ’60s to the mid ’70s.  Production numbers were limited and prices were very high.  These were exclusive cars to own.  However, time has generally not been kind to these cars.  The bodies were built at the Karmann factory and prone to rust.  If that didn’t destroy them, expensive and limited parts in the earlier years made them prohibitive to maintain properly.  Plus, the U.S. only received a small number of those produced.  The restoration costs are expensive when done right.  However, the stock models were generally less inspiring to drive with less than adequate gearboxes and generally underpowered.

This E9 lived the majority of its life in Northern California.  It was originally delivered new as an Agave Green 3.0CS with tan leather.  The first owner kept the car for 8-years and used it as a daily driver.  It was sold to Mr. Jack Meltesen of Mill Valley, California on October 6th, 1981 with 94k-miles.  Meltesen kept this BMW for 30-years.  Most of the service was with Bill Arnold BMW Repair in San Rafael, California.  The current owner found this BMW in 2011.  He had been looking for a decent straight and dry survivor for many years.  He felt that this would be a good start for a special project.

This example was the brainchild of a long time BMW enthusiast who wanted to build a high quality example in the vein of what Singer does with 911s.  He wanted all the beautiful looks of the original design, but with modern performance, capabilities and comfort.  The goal was to build something that could easily be driven daily as well as on long distance vintage touring events while preserving the classic original design.  He employed some of the most talented specialists in the industry to help him achieve this dream.

The current owner flew up to Northern California, jump started the car, paid for it, and drove it back to Southern California to begin the build.  He delivered it to a local vintage BMW specialist who trained under the expert eye of Carl Nelson at La Jolla Independent.  Towards the end, Chris Castro came on board to help with the final bits and sorting.  Highlights of the build include:

  • Disassemble and catalog parts
  • Paint and body by John Esposito
    • Strip to bare metal
    • Repair any rust areas
    • Make the gaps uniform with proper shut lines
    • Prep body for paint
    • Glasurit paint
  • Drivetrain build:
    • Sourced from 2001 BMW M3 with 94k-miles
      • Drivetrain removed and fully inspected by Bullet Performance
      • S54 3.2L straight engine
      • Replaced rod bearings
      • Vanos rebuilt
      • Cam bolts
      • Valves adjusted and shimmed
      • High pressure oil system
      • Routine inspections and preventative maintenance
    • Getrag 6-speed transmission
    • Custom fit drivetrain to chassis
    • Reprogram S54 DME to Euro E46 CSL specifications by RK Tunes
    • Dyno results 360 (DIN) HP @ 7,900 rpm / 273 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
    • Rebuilt S54 driveshaft
    • S54 headers and custom stainless exhaust system by Castro Motorsport
    • Engine wiring harness from Euro M Coupe
    • Reinforcements for differential mounts
    • High performance aluminum radiator
    • Castro Motorsport custom cold air intake system
  • Interior upholstery by Juan Ortiz
    • Refinished factory wood trim using real French walnut in satin finish
      • Woodwork done by old Italian cabinet maker
    • Rebuild CSL Scheel-style sport bucket seats using leather and corduroy
    • 911 hood shocks for tilting seat mechanism
    • Restore factory center console
    • CSL steering wheel
    • New black headliner and visors
    • Refinished door panels using factory parts
    • Square weave carpet
    • Custom Cocomats
    • Side inlet grills customized as rear speaker grilles
    • Restore package tray
  • Other Interior details
    • Restore all gauges
    • Custom speedometer to work off of GPS
    • Custom tachometer to work off of digital signal
    • New electric window motors
    • Rewired hidden “M-Mode” button and light
    • Bluetooth stereo from vintage Becker radio
    • Custom fabricated air conditioning
      • Dual system with front and rear blowing systems
      • Controlled with one control knob
    • New heater core and rebuilt heater system
  • Exterior details
    • Custom fit E34 Ellipsoid headlights
    • All new rubber and seals
      Factory badging
    • All trim and glass replaced or restored
    • Alpina-style 16” wheels (new)
  • Suspension/Chassis
    • Custom Bilstein coil over suspension system
    • CSL sport springs
    • Modified Ireland Engineering sway bars
    • Custom Brembo big brake kit from E46 CSL
    • Powdercoated all suspension parts
    • All new suspension parts and bushings
    • Camber plates

For the last 5-years/10k-miles, the current owner enjoyed driving this BMW on various vintage touring events as well as around the Los Angeles area.  Fine tuning and service support was provided by vintage BMW specialists.  Highlights of routine and recent services include:

  • Regular oil services and fluid flushes
  • Replaced fuel injectors
  • New fuel pump, filter, and pressure regulator
  • New Starter
  • Toyo Proxes R tires (205/55-16 front and 225/50-16 rear)
  • Fresh clutch
  • Rebuilt Vanos system and valve adjustment
  • Complete rework of the A/C system including new center console area.

Shortly after finishing this build, some of the top automotive media outlets approached the owner to feature his CSL.  Sure there has been plenty of modern engine swapped builds that have happened over the years.  In fact, Alpina based its business on this philosophy.  So why this build?  The elegant restraint used to capture the essence of the design while giving it a cohesive upgrade that works was the inspiration for this project.  The execution subtly showcases the classic Italian designed body while cleanly integrated the upgrades in a very minimalistic approach.  Once completed, features included Bimmer Magazine and Petrolicious.  However, the best article came from Mike Burroughs of Stanceworks.  He really captured the essence of this idea:


The exterior of the car is exquisite.  It doesn’t scream, “look at me,” but rather just looks confidently classy.  When the project started, I wasn’t quite onboard with the choice of Chamonix for the exterior.  However, I really get it now.  It fits the gentleman sleeper style.  The paint looks fantastic and shows very light wear.  There are a few minor chips on the front from use.  However, they are barely noticeable as they’ve been expertly touched up.  The gaps and shut lines are insanely good.  These cars never had body panels that fit this well. No filler or bondo was used.  The glass fits nicely and all the rubber is new.  All the exterior lights work properly.  The wheels have no curb rash or other blemishes and are wearing near new/full tread tires.  The ride height/stance is spot on as it has an aggressive look, but not too low.  The simple and clean bumpers fit nicely and all the chrome sparkles.

The interior is equally as nice and looks barely used.  The owner secured a complete rare factory CSL interior to help create a blend of old and new inside the cabin.  Juan Ortiz is the upholstery maestro and worked his magic to make the interior look original and correct.  The CSL Scheel buckets are wrapped in period-correct leather with the proper corduroy inserts.  They show no signs of use.  The rear seats have the same finish and also look fresh.  Hood grills were incorporated on the parcel shelf to hide what looks like speaker grills, but are actually the A/C vents.  The square weave Porsche 356 carpet is one of the best German vintage carpets around and looks perfect with the rest of the interior.  The CSL door panels fit nicely and show no wear.  The dash has no cracks or warping.  All of the gauges work properly.  All the power windows work.  The “M” button is hidden with an activation light behind the speaker grill.  The satin finish on the Italian Walnut wood trim provides a warm accent to the monochromatic interior.  There is a hidden Bluetooth system that plays off of any media player.  The A/C system is incorporated into the factory knobs and vents so it looks factory stock but works much better.  However, cooling off this greenhouse is a tough job if it’s been sitting outside.  The execution of the interior build is incredible making it a wonderfully comfortable place to be on long rally drives.

Of course, the driving experience is insane.  When you crank the key and the engine barks to life, there’s no smoking and the car purrs at an even idle.  The throttle response is immediate and it builds power evenly throughout the rev range with no hesitation.  The power delivery is incredible and most are surprised how fast this E9 really is.  Fortunately, the massive calipers easily harness this power and scrub speed at an alarming rate with no fading or pulling.  The transmission shifts silky smooth with a confidence-inspiring “click” as each gear is selected.  There is no slipping, hesitation, or grinding.  Thankfully, the CSL upgraded suspension makes this E9 feel considerably smaller than it is.  The handling is nicely balanced to the power with just the right amount of power steering boost in tight spaces while providing some steering weight as speed is applied.  There is tons of grip when you need it, or simply mash the throttle and you can have your own drift party.

This BMW E9 is extremely well-sorted, serviced, and ready for any adventure

California is current and it is exempt from California’s smog test.

This BMW comes with two sets of keys (5 individual keys in total), original owner’s manuals with plastic cover, original tool kit with trunk lid mounted tool holder, jack, lug wrench, full size original spare wheel with tire, documentation of build, magazine feature copy, records going back to 1981, and original dash speaker grill in matching wood finish.

**Note: VIN and other numbers withheld to protect against fraud.  All numbers including VIN, Engine, and color will be provided to serious buyers.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paul at 714-335-4911 or paul@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 $170 document and admin fee. The vehicle listed is described to the best of our ability. The information is based on our own research and statements made to us by the previous owner(s). To the best of our knowledge, the above information is accurate. 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 welcome all local pre-purchase inspections on vehicles in order to verify their condition. For payment, we accept bank transfers, cashier’s checks, or cash. Check’s take up to 10-business days to clear. Vehicle and title will be held until all funds are cleared and verified. Bank transfers usually only take 24 hours.