Last post on Mar 10, 2000 at 7:12 PM
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Aug 02, 1999 (10:57 pm)
Mr. Shiftright is correct that you can get buried quickly with one of the sedans if something goes wrong because they are a fraction of the value of one of the coupes. I have heard that the rust is not as bad an issue with the sedans vs. coupe as the sedan was actually constructed by BMW (vs. Karmann for the coupe), and that the method of construction for the sedan was such that water entrapment was not the same. Thus, they did not rust as badly (though rust could still be an issue). The Sedan and coupes shared pretty much the same mechanical and some trim components, so if you do decided to get a coupe, sourcing some of the parts (mechanical) will be OK. Most interior trim and exterior panels are another thing though.
Dec 26, 1999 (7:41 pm)
Well, I don't know as I would call the 3.0CS a "classic", since the buying public generally ignores the car in terms of wanting to pay any decent money for one (not a good sign for classic status), but I personally like them and think they are very nice cruising cars.
The biggest snag, aside from the rust issue, is that this is a 1970s BMW, and as such it's not going to thrive in sub-zero weather and it's not going to be a good snow car, either. Then, too, the car is complex and repairs and parts are relatively expensive, say compared to an MBG, which is cheap to own and simple to fix. Of course, an MGB isn't a swell winter car either.
As was mentioned above, you will be buried in the car financially, with no hope of profiting or even breaking even when it comes times to sell. It's not going to be as reliable as a Porsche SC either.
Had you thought perhaps of a 1967-72 Saab 96 V-4. Very funky and fun styling, extremely rugged, and great in snow...also cheap to buy. Or a 544 Volvo humpback? Or what about a Porsche SC? They can be had in decent condition within the 12.5K range, which is about asking price for a restored 3.0CS, and really it's a much better car overall for a newcomer to tackle.
Dec 27, 1999 (6:13 pm)
well my dad always tells me he wants to give me his sc because I take such good care of it. He has said this a lot and has recently become interested in a classic Maserati so he has been pushing this idea more and more. While I'm flattered I don't know if an 18 year old driving a 911 is such a good idea. Its not the skill required because I've driven the car a lot and have gone to high-peformance driving schoools. The thing is a classic bimmer does not have the same stigma that owning a Porsche might entail. I truly appreciate the car for its excellent engineering but others might see it as a rich kid driving a porsche. While this stereotype couldn't be farther from the truth, it could easily be seen since most 911's look the same to the untrained eye--whether they cost 15 grand or 60 grand. It's not that I really care what they think but the car might send the wrong message..?
My dad would like the Volvo 544 idea but its not that sporty, ditto with the Saab.
We now are looking into BMW 325iX's as a compromise between performance desires and practicality. Obviously this is not a classic but if I can not find a classic car that fits me its the only other choice.
Dec 27, 1999 (6:45 pm)
Oh, don't think that the Volvo 544 isn't fun if you haven't driven one. They are one of the most fun old cars to drive, and if the engine is healthy they are pretty peppy. Also IPD up in Portland offers performance mods.
I see your point about the 911, yes, although driving an old BMW may elicit a similar response, I don't know. Hard to predict. I guess I just don't see a 3.0CS as an everyday car. They tend to overheat, the carbs are a nuisance in hot weather, etc, whereas the 911 is dead-reliable.
See if you can find a Volvo 544 and drive it. You may be surprised, and you will definitely have the coolest car around.
#48 of 53 Coupe for College
Dec 28, 1999 (7:42 pm)
A coupe in the Northeast for an everyday driver, including in the winter, may not be a good bet. I owned a 3.0 CS for 4 1/2 years, and just loved my car. They rust badly and I would not recommend a coupe for driving in the winter, especially if the roads are salted. It was bad enough here in California. Most coupe owners try to stay out of the rain for the same reason! Most east coast coupe owners keep their cars garaged in the winter months if they care enough about the car. On prices for coupes, they are all over the board depending on condition. You can get a pretty nice one between $12.5-$15,000. Repairs are expensive as are parts. The original Zenith carbs are a problem, but a switch to Webers (about $1,000) cures the carb ills. Overheating can be a problem, but solved mine with a new and larger radiator. The Porsche sounds like a good bet to me. The Volvo might be fun too.
Mar 08, 2000 (8:06 pm)
I found a perfect 3.0cs in California and am thinking of a cross country venture back to New York in the car.
It seems nicely priced for the condition of the car and the work the owner put into it.
The car is pictured at this site:
check it out and tell me what you think...
Mar 08, 2000 (8:33 pm)
Looks pretty nice, even though he has altered the car. But in this case, alteration is probably a good thing, not a bad one, since the 3.0CS is not going to increase wildly in value. It's one of those "classics" that is probably worth more with all its problems fixed than left original. As long as the body and interior haven't been cobbled, that is.
I guess about all I could advise is looking over the body very carefully for rust/bondo/welding, and getting some documentation on this "rebuilt engine". If it isn't documented, I would not presume it is true. This doesn't mean the engine is no good, but only that you should judge it and treat it as an old used engine, not presume it is rebuilt like the guy says. To many people, "rebuilt" is when you take the head off...to me, "rebuilt" means "returned to factory spec in all particulars".
Looks from here like a very nice car, but give it a good lookover. As the saying goes "an old German car can eat money like a whale eats krill."
#51 of 53 CS? Daily driver? Please.
Mar 09, 2000 (8:34 pm)
CS is a beautiful car and it is
easy to get misty-eyed.
However, unless you find the proverbial
time capsule vehicle for $5,000 stay away
from them. Run, don't walk.
If the car has significant visible rust,
don't buy it. If you buy any CS without
having it put on a lift and given a thorough
investigation with rocker covers removed
and all rugs pulled out you should
All cars designed in the late 60's were
rust buckets and 3.0CS is one of the worst
If you are looking for a classic car,
either buy a "divorce car" of a particular
type and model, or, buy a "great deal" -
whatever that car may be - TR-7, MGB, Alfa,
Fiat, BMW, etc.
Dollar for dollar, driving vs. posing,
substance vs. image, the BMW E3 sedans are
a far better value than the coupes.
Mar 09, 2000 (11:20 pm)
Nobody knows the children like the father.
Yeah, rust is such a problem with the CS, you have to be very careful. Sometimes it can be artfully hidden, too. A badly rusted car is practically worthless.
#53 of 53 "practically worthless"
Mar 10, 2000 (7:12 pm)
I bought a CS for $1000 in NJ in late 95.
Turned out to be horribly rusted. Bought
three more parts cars since to make one
car out of the four of them.
I have spent part of the past 3 years
scraping and saving to do the do the car
on "a budget", a word which the initiated
will know is absolutely ludicrous.
I'll be in the pot for about $13k
total (net), not to mention countless
Doing it slowly means that when the car
is finally done, it will just the
way you want it. Car is done "right"
and will have plenty of goodies.
I will have a bare metal restoration of
one of the most gorgeous cars of the
Would I do it all over again?