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BMW of the Week – 1973 BMW 3.0cs – BARN FIND!

BMW of the Week – 1973 BMW 3.0cs – BARN FIND!

“Barn Finds” are talked about rather frequently amongst classic car collectors, no matter their preference in automobiles.  It’s a story of driving down a country road and out of the corner of your eye you see the sun reflecting off the chrome of a car just sitting half covered in a shack.  After approaching the owner you come to find that it belonged to their grandfather and has just been “sitting there” since the 70’s . . .

This RARELY happens.  With the dawn of the internet and increased popularity of classic cars, the possibility of a car like this slipping into your fingers is almost impossible.  However, this 1973 3.0cs is a true and ultimate “Barn Find.”  As I’ve said before, I’ve seen and worked on hundreds of 3.0cs cars and this, by far, is the most amazing one I’ve ever seen.

Ceylon is one of my favorite colors, but is not liked by all.  It was orginally delivered to a family in Utah where it was hardley driven and spent most of its time garaged inside a barn on their property.  The gentleman who owned the car pasted away and left it to his grand-daughter.  The current owner begged her to sell it for over 3 years until she finally agreed.  Current mileage is 22,619.

Original engine break-in procedure sticker and emissions sticker still on the original glass with the right amount of fading and shrinking.


Trunk linings and tool kit as delivered.

The engine bay is completely original.  I took off the air cleaner to make a few carburator adjustments and the carbs looked and adjusted as if they were installed yesterday.

The interior is very clean with the original wood and leather showing very minor wear if any at all.

The Trim and Chrome throughout the car is in immaculate condition.  Today’s chrome is not of the same quality and depth, so it is a real treat to see such exceptional chrome on this car.

If you know your 3.0cs cars, you’ll see a tiny detail in this picture that is yet another tribute to how clean and original this car really is.

I know what the customer paid for this car and I can tell you his persistence paid off.  This car is just not replaceable.  I’ve seen no other coupe in the world that can touch this one as far as its overall original condition.  It has not been restored, never been re-painted and it boasts an amazing amount of preservation.  The owner removed the cardboard engine belly pan in order to save it.  I’ve only seen one 3.0cs belly pan in the last 7 years and I’m not certain it was original!

If you want me to put a dollar figure on this car so be it.  If I owned it, there’s not a snow-ball’s change in hell that I’m letting anyone grab it for under $150,000.  This car is just too incredible.  A time-capsul of a car and I’m fortunate I was able to work on it, and meet its new owner.  It’s in very safe and appreciative hands.

Chris Keefer

Independent Motorcars

5836 Autoport Mall

San Diego CA 92121


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  • Landon Harlan August 25, 2008 at 8:34 am

    WOW. 22k miles! That color is awesome, and I’ve not seen anything like it on the newer models. What was the chrome detail? Original chrome license plate frame?…its all I can think of. Making its home in San Diego should help keep the rust to a minimum.

  • sandiegobmw August 25, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    The only color that is somewhat close on the newer cars is phoenix yellow, but that color ismore mustard than gold.

    Unfortunately Ceylon was not a hip color once the 80’s rolled around and many have been re-painted . . .

  • Ray September 3, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Has to be the best 3.0 on the planet (and maybe beyond). Many restorations are very good but don’t hold a candle to this original. Thanks for sharing especially the images.

  • CCR September 8, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for the write up Chris…you all were a great help to me.
    there is thread on this car at

    Car was originally from Bakersfield, CA…it now resides in UT.

    Again, thanks for your help and I’m sure I’ll drive it down to SoCal again someday and I’ll bring it by and say hi…or I’ll see you at some BMW event.

  • Jason Lancaster September 9, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Wow – too perfect. That’s definitely the kind of story that people dream about. Congrats to the luck owner.

  • Jasco September 9, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Crevier BMW in Santa Ana, CA has a coupe with something like 4800 original miles. Simply amazing. The only negative is that it is metallic brown in color. Nevertheless, quite possibly the most original and pristine example of an E9 coupe in the world.

  • BLUMAX aka Murray Fowler September 9, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Extremely rare–the seal under the original two piece roundel mounted on the trunk (boot) lid is my guess.

  • BLUMAX aka Murray Fowler September 9, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Just a few weeks ago a 1973 3.0 CS Neu Polaris/Blue left SoCal in a closed transporter destined for the East Coast that has 30,200 original miles in very comparable original condition, but has been re-sprayed. A metallic paint job on any car that has not been re-sprayed is an exceptionally rare item. It joined possibly the “finest original 2002tii in the country”–wearing original Fjiord paint and one of the finest original 1972 Bavarias with Baikal/Saddle that I have seen now with 36,000 miles–found the CS about 5 years ago with 28,300 miles and the Bavaria with 29,800 about 4 years ago and drove it from South Dakota to SoCal–fun!

    Both now reside with the same owner/caretaker–an excellent home for all. I’m sure they will be showing up at East Coast events.

  • sandiegobmw September 10, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Hey Murray,

    You win the door prize for spotting the seal under the roundel.

    See you next time you’re down at the shop.


  • Todd September 6, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Beautiful car, but I’ve got it beat. Or at least the equal. The guy at the bottom of my street had a 3.0 CS in his garage for years, and it was spotless. He was a partner at Brown Brothers Harriman. Absolutely spotless car. The color wasn’t as cool as this one though. It was silver with black interior, and looked like it had been kept in a time capsule. I WISH I had the money to buy it. When he sold the house, he sold the car. That was the last I ever saw of it. But that is another example of a “barn find”, of the same car! Darn…it was magnificent..

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