Prices for the 3.0CS and 3.0CSi models are up 7% in our latest table of Price Guide Movers On The Up. That places rough project cars at £12.5k, usable cars needing improvement at £20k and mint examples £35k. For concours contenders you can add a further £17.5k.
Those prices represent a 13% increase over the past 12 months and 23% over the past five years, double the rate of inflation in that time. The growth is influenced by a growing appreciation of Seventies design by newer entrants to the market, the rise and rise of BMW as a desirable classic marque and scarcity of good examples for sale.
High purchase price when new meant that E9s were never numerous in the UK and poor corrosion protection allowed most to rot beyond viable restoration before the cars were considered worth saving. Even now, the cost of a full restoration makes the best examples look good value, even after five years of strong growth.
The two models were sold alongside each other from 1971 to 1975, the twin-carburettor 3.0CS selling for £5345 at launch and the fuel-injected 3.0CSi costing £6199. For that you got 180bhp and 200bhp respectively from the single-overhead cam straight six. The more exotic and 185kg lighter 3.0CSL homologation special was just £200 more, when new. Now it’s 167% more valuable but even that might seem a bargain compared to a genuine 3.0CSL ‘Batmobile’ introduced to homologate a package of aerodynamic spoilers that would help BMW win six European Touring Car Championships between 1973 and 1979.
Then as now, those on track heroics, which included a class win in the 1973 Le Mans 24 Hours, created a halo effect that made all of the lesser models more desirable. The lofty prices of CSLs and CSL ‘Batmobiles’ makes the more common CS and CSi seem good value, with plenty of headroom for further growth.