1973 BMW E9 3.0 CSi -3.5 CSL Resto-Mod

This 1973 BMW E9 3.0 CSi  was the subject of a restoration on s14.net by it’s owner, Alvin Tan. It’s thread is shared with the restoration of his factory 1974 2002 Turbo, as well, which we have incidentally done a previous feature on: http://www.carbuildindex.com/8412/bmw-2002-turbo-restoration/ . Both projects were very tastefully executed so we figured that they were each deserving of their own separate story here. We have always been big fans of the E9 series, which were produced a few decades before the whole Chris Bangle design debacle of more recent years. It is unfortunate that BMW’s have lost their classic sports sedan appearance, but at least each model year’s re-skinnings are becoming less “Bangle-ized”. It is not until you see a vintage car in the flesh that you realize how bloated all cars in general have become now-a-days in comparison. A new 3 Series is larger in overall proportions than this classic, which actually should be more of an equivalent to an 8 Series in their current model range line up position and size.
In any case, it’s easy to get side-lined so let’s just stay focused on this particular 3.0 CSi and appreciate how they used to design them starting by stripping this one to the bone and then rebuilding it to better-than-new (for 1973 and 2013).
Alvin had brought the CSi to United Auto Collision of Burlingame, California to restore it’s body after the majority of the mechanical work had already been completed.
4 5
He had installed an M90 3.5 liter engine with L-Jetronic fuel injection and a dog-leg five speed transmission, along with a Euro 3:07 LSD rear end. The transplanted BMW 6 cylinder is a 215 horsepower engine normally found in the 1978-1982 era 635, M535 and 735i’s, which gives it almost identical power to the factory lightweight CSL’s.
9 10
The body shop then spent over 400 hours on the car stripping it to bare metal, repairing rust and taking preventative measures to make sure that the cancer didn’t ever reappear.
A CSL air dam and rear spoiler were installed, and then it was painted in a two stage Polaris silver, with “3.5 CSL” waistlines stripe applied after to accent the period correct Alpina wheels. We appreciate that he chose to forego the CSL chrome wheel arches that the factory applied to all of their lightweight models, as their decision to apply the garish additions have always been somewhat of a mystery to an otherwise very tasteful design.
Inside, period correct Scheelmann front seats and matching custom bolstered rear seats were installed, which were wrapped in Porsche wine colored leather with black stitching. All new zebra wood, restored factory gauges and an Alpina steering wheel round out (cheesy pun intended )the cockpit area, while a rear sunshade from an E24 coupe was adapted to finish up the interior detail.
The modifications to this vintage BMW are well-chosen, and make the”3.5 CSL” perform better than when it had originally left the factory. We are happy to report that their owner drives both of his vintage BMW’s regularly.
20 21

2 Comments on 1973 BMW E9 3.0 CSi -3.5 CSL Resto-Mod

  1. I love this build. This is my dream car. I grew up getting rides to school by my dad. He promised I could have the car when he was done with it but sadly it was stolen. 🙁

Leave a comment