1973 BMW 3.0CS with E46 M3 Drivetrain SoCal


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Atlanta, GA
does look good ... 175k good, that is the question at hand. there is a ton of work to put that engine in a coupe ... i just don't think i would do it even if i had king donald's money.


I wanna DRIVE!
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Aiken, SC
What a lovely car.
PVGP Pretty Picture.jpg


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Oklahoma City
I love this car & remember reading the articles. What an impressive build. And I know it is completely subjective, but I’d get that L off the badging first thing—I couldn’t spend $175k & feel like my teenaged neighbor with an M badge on his 318i tuner. It’s going to be an interesting auction season with economy, etc.


I don’t know
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Seattle, WA
I love this car & remember reading the articles. What an impressive build. And I know it is completely subjective, but I’d get that L off the badging first thing—I couldn’t spend $175k & feel like my teenaged neighbor with an M badge on his 318i tuner. It’s going to be an interesting auction season with economy, etc.

I love it! I would also remove the CSL badges though. Easy enough for those that don’t want it.


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Palm Springs, CA
The owner is a super decent guy (in our experience) and was really passionate about this build. A lot went into it, and all the article information is out there. One of the fastest e9's you'll come across, short of the factory/privateer racers, and this car may give them a run anyway.


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1973 BMW 3.0 CS / E9 Coupe
360HP / 273Lb Ft Tq / S54 E46 M3 Drivetrain
6-Speed Manual / Modern Air Conditioning
Bare Metal Complete Restoration
Petrolicious and Stanceworks Features
Bimmer Magazine Feature

VIN #2224xxxx
10,100 Miles on Full Build/Restoration
Chamonix White on CSL Black Corduroy Interior
6-Speed Manual Transmission
Clean and Clear California Title
BMWCCA Member Owner


Many of you who are in the SoCal E9 scene know this car and feel free to chime in as you've been on local vintage tours with the owner. Also, if you know the owner, please do not contact him directly. He's a close friend of mine and just doesn't have the time with his work to field calls, emails, etc. He will just send you back to me. If you think you're getting a deal by "cutting me out," you're not. This is more of a favor for a best friend scenario. Below are the details. If I missed something or made an error (I am human and more of a Porsche guy but have owned an E9) than please contact me directly before bashing me or the car. Thanks.

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 a 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 Jeff Tighe, a long time SoCal vintage BMW specialist who trained under the expert eye of Carl Nelson at La Jolla Independent. Tighe began work on this restoration and managed the project. 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 preparation by Jeff Tighe
Sourced from 2001 BMW M3 with 94k-miles
Drivetrain removed and fully inspected by Bullet Performance and Tighe
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 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 Euto M Coupe
Reinforcements for differential mounts
High performance aluminum radiator
Castro Motorsport custom intake system

Interior upholstery by Juan Ortiz
Refinished factory wood trim using real Italian 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
CSL center console
CSL steering wheel
New black headliner and visors
Refinished door panels using CSL parts
Square weave carpet
Custom Cocomats
Side inlet grills customized as rear speaker grilles
CSL 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
Custom fabricated air conditioning unit mounted in trunk (rear blowing)
New heater core and rebuilt heater system

Exterior details
Custom fit E34 Ellipsoid headlights
Custom CSL vinyl graphics
All new rubber and seals
Factory badging
All trim and glass replaced or restored
Custom/rare WEDS Bavaria 3-piece 16” wheels

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 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 both Tighe and Castro. Highlights of routine services include:

Regular oil services and fluid flushes
Replaced fuel injectors
New fuel pump, filter, and pressure regulator
New Starter
Fresh Hankook Vetus tires (225/50-16)
Fresh clutch
Rebuilt Vanos system and valve adjustment

Shortly after finishing this build, some of the top automotive media outlets approached the owner to feature his CSL. Sure there have been plenty of modern engine swapped builds that have happened over the years. In fact, Alpina based their 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. 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. An extra set of Alpina wheels (for a different look – see photos) are available for an additional fee. 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 work 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 factory CSL Scheel buckets are wrapped in leather with 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 is actually the A/C vents. The squareweave Porsche 356 carpet is one of the best Germany 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 of the power windows also 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 switch is also hidden under the dash and quickly cools off this very open greenhouse. The interior is such a nice place to be for hours on end.

Of course, the driving experience is insane. This is the fastest E9 I've experienced. It drives solid and feels very tight. The transmission works properly. 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.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paul at 714-335-4911 or paul@autokennel.com

For tons of pictures, either cut and paste the following URL into your browser, or click here: www.AutoKennel.com


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Mike Goble

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Fairfield, CA
And no engine or under chassis pics on the Ebay scroll.

Interesting that they blotted out the VIN on two of the three pics that you can see it in the big pics.


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Atlanta, GA
isn't that the same Joshua Stern coupe that was on another auction? same price anyway