1976 3.0 CS Restoration Project... The Last Coupe?

Dynamique 76

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I own a gray market 1976 BMW 3.0 CS. I don't know how many of these were made back in the day, but I know it must be rather rare, because when I tried to insure it, my insurance company said the car did not exist, so I had to bring it down to the branch to prove it to them that it did.

Anyway, I don't know much about the car before I bought it back in 1997, but I'm guessing it was brought across the pond some time in the 80's. It has some nice details... like the Euro fog light, and the old chrome bumpers, all of the writing on the dash and gauges is in German, and granatrot colored paint.

It was my daily driver for about ten years, but went into storage when I left the country for a year back in 2006, and hasn't been driven since.

The bad news is that I know that the heater core is leaking because I've got no heat and defroster proof front windshield. I've also have to keep it smogged because in California it is no longer grandfathered.

I'm getting the itch to get her back on the road, but I do wonder if it's worth the trouble to keep the stock carbs, and if I should keep the original paint color to help retain some of the value?

I live in Los Angeles, and I'm considering taking it to Bavaria Auto Repair in the valley to do the mechanical work... but it will also need some body, paint, and interior work.

If there is any advice you can give me before start the process, I would greatly appreciate any and all... and I will post some picture along the way and let you know if I have any questions.

Wish me luck!
 

rsporsche

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what is the VIN? have you registered it on e9-driven.com?
supposedly the last euro VIN for a CS is 4300618 for a stick or 4320860 for an auto. the VIN for a CSi is different

the last USA VIN is 4310393 stick or 4335451 for an auto

it was not uncommon in some states during that period for a car to be titled in the year that it was sold - rare, but it happened with some euro cars, especially with the importer like Hoffman and with small dealers. also if it was a euro car, they were manufactured thru 12/'75 which would be a '76 model car
 

HB Chris

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Please post your VIN, and see this page:

http://www.e9-driven.com/E9_Vins.asp

No coupes were produced in 1976 and BMW would consider it a 1975. But as Scott has said, if titled in Europe in 1976 that country might consider it a 76. In my mind most would call it a 75, makes things easier with insurance and ordering parts too.
 

jmackro

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I've also have to keep it smogged because in California it is no longer grandfathered.
As HBChris wrote above, your car is a 1975 model year - not a 1976. That is significant because a 1975 model year car is smog exempt (at least I'm pretty sure 1976 is the earliest year that needs smog checks - can anyone confirm/deny?).

So, it would be a good idea to visit your cheerful, friendly DMV office and bring whatever documentation you can gather on e9 years of manufacture, serial numbers, etc. They will revise the year on the title if you can convince them that it is a 1975 (which it is).

Would a 1975 have a data plate on the firewall or doorjamb stating the model year? Might this be as simple as showing the DMV clerk your car's data plate?
 

HB Chris

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Euro coupes don't have the equivalent of the DoT/EPA sticker like US coupes do. The driver door may have the build month but the BMW Archive is best bet.
 

Dynamique 76

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Close but no cigar...

Hey Guys,

So I looked inside the driver's door for a vin plate/manu year, but there was nothing there. I did manage to push away enough dust to see the VIN plate under the hood, and I've attached a picture below. It looks like I'm not the last Coupe after all... the VIN# is 4320699 and according to rsporsche/E9-driven.com the last Euro VIN is 4320860 for an auto... so at worst I'm the 161st last Coupe.

Also thanks for the great advice about trying to persuade my friendly DMV representative to possibly change the year on my title back to 1975... I will report back on any progress I make in this regard. Other than what I might find on the web regarding 3.0 production numbers and years, and any pictures I can bring in... is there a more definitive source for documentation? The BMW archive didn't seem to have any info on my car's VIN. I'm anticipating that I'll have to build a pretty strong case (or get a DMV worker on a very good day), before they'll just go back and correct this clerical error.

Thanks again for all of your time and sage advice.
 

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Dynamique 76

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Building my case for '75 title

Thanks for the information everyone.

I've emailed the BMW circle club concierge, and will be interested in seeing if my email makes it into the right hands.

In the mean time, I've found the most specific information at realoem.com (I've included e34.de for comparison). The screen grabs are attached below.

It looks like my car was manufactured 08/75... which give me pretty specific evidence to support my case. I'll present this to DMV during my appointment this week, but right now I'm in a bit of a catch 22... my insurance company says my car doesn't exist, and I can't register the car without insurance... so I have a feeling I'm going to get to know the DMV people pretty well this fall. First step... try to get a new title!

I've read that BMW uses September as the cut off for when they go to the next model year... so even in a situation like this, I still might be able to argue for a '75 title.

I'm taking my car into the shop this week, so I'll shoot a few Before Shots to share with you sometime later this week.
 

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Dynamique 76

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Swing and a miss...

Well, my first at-bat didn't go so well at the DMV this morning... but I did manage to work my way through their starting rotation, and deep into their bullpen (two clerks and one supervisor) before striking out.

Nobody there would even touch my research/paperwork, and anything that didn't have their logo on it was strictly verboten. They said I need to do an in-person VIN verification/Correction and submit a 27b/6 form to the Department of Redundancy Department.

The good news is that once the car is road worthy again I can bring it back, and I should be able to change the title and registration back 1975, and be smog free from here on out!

So thanks everyone for your advice in all regards, and I will keep you posted as things progress...

The funniest story of the day was after the supervisor issued the final no and walked away... I asked the clerk what the supervisor's name was, and she looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I've never seen her before in my life".

I swear on my 3.0 (here's a pix of her, on the road to recovery)
 

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Stevehose

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I feel for ya, I bought mine out of an estate and the DMV had no idea how to handle that, took at least three trips with more and more paperwork and finally finding a sympathetic manager at the right time/place to just stamp the magic OK on it.

Good luck!
 
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