And now I've landed in Austin

mulberryworks

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Two score years ago I began my infatuation with German automobiles. Then it was the funny little air cooled sedans built in Wolfsburg and vans built in Hanover. I added several of the convertibles made by Karmann in Osnabrück because what is life without a little sun?
They were so cheap and easy to work on, and they were everywhere. Life was good.

As I got married and responsibilities grew, larger, heavier vehicles replaced the little German machines. A pair of them wore three pointed stars on their nose and they were good, but something was missing.

Years later, I was visiting my daughter in San Francisco and spotted an elegant car in a parking lot as I walked by. Wait! This was something special, I headed back for a better look. Round and round I went, captivated by it's curves, it's stance, as if it were visual poetry pausing for a moment before resuming it's flowing path. The blue and white roundel gave me it's maker and the terse 3.0cs on it's tail gave me a clue to it's history, but why had I not seen the likes of this visionary masterpiece before?

A year later, I was idly perusing the local Maui Craig's List when I spotted an ad for a BMW 2800cs. In poor shape, the ad said, perhaps best broken for parts, the owner lamented. Some quick Google work showed that while this wasn't the car I'd seen in The City, it was a sister. And it was also made by Karmann.
After several attempts, I managed to make contact and an appointment to see the car. It was, in fact, not that bad, but in the owner's eyes, it was damaged goods since he had been promised it was in first class condition and had paid accordingly. This was a man in pain, he loved the car, but was building a house and couldn't take on two large projects at once. After letting the car sit outside for three years, he had decided to sell. Getting him to talk about a price took three months as he was very, very reluctant to part with it.
In the end, after convincing him that I would treat his charge with care and make it the automobile it used to be, he agreed on a price of $3,000. Only as I was watching the tow truck carry it down the drive did he convey that I had paid half of what he had paid for the car. I truly felt his pain as I had been in a similar situation years before.

I started researching and got the engine running after cleaning the carbs and replacing the points with a solid state unit. My time on Maui was at an end and we've moved to Austin Tx. I have continued to collect parts and now the invoices total just over $7,000 for those things I know it needs. There may be more.

Fortunately, the interior of the car is in great shape and it's very complete. I'll begin restoration shortly and will be posting progress to a thread here. I've already gotten a good deal of help here and offer my humble thanks to the many that make this website a great resource for us all.

Ian Sights

1970 2800CS US version, Chamonix over blue vinyl, matching numbers, original wheels
 
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HB Chris

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Ian,

I always love to hear these stories of how we acquired our beloved coupes. Keep us updated as the restoration progresses.
 

Stevehose

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Great story, I distinctly remember my first e9 sighting 35 years ago and subsequent purchase of CS #1. When romancing my current coupe 6 years ago, for a week I spent each night on the phone with the owner convincing him I was the appropriate caretaker. He finally relented.
 

adawil2002

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Enjoyed the back story as well. Congratudolences on the move to Austin, no doubt a huge change of venue from what many view as paradise.

You should meet/get in contact with Peter Coomaraswamy, he has two CS coupes. He has a restoration thread which is wonderful to follow and see the progress. http://www.e9coupe.com/forum/showthread.php?p=154469#post154469

Terry Sayther is in Austin as well. Not sure if you've met him or been to his shop yet. He has a wealth of knowledge about older BMWs. He hosts tours and gatherings too. Here's a link to his shop's website: http://www.terrysaytherauto.com
 

KennyHouston

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I predict you'll like Austin, Ian. One thing the Hill Country offers is twisty roads; another is clear, cypress-lined streams. Pretty much perfect sporty-car driving. And if you can't have fun in Austin...

Definitely visit Terry (he supplied parts and advice generously for me in my 2002 days).
 

mulberryworks

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Howdy!

Thanks for the positive feedback. I've been in Austin long enough to have met both Peter and Terry. Both are great guys. I videoed Peter reinstalling the engine in his Polaris coupe. I haven't been to Terry's shop yet but that's a resource I'm glad to have when needed.

I aim to do a great deal of the work on my car myself. My '54 Beetle was equally rusty, requiring an extensive restoration. There was much less of a car to deal with, but then I had much less money then. As soon as I get the garage wired for it, I'll install the MaxJax I've ordered. I've been tooling up since alighting on the mainland and have beaucoup d' power tools, including the apple of my eye, a TIG welder. I still have my faithful Sears oxy/acetylene rig and I'm sure both will see service.

I've managed to get a Rillex 6306 bearing puller off of ebay in great shape, and with any luck, the noisy bearing in my ZF transmission will be a 6306 instead of the NLA needle bearings. The four speed transmission is still available refurbished from BMW for about $3,000 which I might do for the sake of originality vs. upgrading to a used and increasingly difficult to find 5 speed.

Interestingly enough, my vintage '54 beetle was only 24 years old when I bought it for $125. The 1970 E-9 was 44 years old when I purchased it. There are NLA parts for both cars, but with the internet and the strong interest in the E-9, I think I'll have an easier time restoring the BMW. Note that I didn't say cheaper. C'est la vie.

I've plenty more to say, but I'll save it for my restoration thread.

Ian

1970 2800CS 'Ottokar' (Happy fighter)
 

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jamesw

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Austin isn't Hawaii but it's a great place to live. An no state income tax...

Plus your coupe will last a lot longer due to the dry climate there.

When I had my 5-speed rebuilt here in Houston the shop had to look ALL OVER town for that bearing puller. They were not happy about it.

Cheers
James
 
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