1972 BMW Bavaria

I have a soft spot for the Bavaria. It’s not because it’s the best looking BMW from the 1970s, nor the fastest. It’s not the most collectable, either – but as a result, the Bavaria might just be the rarest of the 1970s BMWs. To me, I can appreciate this coming from a background of loving Audis – most of which are quite rare today. The look of the Bavaria is even very similar to the Audi 100, and like the 100 very few examples are left kicking around. Also like the Audi 100, people will always be glad to see it, and I’m sure many have stories involving Bavarias. As with the old Audis, it’ll be a mix of people who smile and immediately start to tell you their wonderful BMW story and the balance of the masses who simply ask “What is that?” But the Bavaria was nonetheless an important move for BMW, taking on the larger executive market with an upscale big-body 4-door and that famous M30 power:

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1974 BMW Bavaria

Upon seeing this BMW Bavaria, I thought perhaps Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ BMW 3.0S was back up for sale again. For years, Mrs. Onassis tooled around Manhattan in one of these sedans. The 3.0S was the more luxurious version of what we see here. Importer Max Hoffman had convinced BMW to build a special model for the US market, with fewer options than other variants in the lineup but with the largest engine available. So what we’re looking at here is the forebear to many modern BMW performance sedans, a template that is going strong to this day. This Bavaria for sale in Florida is an older restoration and is equipped with the 3-speed automatic. Not the optimal combination for enthusiasts but fewer BMWs of this vintage come at a lower cost of entry.

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1972 BMW Bavaria

I have a soft spot for the Bavaria. It’s not because it’s the best looking BMW from the 1970s, or the fastest. It’s not the most collectable, either – but as a result, the Bavaria might just be the rarest of the 1970s BMWs. To me, I can appreciate this coming from a background of loving Audis – most of which are quite rare today. The look of the Bavaria is even very similar to the Audi 100, and like the 100 very few examples are left kicking around. But the Bavaria was nonetheless an important move for BMW, taking on the larger executive market with an upscale big-body 4-door:

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Double Take: 1973 and 1974 BMW Bavarias

Following on to the S-Class Double Take we featured earlier today, here’s another pair highlighting that car’s competition: the BMW E3, or New Six. After the success of the smaller New Class, BMW decided to try its hand at luxury vehicles once again. These larger sedans, powered by straight six engines, would be a decided departure from the luxury sedan formula, adding a dash of sport into the equation. Unique to the US market was the Bavaria, priced more in line with the 2500 model but with the larger engine of the 2800. Eventually the engine would increase in size to 3.0 liters in 1972 and the Bavaria would continue on, slotted beneath the 3.0S.

To start, we’ll take a look at this restored Bavaria for sale in Pennsylvania.

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1972 BMW 2800 Euro-Spec

Do you need a show car? We often write up very clean, fully restored and consequently very expensive examples of cars that are desirable, but there are many more than exist below pristine level. Generally if we post one of these cars there’s a large amount of feedback pointing out the flaws. Yesterday, a few of the GCFSB authors went to a local open house in our old – and flawed – cars. None of them are perfect; all have plenty of character from being driven over the years. They have stories about how they got various battle scars, strange modifications and unorthodox thinking to get around a problem or previous owner’s work. Despite this, driver quality cars have a charm that makes them desirable in their own right. Do I love perfect examples of older cars? Yes, absolutely – they’re awesome to see. But so are well presented drivers:

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1972 BMW Bavaria

The BMW E3, or New Six, as it was known, was a step in the right direction for BMW in the late 1960s. This, along with the 2002 “New Class” helped better define the vehicle lineup and began to cement the company’s position as a manufacturer of sporty, efficient sedans. Unlike its predecessor we featured earlier in the week, the 3200CS, the New Six had a more advanced overhead cam engine and unit body construction.

It was famous vehicle importer Max Hoffman that goaded BMW into making a special model for the US market, called the Bavaria. This car had less luxury features that the 2800 model featured, but did feature the larger, 2.8 liter inline six. The Bavaria gained a bit of notoriety over the years, as former First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis was known for piloting her Bavaria around Manhattan in the years following her marriage to Aristotle Onassis and subsequent relocation to New York.

This Bavaria for sale in California, while not the most mint example out there, is a great example of a practical classic that you could not only use, but keep up with modern day traffic.

Year: 1972
Model: Bavaria
Engine: 2.8 liter inline six
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: N/A
Price: No reserve auction

1972 BMW Bavaria on eBay

This is a super nice 1972 BMW Bavaria that has been owned and restored by a true BMW enthusiast. It has the great color combination of alpine white with blue vinyl interior. The vinyl is the original herringbone and the carpets are the original wool and I’ve added new custom floor mats. The paint and chrome are in really good condition and the car is 99% rust free. Over $8,000 in recent receipts that include a rebuilt 3.5 liter big six motor, new triple side draft Weber carburetors, a Gertrag 5 speed transmission, Stahl header and all new suspension. Suspension components include new Bilstein sport shocks, Ireland Engineering lowering springs, new urethane bushings, larger sway bars and control arms. The wheels are vintage staggered Alpinas that include the rare matching center caps and performance tires. I’ve added a vintage style digital stereo with new speakers and an Ipod hookup in the glove box as well. This car was built to run and is very fast, sounds amazing and handles extremely well. Although it might not be concours condition, this Bavaria is one of the best in the country and it is sure to turn heads at any BMW event.

I have the car for sale locally and I reserve the right to remove the listing if I accept a local offer.

The aftermarket Alpina wheels don’t do a lot for this car, in my opinion. Hopefully the seller has the original wheels, or ones that are sized more appropriately for this car. While receipts for recent upgrades and work are available, it would be nice to know a little more about the history of this car, along with the mileage figure that is on this particular chassis. Naturally, E3 sedans don’t bring as much as their two-door counterparts, and at $13,000, we’re probably a bit overpriced. Given the state of this car and the information provided, I’d say we’re probably somewhere around the $8,000 to $10,000 mark.

-Paul

1973 BMW 3.0S

Introduced in 1968, the BMW E3, or “New Six” as it was called, helped bring visibility to the brand and for the first time, had US customers seriously considering a BMW as a luxury alternative. However, unlike other luxury cars, BMWs began to introduce the concept of adding a bit of sport to the mix in a luxury sedan. When the series began, there were two models, the 2500 and 2800, with 2.5 and 2.8 liter engines, respectively. A nomenclature change in 1972, along with an engine capacity increase, brought about the 3.0S, which had a 3.0 liter inline six mated to a four speed manual or three speed automatic. This particular 3.0S for sale in Mississippi is a bit rougher than some of the cars we feature here at GCFSB, but it would be a great candidate for the collector new to restoration, as a few minor fixes would make this a presentable driver.

1973 BMW 3.0S on eBay

1973 BMW Bavaria 3.0 S Inline 6 cylinder Automatic sedan with an all original interior in great shape. I purchased this car in February 2011 for $6900 and has since been in storage, driven only occasionally. I had full intentions to restore this car and really take it to the next level. This car is worthy of restoring. I have too many projects going and will be taking delivery of a new F10 M5 in the coming months and need the garage space. So, the Bavaria has to go. Also, my fully restored 3.0CS and 2002 will soon be going to new home. I will be putting them on eBay soon.

Mechanicals: Easy turn key car seems to start every time and the engine once warmed runs great. The longer it runs seems like the better it runs, I was impressed with the smooth running abilities of this BMW despite of the 38 years of use. I gave it a thumbs up how it runs and the performance of the transmission. Very smooth shifting, sometimes don’t even feel like it shifted. The steering was good drove straight and did not pull, the brakes performed well and stopped when it was requested to do so without delay. Idle is a little rough, the carburetors could use some adjusting. It has been sitting, probably just needs to be driven. 85-90 mph is the sweet spot for interstate driving.

Exterior Body: The paint is in poor condition and it needs to be repainted. There are dents/scratches. From far away, the car looks great, but up close the imperfections are obvious. The paint does appear to be old, and I would say the car was painted somewhere within the past 15 years. There are two small rust spots each about the size of your thumb located on the lower drivers side and I think can easily be taken care of at this point. The rear chrome bumper center bottom portion has some surface rust. Overall it is very solid and I think in good shape in comparison that it has survived so well after 38 years. Shock towers and area around windshield look great. Undercarriage looks to be in okay shape for its age. If you need pics, please ask and I will email them to you.

Interior: Seems to be all original and in very good shape. All the leather looks very well without any issues, the dashboard is crisp and clean, no cracks. Driver seat shows wear. All the gauges work and look very clean and clear. All the plastic looks to be in very good used condition. The headliner is in great condition and the rugs & mats are in good original condition. The interior wood trim is in really good shape. Windows work but are slow. I have two new cranks in the trunk, and come with the car. The new owner can have those installed. A/C does not work, needs new compressor. Original Becker radio works as it should.

The speedometer works fine, however I want to point out the Odometer does not increase so I am not sure of the exact mileage. For this reason, it is being sold as a 79k mile car, but actual miles are unknown. Based on the originality and the condition of the interior I don’t think it could be much more than this. I bought an speedometer off eBay and it comes with the car. Between the two, you should be able to get the odometer fixed. The trunk compartment has all its covering boards, the tool kit is not present. The wheels look to be in fairly good condition alloy has some scuffs but for the age they appear to be in very good condition also along with the rubber tires look good as well, but I would recommend getting new tires. I don’t see why you couldn’t simply start this car up and drive straight home, wherever home maybe.

This is a very decent car that I think it is a good find and could prove to be a good buy, but don’t take my word for it, feel free to come take a look for yourself, you are welcome to do so, in fact I encourage it. I am neither a salesman nor a photographer by profession, just a BMW enthusiast passing my car’s on to another BMW enthusiast. I like to sleep in peace and have no intention to mislead or misrepresent. Please ask for additional pictures/information and make a sound decision before bidding.

Starting the bidding off at $4000 no reserve. I believe this is a fair price and will allow the buyer make the needed repairs and improvements. Great chance to buy BMW history. Thanks for looking and good luck bidding. Selling AS-IS. Buyer is responsible for shipping.

I can’t remember ever seeing a 3.0S in black, but it suits this sedan very well. The opening bid of $4,000 is a reasonable opening price, but I wouldn’t go much beyond $5,500 to $6,000 for this car. Any 3.0S nearing $10k should be a good runner with no faults mechanical faults and but a few cosmetic flaws, if any. With the various fixes needed, such as a potential respray and A/C compressor, one needs to take into account those repairs. Still, this E3 is very worthy of a refresh and is an intriguing alternative to a period S class Mercedes-Benz.

-Paul

1973 BMW Bavaria 3.5 liter custom

We don’t see too many E3 bodied BMWs around. They are over looked by their smaller sportier brethren and despite being more nimble than many of the V8 powered Benz large luxury sedans of the same time. The blood line of the modern large and quick BMW sedan can be traced back to the Bavaria.

The car seen here falls into the restomod category. The owner has done a number of things to make the car better than original, as long as you aren’t a purist car collector. First the original engine has been swapped out with a later 3.5 liter unit, though it isn’t specified as to where it came from. The engine has 150k on the bottom end and 10k on a rebuilt top. The car also has a 5 speed conversion, complete with Alpina shift knob. Hartge rep headers, 3.64 LSD, and custom suspension add to the sportiness.

Inside a cloth Recaros and a modern stereo exist.

A CSL airdam and shaved front bumper along with Hella lamps, make the front end of this car stand out, as does the custom Mercedes Benz oyster green metallic paint.Actual miles aren’t given, but from the sounds of the description the car currently doesn’t get used much.

The car is at $4,500 with bids and no reserve. I’d expect the price to get up to around $6,000 if it finds two folks that appreciate car car’s uniqueness. Surely a car to catch eyes at the local car show.

1973 BMW Bavaria on eBay.

~Evan

1973 BMW Bavaria

The BMW Bavaria was a US only, lower cost alternative to the 2500/2800 models, or “Big Six”, as they were called. 1973 marks the last year before the heavier, federally mandated bumpers were installed on the sedan, but 1972 brought the larger, 3.0 liter engine, so this example is a middle of the road, best of both worlds model.

1973 BMW Bavaria on eBay

The seller states:

I have a new addition to my family, a wonderful baby boy, so its time to let go of my classic BMW and move towards a practical family mover. The Bavaria is a wonderful car to drive, starts up every time without problems, the M30 straight six is a wonderful engine. Its mated to a manual 4-speed transmission, acceleration is smooth and easy through all gears, it does great on the hills of San Francisco, compression is even through all cylinders, runs cool and easy in traffic, and gets 22mpg on the highway with dual zenith carbs. All glass and seals are new within the last 3 years, plus I’ve acquired additional parts for the Bavaria including door/trunk rubber seals, full set of windlace, new Bilstien shock replacements (currently running on Bilstein’s), new brake rotors, interior door trim, carpet, lock hardware etc. (the parts are enough that I filled a small storage room with them). The shock towers are all rust free and solid, there are only two quarter sized bubbling spots on the paint showing signs of rust at all. The engine and trans do not leak, and the engine doesn’t burn oil either. The only area I would correct cosmetically would be the roof paint, it is begining to fade I’d say the roof paint is 8/10, compared to 9/10 for the rest of the car. The interior is wonderful, and 9/10 (including an updated stereo with Ipod jack). You won’t find a more solid classic Bavaria for sale anywhere. We regularly take it to San Luis Obispo, CA which is around 250 miles from San Francisco, and she cruises down the highway at 75 with ease (honestly she wants to go faster….), and every time we drive her we get compliments.

These big, old BMW sedans offer a nice, unusual alternative to Mercedes-Benzes of the day, while proving just as bulletproof. The $6,500 buy it now price is a good deal for a car that has been this well preserved and should offer plenty more miles of pleasurable driving.

-Paul