1971 BMW CS Coupe CSi 3.0 from Germany


Understated and cool


1. Regularly misfired, ran on 4 or five cylinders, consequently reduced power. Typically a modern mechanic (those who replace parts rather than find faults) kept replacing plugs, contacts and distributor. After a series of inept mechanics, some one figured out the fault with wiring, found through an electrical diagnostic PC at Bosch.

2. Failed alternator, replaced. The bracket holding the alternator snapped (light brittle alloy), replaced. Wind shield wiper motor replaced.

3. New stainless steel exhaust from Walloth & Nesch added harmonies.

4. Engine idled erratically between 1000 and 1500 rpm. Corrected by cleaning a water circulation tube just under the fuel injection system on the right side of the engine; it was blocked. Don't know exactly what was done - my German is poor.

5. The original mis-firing was now understood to be due to the fuel being rich - and Bosch diagnosed, without guarantee, a fault with Barometric Pressure Sensor. I have not yet had a problem with mis-firing, so I assume the sensor is OK.

General Comments:

The car is beautiful, Riviera Blue, new black leathers, smell of leather & wood is luxurious.

The handling is good: for someone who likes to drive, it is rear wheel drive. 200HP propels this Riva around 8.5 seconds (new: 7.7sec.), cruises at 140km/h. It was a fast car then, and still is.

Look out for rusty body, prod a screw driver underneath; make sure heating, fans, electric window and wipers work; watch for shot seals between the pillar-less windows and doors.

My mechanical problems were routine for a 36 year old car. My mechanics were inept. The car is reliable, and parts are relatively cheap.

It's a fantastic vintage if you can find one well looked after; these cars do need to be kept dry for longevity - there is lot of thin metal.

The seats in the back are enough for 2 children or 2 smallish adults on a short drive - a lot better than 911 and my 1972 Elan.

Set of 245s on the back and 225s on the front, chrome arches and vintage-look wheels make this car look like Steve Mcqueen - understated, cool and smoking.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th June, 2007

5th Sep 2009, 11:56

Would love to see a picture. Those tyre sizes are great for this car.

18th Jul 2010, 06:38

Video of my 72 BMW 3.0 CSi can be found on youtube. Search for ssvar.

1972 BMW CS Coupe 3.0 CS 3.0 from Netherlands


Superb German sports car


The body likes to rust (standard for this age). The body is constructed to be light and rigid. Well, they failed at Karmann Osnabruck. The carburettors are terrible. Needs special attention.

A complete body restoration, brakes, clutch, starter, radiator and various minor details replaced. Now the interior needs a once over.

Engine is losing compression pressure for 40%. 10% should be maximum. The engine is bulletproof, runs like a horse even with reduced output. What output? 200HP.

General Comments:

The best car ever owned to drive. A real pleasure, worth all the money and effort to restore. A top quality car with maximum reliability. Driving performance is state-of-the-art!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th March, 2003