Leave it to Bavaria – 1970 BMW 2800

Here’s something a bit less rare and unusual, but a way for you to get your E9 BMW kicks on an Alfetta budget. These cars enjoyed the same powertrain and suspension as their much prettier sisters, but have not suffered the significant appreciation in recent years, nor are they as rustprone. If you’ve ever thought of buying one of these, we should probably talk. On a personal note, my first memory of one of these was riding in a tan ’73 Bavaria my parents had as a loaner from Canbeck in Montreal while their ’75 530i was in for service over a weekend. My defining memory of this car is that it smelled like gas, which probably has a lot to do with my love for old car smells as an adult.

This particular car is a pretty early E3, being badged 2800 and having the wider tail lights that, while less tidy, are more visually interesting. The car also carries a lot more chrome, which gives it much more of a 60s look. It also has a cool 2800 badge in the grill, which seems to mostly be a Euro feature – could that point to the origins of this one? Something about the chrome grill and those not-so-clear headlights makes me want to paint the lenses orange and get a French plate for the bumper. Find the car here, listed in Contra Costa county for $2650.

1970 BMW 2800 front

The seller mentions a dent on the left rear door of the car, so it would be nice to see that. Since it’s where someone kicked it in, you might be lucky enough to have a good body guy pop it out without disturbing the paint too much. Seller says the burgundy paint is faded, but since my eyes have been opened to the magic of wet-sanding with fine grit paper, you might be able to coax some life back out of this one. Or you could just keep the car constantly wet – that seems to have worked for the pictures in this listing.

1970 BMW 2800 right

Looking at the rear, you can see the earlier tail lights and badging, as well as the silver trim around the license plate. This car also has the neat center-mounted gas tank filler that allows both the convenience of filling from either side, as well as (I’m guessing) a greater fire danger the next time you’re rear-ended.

1970 BMW 2800 rear

Lacking an engine shot, our final shot is the interior. What can be seen of the seats is actually remarkably good, with leather that looks nicely aged without having turned to cardboard. The red carpet is kind of overkill, and the red dash mat hints at a cracked dash, but other than that this car looks pretty decent, if a bit dirty. Some time detailing the car might be well spent.

1970 BMW 2800 interior

All told, the seller’s comments point to this being a good, solid driver. There are some inherent problems in the early BMW I6 engines and their carbs, so checking those components and being vigilant for rust are both worthwhile. Check this out while you’re on the Pedal Pushers Pullover Rally next weekend!

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