BMW 3.0 CSi

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Since it's still BMW Week here at Jalopy HQ, I'm going to reach into my stockpile of Alameda car photos and grab something Bavarian for the occasion. The last Down On the Street BMW we saw was the '72 2002Tii of mid-August, so today we'll look at something from the same era. As is so often the case with German cars, I am unable to figure out the exact year of this E9; I'm pretty sure it's a '72 or a '73 model, but I'll need you rabid Bimmer fanciers out there to help out to pin it down.

Illustration for article titled BMW 3.0 CSi
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I'm trying something a little different here; some folks have mentioned that I should be blanking out the license plates of the cars I'm photographing. Since the cars are parked on a public street, recent anti-stalker laws mean it's hard to get owner info from a plate number, and I don't see what harm could come to these cars' owners just from their license plates being out there, I haven't worried too much about the license plate thing. I figure a harsh-ass blur-out of the plate number would detract from the viewer experience, so I've tried to blank it out using the plate background color in each shot. Let me know what you think; the DOTS car owners with whom I've spoken (quite a few) have all been proud to have photos of their cars shared with the world, but if it's better to hide the plates I will consider doing so. I just don't want the photos to look bad.

Illustration for article titled BMW 3.0 CSi


Sure enough, there's our friend The Kink! The pillar emblem looks pretty good, though a bit gaudy.

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The CSi came with a 200-horse six-banger in '72 and '73. This was quite a bit more power than many of Detroit's V8s that year, though of course the Motown machines had the torque advantage.

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This one is fairly rough; in fact, it would qualify for Project Car Hell if it were for sale. In addition to countless ouchies on the exterior, the upholstery has apparently been replaced with potato sacks.

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These cars sold for north of $10K when new, which was quite a sum back in the day. That was just a few grand cheaper than a new Jensen Interceptor, and several grand more than a fully-optioned Eldorado convertible. Of course, the 911S was roughly the same price, so you had some agonizing to do when shopping for something fast and German. Yes, that's California-style body rust bubbling underneath the paint.

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Looks like this car has a case of "San Francisco Grille," no doubt the result of numerous parallel-parking incidents. I think it still looks good, though.

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DISCUSSION

There is no reason to Photoshop the plates.

As one cop told me, if it is on the street and in public view it is fair game.

A big reason not to is it, in some cases can help date the car. This is not one of the cases since it has plates issued from 1982 until 1987.

Plus it makes the photos scream, "Hey something is not right here!"