This 1974 BMW 3.0CSi Is Beyond Gone And That Makes Me Beyond Sad

Photo: Rob Emslie/Jalopnik

The world’s wrecking yards are filled with cars that deserve their fate—or at the very least don’t generate much sympathy for having arrived at their final resting place. And then there’s this 1974 BMW 3.0CSi Coupe.

So, fun fact: If you’re looking for a belly pan and related fasteners for a 1999 Audi A6 Quattro, don’t necessarily look to your local U-Pull-It yard as a source. It seems that one of the first things they do there, at least in my neck of the woods, is to discard the pan so they can access the cats, which are all unceremoniously cut from the car. I imagine there’s a pile of belly pans somewhere at the yard, with various grimy piece stabbing at the sky just like the tusks of fallen pachyderms in an elephant’s graveyard.


Not being successful in finding my under-car aero aid I tempered my disappointment by wandering around the yard and seeing what else had died and gone to heaven. The mix in the yards here is pretty much what you’d expect to see on the street, just a little bit older. There were ton of Toyotas, a huddle of Hondas, a mix of Mercedes’ and a flock of Ford Focuses.

And then there was this BMW 3.0CSi.

Yes, it was effed-up beyond measure. There are plenty of cars that end up in the yard that don’t fall that far off what you might see running on the street. This 3.0 however was literally an empty shell of what it once was. Not only that, but it was so badly beaten up it might bring a tear to your eye.


Being an American edition and a 1974 model, this was one of the big bumper, smog-strangled cars. Despite that, and even denuded of almost every part imaginable, there was still some extraordinary beauty extant in its battered bones.


Just look at that roofline. You just don’t get much more Hofmeister kinky than that. Even stripped of glass and trim it evoked a strong emotional response.


The rest of the car was in a bad way. A boot now lives were the gas tank once sat, and the passenger side showed what looked to be multiple encounters with something very angry. I do however, like the fact that there was an actual boot in the boot. I tried it on, it didn’t fit.


It’s impossible to tell how much of the car actually entered the yard, or how much was pulled after the fact. It’s a goner for sure, but I like to think that its death will allow others to live.


Its empty engine bay, once home to one of the smoothest sixes in the business, was now just a grim reminder that even the most lust-worthy of cars will someday meet an infamous end.


The interior had likewise been ransacked for all it was worth, leaving only some nasty carpet on the floor, and the fan motor under what was once the dash. The remaining wood on that dash was peeling like ancient parchment, a far cry from its former role as a talisman of the car’s elegance.


I have a good buddy who owns a 3.0CSi, an amazing looking one in Baikal Blue Metallic over a biscuit interior. He’s had it forever but left it in storage even though he moved across the country a few years back.

I think I’ll give him a call and see if I can go over and hang out with it for a while. If you are lucky enough to actually own one too, I suggest you might want to go out and give it a hug right now.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.