2021 Shannons Autumn Timed Online Auction

1974 BMW E3 3.0L Saloon





Engine 3.0 six-cylinder
Gearbox Three-speed automatic
Body Work Sedan
Colour Granatrot metallic
Interior Grey
Trim Cloth
Wheels Steel with hubcaps
Brakes Disc/Disc


This lot is no longer available

Best known by its internal code BMW E3, the BMW 3.0 sedan was a line of full-size luxury sedans and grand tourer coupés (BMW CS) produced by the German automaker from 1968 to 1977. All models used the then-new M30 straight-six engine and both the sedan and coupes were landmark models in the company’s development, establishing it as a genuine rival for Mercedes Benz. They were also important in establishing BMW's reputation as a maker of sporting, luxury sedans with which it has gone on to build its brand globally. Work on what became the E3 commenced in 1965 with a new engine based on its existing fours. Design was led by Wilhelm Hofmeister, famous for later instituting the ‘Hofmeister kink’ that became a hallmark of BMW styling, with some detail work executed by Italy's Bertone and Michelotti studios. A new feature was the twin headlights, set into the grille, a design which was to define BMW styling for decades. The airy design was roomier than BMW's existing range and appeared even larger, despite being no more than 1 cm (0.4 in) longer than Mercedes' midrange sedans. The E3 was regarded as a roomy and comfortable six-cylinder sedan that handled well and impressed contemporary reviewers. Two models were offered initially, the 2.5 litre 2500 and 2.8 litre 2800, joined by the dual-carburettor 3.0 S in 1971, followed by 3.2 and 3.3 litre variants. Introduced in 1968 and sold through to 1977, a total of 221,991 E3 sedans and coupés were built.