Friday, February 28, 2014

5k: New Six: 1972 BMW Bavaria

The BMW New Six was launched in 1968 to fill a gap in the product line from Bavaria since the BMW 501 had been discontinued in 1961.  The 501/502 was a post-war styled beast that was never transformed  into a late 50s/early 60s styled car.  In the mid 60's BMW was futzing around with gorgeous low volume specials like the 3200 CS but Mercedes was gaining market share and steadily powering the world with its executive specials like the W111 and W108.  Things changed with the launch of the cruise missile shaped predecessor to the BMW 7-series and Stuttgart was officially put on notice.  Today, clean examples of the New Six are surprisingly affordable for what you get.  Find this 1972 BMW Bavaria for sale in Seattle, WA for $5,000 via craigslist.

The Bavaria is in a unique place for classic cars.  It has been depreciated for years and the rusty versions have been crushed, but the surviving examples are starting to be worth just enough to survive the crusher's jaw and be worthy of some weld repair.  The New Sixes (aka E3s) do have a bit of a reputation for being susceptible to the tin worm, but they offer a surprisingly modern driving experience in a great looking package.

The top trim of the New Six was badged as the Bavaria for the US market in 1972 and was powered by a 3.0 liter M30 inline-6 good for 190 horsepower and 185 ft-lbs of torque.  The 190 horsepower figure is the later SAE net power level and not the SAE gross numbers from a few years prior, so it should make for a fun drive with the 4-speed manual gearbox.

See another way to drive a classic German tank with a 4-speed gearbox for cheap?


  1. I say it every time that you guys put one of these up: Anyone who can afford but isn't buying is stupid. They are very fun, very stable, and very fast. I used to drive mine from San Diego up to Julian CA and there wasn't anyone who could keep up with me (or maybe they just didn't want to, those roads are tight).

    But that bus steering round thing has to go.

  2. If not rusted out, these are 90% awesome (driving) and 10% hell (old wiring, decomposing interior, driveshaft on street). I'm pretty sure I've never seen blue with black interior, careful with checking out body beneath likely new paint. Ad says 5-speed, not original 4-speed--a great upgrade, unless it isn't. I would be truly happy to have the time to enjoy and maintain an E3 (or an E12).

  3. Blue on blue is a beautiful combination. If it's rust-free and sorted out, it's a steal. I contacted this fellow several weeks ago and did not hear back.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.