It’s not surprising that, according to Hagerty’s classic car valuation, the BMW 3.0 Coupe has appreciated in value by over 40 percent in the past decade—and by nearly 20 percent in the past three years alone. What’s surprising is that the car, manufactured from 1971 to 1975, was slow to begin its spectacular ascent.
An incredible car to drive, looks beautiful, performs well, handles well. Does everything you’d ever want. Fifteen years ago, 20 years ago, you could pick up these cars for under $10,000.
One look at the car explains its appeal. It has the long hood/short rear deck proportions that define a classic coupe, and it bears elegantly understated detailing such as the chrome trim lining its mid-section and surrounding its windows. All four windows retract, which lends excellent visibility and a convertible-like feeling inside. So lovely was the 3.0 Coupe that when BMW started its famed Art Car program—commissioning renowned painters to create custom works on their vehicles—the first cars chosen, as templates for works by Frank Stella and Alexander Calder, were 3.0 Coupes.
BMW built a powerful and smooth-revving straight six cylinder engine—another hallmark that’s continued to this day—into its forward-canted prow. It was good for a top speed of over 200 kilometers per hour (128 miles per hour). Inside, the coupe seated four comfortably, providing such accoutrements as power windows, air conditioning, and leather seats.
As wonderful as these cars are to look at and drive, and as much as they seem a great bet for further escalation in value, they do not come without hazards. Foremost is rust. The contract for the 3.0 Coupe’s handsome body was farmed out to famed German coachbuilder Karman, and many of the unseen seams of the vehicle have a propensity for rot. Our friends at Hagerty once described the 3.0 Coupe’s sensuous curves as, “one of the prettiest ways to creatively trap moisture ever devised.”
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