The Details

BMW E3 3.0S




  • Mileage: 58,087
  • Year: 1972
  • MOT Expiry: Exempt
  • Exterior Colour: Fjord Blue Metallic
  • Interior Colour: Black / Blue
  • Top speed: 127
  • 0-60mph: 8.1
  • BHP: 170
  • Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
  • Engine Capacity: 2986cc
  • Engine Configuration: Straight 6

Model History

The BMW E3 (also referred to as the New Six) was a line of full-size luxury saloons produced from 1968 to 1977, with all models using the then-new M30 straight-six engine. It marked BMW's return to the luxury saloon market after a hiatus of five years, introduced as a response to growing market segment dominated by Mercedes-Benz. The E3 was particularly important in establishing BMW's reputation as a maker of sporting, luxury saloon cars.

The two initial models, introduced in 1968 and sold until 1977, were the 2.5-litre 2500 and 2.8-litre 2800. The airy design was roomier than BMW's existing range and appeared rather large, in spite of being no more than 1cm longer than Mercedes' midrange saloons, which were generally considered to compete in a lower class than the new E3. They were large six-cylinder cars that handled well and impressed contemporary reviewers.

The big-bore, dual-carb’d 3.0S was introduced in 1971, being a more powerful and expensive model than the 2800; a fuel-injected version was also made. With a fully independent suspension along with four-wheel disc brakes, the E3 was well ahead of its time in the early 1970s.


Fjord Blue Metallic paintwork, Five-speed manual transmission, Alpina steering wheel, Alpina alloy wheels, Alpina wooden gearknob, Alpina-style front airdam, Alpina rear badge, Period bucket seats in black corduroy/leather, Original front seats in blue leather (not fitted), Front seatbelts, Rear headrests, Rear armrest, Dash clock, Cigar lighter, Ashtray, Boot carpet mat, Alpina spare wheel, Blaupunkt stereo, Electric aerial.


This 3.0S looks super with its period 16-inch Alpina alloys and matching front splitter. The Fjord Blue paintwork presents very well indeed with a deep shine, minimal imperfections, and a few light stone chips. The car is very straight along both sides with even panel gaps on close inspection, and the chrome is still very presentable throughout. All rubber and plastic trims also remain in fine condition, with the lights crystal clear and free from any chips. The factory chrome front bumper is also included in the sale.


The interior of the E3 is really very sharp. The dash is free from any cracks or damage and the wood inlays are excellent. The current owner has fitted the period Shield seats and wonderful ‘70s four-spoke Alpina steering wheel; the original blue leather front seats are in great shape and are also included in the sale. Other details such as the headlining, carpets, and door cards are also in fine condition. At the rear of the car the boot area is very tidy, still present with the original carpet and a matching 16-inch Alpina spare wheel below.


Lifting the bonnet and seeing the triple Weber 40 DCOE carbs is a real treat for any petrolhead – and the sound is fantastic! The car also benefits from the desirable upgrade of a five-speed manual gearbox for smoother high-speed cruising.


The highly desirable 16-inch Alpinas are in very nice condition all round. They are shod in a matching set of Pirelli tyres, all of which have over 6mm of tread remaining. The brakes are all fairly recent with minimal pad wear and no lips to the edges of the uprated drilled discs.

History File

This 1972 E3 comes with a file full of invoices detailing the work that has been carried out over the last twelve years. Such works include the upgrade to triple Weber carburettors – the carbs alone costing nearly £1,800 – plus the full strip down and repaint of the body that was undertaken in 2008. There are also some interesting magazine articles, lots of MOT certificates, and an original owner’s manual.

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