A Munich Legends restoration:
1972 BMW E3 3.0 Si
This very special E3 3.0si saloon belongs to one of our favourite customers, a man who knows a thing or two about BMWs – he’s owned over 110 in his life. The E3 model holds a special place in John’s heart, having been a car that performed transport duties on one of the most important trips of his life in 1974 – an early date with his now wife. John’s attention was drawn to the E3 when it was first offered for sale at Munich Legends, through an article in Straight Six magazine written by Dan Norris. This lovely, original E3 was part of the Munich Legends fleet for a short time back in 2009, and was still in great shape when he first drove all the way from Scotland to view the car. However, John set out to transform the saloon into one of, if not the best E3 on the planet, a challenge we happily accepted. Stripping the shell, but crucially keeping it whole and avoiding chemical dipping, the ML team embarked on what has been one of the most satisfying projects we’ve taken on, made all the more fun by John’s enthusiastic contribution as he followed the project.
The engine was entirely rebuilt and painstakingly reconstructed with all ancillaries either replaced or fully refurbished, and once the engineering was finished, attention turned to the visual look, which had to match all the other components in the engine bay – a full recreation of how the E3 would have looked as it left the factory back in the early 70s. We think the engine bay is one of the best we’ve ever seen, and compliments the beautiful Polaris silver external paintwork. The bare shell was painstakingly prepared – including the interior faces- with any signs of corrosion cut out and re-metaled, before being blocked, primed and finally painted. The underside was fully stripped, with every component being powder coated or replaced – fuel and brake lines, suspension and drive train components, brakes, fuel tank…every nut and bolt re-anodised, everything needed to (re)create what we believe is the loveliest E3 3.0si saloon on the planet. Having completed stage one of the restoration, all that remains at the time of writing is the re-upholstery – a perfect match has been found for the inner part of the seats – the blue velour has sun-faded over 50 years (but curiously not the outer bolsters) – and our trimmer is scheduled to work his magic very soon. Stay tuned for the final chapter…