For most Americans, the BMW takeover of US sports/luxury cars began with the 2002. Before this early-1970s hit, BMW was best known in the US for the Isetta (in extremely low numbers) and for motorcycles.
Humming around town in this 1964 BMW 3200CS would make any and all BMW fan stop and stare. Far creamier and softer lines than the 3.0L Coupe from the mid-1970s, but still sharing their fundamental style and glasshouse?
That would be this extremely rare and extremely special 3200CS. Designed by Bertone, the 3200CS influence is instantly visible on every BMW since.
The best part!?
This rare classic sold for just $31,000 in 2013. That is damn near the base price of the current 228i — for 1960s style and elan than no modern car can match.
This particular car is not original in its drivetrain, likely a ding in its overall collector value. A very similar BMW 507 V8 drivetrain from the 1950s was swapped in for the 3200CS’s original 3.2-liter V8 and four-speed manual, but this is still pretty close to original in our view.
Chassis wise, the suspension is torsion bars at both ends — needing expert levels of fine-tuning and engineering to be playful and sporty. The 3200CS found an extra receptive audience in America by offering Euro speed and style in a roomy two-door package.
The 3200CS showed BMW how it could peel luxury shoppers away from the Mercedes and Porsche-dominated markets of the time, however, and is still delivering its magic today, 51 years later.
1964 BMW 3200CS