RE: BMW 3.0Si Estate: Spotted

RE: BMW 3.0Si Estate: Spotted

Tuesday 30th January

BMW 3.0Si Estate: Spotted

A fast estate that BMW did actually build, and the very last one remaining to boot - tempted?



If you know what this car is simply from the name, then very well done: we at PH were ignorant to its existence, and we like to pride ourselves on a fairly deep and dorky BMW product knowledge. And once you're aware of what a 3.0 Si Estate is, you'll want to know everything there is about it.

As the name suggests, this is a wagon version of the 70s E3 3.0Si, the saloon that would also form the basis of the E9 coupes. Yes, including the CSL. The Estate or Kombi version - note it isn't a Touring - came about through collaboration between BMW and Langley Motors of Thames Ditton, BMW Motorsport having experimented with a few Kombis to support its 2002Ti rally car campaign. One way to arrive...


Nowadays, in a time of self-funded Tesla Model S Shooting Brake conversions, you would expect demand to be at fever pitch for, say, an M3 or M5 Touring with dealer backing. We've been crying out for M Tourings, only for BMW to respond with SUVs. Well, yes, and nobody bought the V10 M5 Touring; we're getting away from the point here. Back in the mid-70s there wasn't an M Division yet and so no M3, M5, or even M1. The idea of a super fast family estate didn't appeal because it hadn't really been invented yet.

The 200hp 3.0Si Kombi rather did, but at a price: the advert for this one says the cost post-conversion was "stratospheric", the RRP for a regular E3 saloon being approximately twice the "equivalent British saloon car". Making an estate from a saloon is hardly the work of a moment, either. Imagine if a 540i today cost £90k today, and you had to send it to Thames Ditton to be made into an estate...

As a result only around a dozen Kombis were converted by Langley Motors, a combination of both 2500s and 3.0Si versions. Given the owner of this one had three others that were apparently beyond economical repair, his assertion that this could be the last one remaining is eminently believable.


His idea of "economical repair" really does stretch a long way, too, the restoration of this gorgeous Polaris Silver E3 having taken 14 years (see the video below for how it once looked). The results really are sensational though, with gleaming paintwork, immaculate upholstery and a beautiful overall condition. In all honesty the only one left could probably be in any condition you like; its current state simply makes it yet more desirable.

And pricey. Still, keeps with the tradition, doesn't it? And how on earth do you place a value on the last remaining version of a very rare car? Well, you start with £80,000 and see what happens. For some context you can pay €15,000 for a 3.0-litre E3 saloon, right up to nearly £120k for a right-hand drive CSL. That's of course of only limited use however because, if you really want a 3.0Si Estate, it's this one or you're not having one.

In its defence, people have paid for more for far more common and much less interesting classic cars. Although on the flipside there's an argument to be made now that this E3 is too lovely and too rare to actually put to any use, which would be something of a shame. And nobody is ever, ever going to know what it is. Still, that might sound like the perfect classic BMW to some...


SPECIFICATION - BMW E3 3.0SI ESTATE

Engine: 2,986cc, 6-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 200@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 201@4,300rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1974
Recorded mileage: 83,000 miles
Price new: N/A
Price now: £79,995

See the original advert here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

Searider

Original Poster:

792 posts

190 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
That's a beauty.

Always loved a fast estate.

Deerfoot

3,896 posts

119 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Nice.

Not £80,000 nice though...

Fastdruid

5,593 posts

87 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Sorry but I don't like it. It looks every bit of the half arsed bodge job that it is.

The wonky curve to the roof, the wonky window that doesn't blend with the rest of the car. It's just shockingly bad. vomit

Tuvra

7,690 posts

160 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Deerfoot said:
Nice.

Not £80,000 nice though...
As I was reading through I was trying to put a price on it, I thought "I bet it's £15k-£25k"

£80k?!? Yeah right, good luck with that hehe

Limpet

3,067 posts

96 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Fastdruid said:
Sorry but I don't like it. It looks every bit of the half arsed bodge job that it is.

The wonky curve to the roof, the wonky window that doesn't blend with the rest of the car. It's just shockingly bad. vomit
Thank God. I thought I was the only one thinking how tragic it looks. Something about it reminds me of the small 70s Datsuns you used to see about.

EDIT: Interior is lovely though.
Advertisement

simon-tigjs

19 posts

32 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Mid 1970 and sports estates not yet invented?? I give you the Scimitar GTE. I'll take a decent one of those all day over this !

pppppppppppppppp

74 posts

57 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
It's hideous. And can you imagine what the handling's like with a heavy load in that boot?

sr.guiri

217 posts

24 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
I wouldn't buy it myself, I don't have 80K to spend on something like this, but I can appreciate it for it's rarity - and you'd be way cooler driving this than some dick who's driving a similarly valued Range Rover or any other "me-too" car.

M666 EVO

1,055 posts

97 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
It looks like someone has bodged a rear section on the back of a shoddy old BMW worth about £500, immediately knocking £250 off because its such a bad bodge.

£80k is quite frankly a piss take.

e30m3Mark

11,676 posts

108 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
To think I knocked one back at £100. I think it went t the scrapper in the end.

Admittedly it was 28 years ago but still.

I quite like it but rarity doesn't always equal high value. I'd rather have the 3.0si saloon again anyway. It was a lovely car and performance was brisk to say the least.

Fun fact, that tailgate is off an Austin Westminster.

SturdyHSV

6,162 posts

102 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
200bhp isn't bad, it does look every bit the 'conversion' though unfortunately, the rear side window's shape doesn't fit with the rest of the styling at all, presumably they had a job lot of leftover greenhouse panes to use up or something? hehe

Cledus Snow

1,852 posts

123 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Love it. If I had a spare £80k i’d Have it in a heartbeat.

andyalan10

189 posts

72 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Almost exactly when this was bodged I was a schoolboy reading Motor in a French lesson. I escaped a more severe punishment from the French exchange teacher because of the Citroen DS23 Safari front and centre on the cover. It was being tested against a 3 litre Granada estate and a 3.3 litre Vauxhall Ventora estate. Just because the Germans hadn't discovered fast estates doesn't mean they didn't exist. And I know fast then was different from fast now, but they were all top trim spec top engine size estates.

Cool story bro.

andyalan10

189 posts

72 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
...and of course about the same time as Del Lines was putting Triumph Stag V8s in Triumph 2500s.

That would be my choice over the BMW by a very long way.

Andy

Dinoboy

1,451 posts

152 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Would love an Si saloon, this doesn't do anything for me.

cookie1600

1,001 posts

96 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
e30m3Mark said:
Fun fact, that tailgate is off an Austin Westminster.
Are you sure?







Blue62

3,169 posts

87 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Dinoboy said:
Would love an Si saloon, this doesn't do anything for me.
I agree, the saloon is such a handsome car that putting the estate next to it is heresy. My old man had the 2500 back in the 1970's and I've many happy memories of that car.

Murphy16

221 posts

17 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
I never even knew they made an estate version of this model.

Lewis Kingston

178 posts

12 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
Looks a little odd – but certainly interesting! Never seen one.

sjabrown

1,230 posts

95 months

Tuesday 30th January
quotequote all
A thing of beauty. Looks very nice indeed. But then I often prefer estates to the saloon versions.