The 3500csi

Glass, metal, and chrome - the classic automotive sculpture. The Karmann bodied BMW E9 coupes represent the classical 1960's and 1970's automotive engineering. From the pillar-less windows, to the shark-nose grill, these coupes represent classic BMW styling.

In its original form, the 2800CS graced the streets and autobahns with nearly 200 bhp, and handling that could keep up with 911's. This grand tourer makes all the right noises. The engine was considered the most efficient and sophisticated inline six in the world at the time. It was powerful and responsive, yet surprisingly fuel efficient and met government emissions on carburetors with no added-on devices. The gearbox and shifting action was top of the class, and the changes were really quick. The handling was surprisingly good, considering that this was a luxury GT car.

The driving sensations is one of light, nimble, exquisitely refined performance. Few cars have the ability to run down roads at blurring velocities, with the driver in the cockpit remaining in calm, and complete control. The Germans call this "speed-feel." The car just purrs along in complete and utter confidence.

You'd think we'd be describing a modern day Z3, or 3-series coupe - but no. The car we're looking at is a three decade old warhorse from another era. But, technology moves along. Fuel injection, stiffer shocks and springs, catalytic converters, computer technology, CD's....all combined to make cars better and safer. But not as classy.

Enter the 3500CSi. Where the East meets the West, we have a combination of the best of both the old world and new. Gone are the troublesome carburetors. Enter a modern, efficient, fuel injected 6 cylinder. Gone are the troublesome electrics, instead we have reliable wiring harnesses and Motronic technology. The 3500CSi combines the best of the old BMW with the best of the new BMW.

Take 1 part 2800CS, combine with 1 part E28 535i, and the result is one extraordinary piece of machinery. The 3500CSi includes such modern conveniences as R134A converted E28 air conditioning equipment and E28 electrics. An oil cooler and 5-speed transmission. A modern, 3430cc inline 6-cylinder with fuel injection and Motronics - incidentally tracing its roots DIRECTLY back to the famed 2500, 2800, and 3.0's of yesteryear.

Stiffer springs and shocks improve handling without giving a harsh ride. Sway bars reduce lean and roll. Bigger brakes increase safety. A conversion to an E28 electrical harness means more reliability of the electrics (no longer are we relegated to a total of 9 fuses). A newer stereo system improves driveability and comfort. Yet, we retain the classic styling of the Karmann coupes. Who can ask for more?

Written by Chris Graff '00

Technical Articles and Procedures

Before Restoration Rear shot when arrived Resting in the driveway Old Engine Old Engine
Underbody Underbody Old Engine Old Auto Tranny Old Exhaust
Test fitting new motor Fitted 3.5 Motronic Restoration begins Disassembly No More Dash
Gutted Interior Getting Straightened Patching Rusty Metal Removing the Rust New Brackets Under Hood
Test Fitting New Engine Initial Body Work Stripping Paint Bare Metal Body Filler
Almost Ready For Paint Ready For Primer Primer (YAY!) Beautiful Wet Sanding
Time For Last Coat DONE! Back at Home Reassembly Starts Peak Into Trunk
Rebuilt Rear Suspension After Suspension Install Other Side One More Trunk Front Suspension Removed
Before New Engine Before Interior New Engine Installed New 5 Speed New Rear End
Getting it Running Finally DONE! Looks GREAT! Chris G and I EuroFest '04 Window Card
EuroFest '04 BEST BMW EuroFest '04 2nd Place Getting Ready for EuroFest HELLO!

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