You'll often catch automotive journalists whining about the State Of BMW These Days, a familiar and often tedious conversation that centers on the Bavarians losing their way. It's not original or novel at this point to say that BMW has lost its magic, unable or unwilling to make the tack-sharp, simple sports sedans that catapulted the brand to the top of the premium car market decades ago. I get that these conversations are old. But when you look at the BMW E9—the best BMW ever, in my mind—it's hard not to eulogize what we've lost.
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See, back in 1973 even BMW's bigger coupe was a svelte and elegant car. Driving involvement, poise, and performance defined the brand. You bought it for the sonorous 3.0-liter, 180-hp fuel-injected inline-six or the world-renowned suspension tuning; it didn't need light-up grilles or gesture control to be desirable. Boisterous design and tech for tech's sake wouldn't become core BMW tenets until about 40 years later.
And on the design front, few vehicles move me like the E9. I remember first seeing one at the Larz-Anderson auto museum in Boston, an immaculate silver 3.0 CSL flanked by an M1. I had never idolized cars from the Seventies, or BMW in general, but the E9 stopped me dead in my tracks. Its shoelace pillars, expansive greenhouse, and blacked-out nose gave it an angry-yet-elegant demeanor I hadn't seen before. To my eye, it's among the best designs ever penned and easily the most gorgeous BMW.
So every time one of these pops up, my infatuation bubbles to the surface. Sure, I've never driven one. Yes, well-kept examples are getting pricey. Yeah, I know, yearning for old BMWs is something of a cliche. But take one look at this beautiful 3.0 CSi on Bring a Trailer—just used enough to drive it without guilt—and try to tell me you don't want that company back. Or, at the very least, want the car itself.
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