Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Bertone
Accompanied by its original German Kraftfahrzeugbrief (official registration document), this 3200 CS was first registered on September 4, 1964. It was sold new by BMW AG, München to a German industrialist, and it remained in Germany until the 1970s before being sold to the US. In 1986, the 3200 CS was listed for sale by Barry Schiff of Maryland, who at the time was the head of the BMW 3200 CS Register. A Colorado-based collector, who was building an exemplary and extraordinarily complete classic BMW collection, became the next owner.
Upon receiving the car, the collector was not satisfied with the vehicle’s condition; accordingly, he acquired the necessary, rare, and virtually unobtainable factory-original parts and commenced the vehicle’s restoration by 1989. Following completion of the restoration, the special 3200 CS formed a significant part of the V-8 models housed within his growing and prominent BMW collection. During his tenure, the 3200 CS was carefully used, enjoyed, and shown, with at least one long-distance tour completed during 2004 – the 2,400 mile BMW Car Club of America Northeast Marathon. Subsequently acquired by the consignor and presented today for sale, the car continues to present nicely with an honest patina and begs to be enjoyed. The 3200 CS is accompanied at auction by an excellent dossier containing history and restoration receipts, along with the original German Kraftfahrzeugbrief documenting the vehicle’s original registration particulars, first owner, and its chassis and engine numbers. Cloaked in stylish Bertone coachwork, and clearly benefitting from an exacting restoration and excellent long-term care, this 3200 CS remains an excellent and highly desirable example of the final BMW model to utilize the company’s original V-8 engine design.
The 3200 CS
As the successor to the elegant yet sporting 503 and 507 of the late 1950s, BMW’s new 3200 CS combined the chassis and mechanicals of the outgoing 503 with handsome new coupe bodies styled and built in steel for BMW by Italy’s Bertone, whose chief stylist was the highly respected Giorgetto Giugiaro. Its exceptional design elements profoundly influenced BMW’s own stylists, with the thin-section roof, and notched C-pillars of the 3200 CS soon also gracing the 2000 CS coupe that replaced the 3200 CS for 1964. In addition to an uprated 3.2-litre V-8 engine delivering 160 hp and top speeds approaching 125 mph, the 3200 CS was the first BMW model to be introduced with front-disc brakes as standard equipment.
Debuted at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show, the 3200 CS was available by February 1962 and continued until 1964. Only 603 examples were produced, including one cabriolet as a gift for BMW majority shareholder Herbert Quandt. Extremely expensive when new, many examples of the 3200 CS were specially equipped in various ways to suit the needs of their discerning and elite buyers. It is believed that approximately 50 survive today.