Today we’re looking at a trio of reasonably priced coupes from the last Automotive Golden Age: a ’70 BMW CS Coupe, a ’73 Toyota Celica and a ’65 Volvo P1800. All three are widely regarded to be among their manufacturers’ best looking products. None are in perfect shape, but none are basket cases, either. All three have been lightly modified, but for the better, in our amateur opinion. The question now is what beverage would you like waiting for you at the end of the drive: Beer, Sake or Vodka?
The siren-ness of the BMW E9 coupe is well known: gorgeous body lines, remarkably simple drivetrain and chassis (seriously) but terrifying rust issues. This one’s been gone through in a way that takes advantage of the 25-year run of the M30 inline six, dropping its 2.8L for a later 3.0L, and the three-speed auto for a five speed stick. While not implemented, most of the parts for an EFI swap have been accumulated. The car’s been repainted and slightly CSL-ified, which in my personal opinion works, with the exception of the front fin things. It’s got tasteful 17″ wheels, a Nardi steering wheel and a hidden CD player. The car started life in Germany, but spent at least the last 10 years in California, where it’s been receiving its upgrades and a new passenger side floor pan. The seller reports a some bubbling at the fenders, but claims the rockers are solid. With 4 days left on the auction and the reserve cleared at $5,100, we’re guessing it’ll go for right around $10 grand, or the price of a new poverty-spec Versa (just for context).
1970 BMW 2800 CS – eBay Motors
In addition to last week’s very expensive used Honda, this find’s courtesy of Bring a Trailer. While the fetishism surrounding classic Japanese sports coupes among a crowd obsessed with ill-fitting clothing and wheel-to-fender fitment grows tiresome, the classic lines of pre-boring Toyotas are enough to tune out the background noise. This one’s sporting a JDM-only 18RG motor, an early Toyota-Yamaha joint venture that netted roughly 140 revvy horsepower in stock form, more if toyed with. The paint’s a very period-appropriate dark green, the wheels are 15×7″ Panasports, and the interior looks to be a total mystery. There’s no mention of rust, but it’s rarely on the mind of a southern Californian, so we’ll give the benefit of the doubt there. The reserve’s unmet at $3500 with four days to go, and again we’re guessing a sale price right around $10k.
1973 Toyota Celica – eBay Motors
Lastly, the Volvo. The P1800 ran from 1961-1973, this model being a ’65. Assuming things are roughly original, that means we’re looking at a B18 4-pot making just north of 100hp, backed up by a four-speed with electronic overdrive. While likely the slowest of the trio, the Volvo’s the only one featured in a TV show, as Simon drove one in The Saint. The interior appears to be mostly original and in aged, but good shape. After looking at this ad, we’re of the opinion that the world needs more cars with orangered interiors. It’s likely the least expensive, as the seller’s admitted he’s got it listed locally for $6,800.
1965 Volvo P1800 – eBay Motors