Is This E46 M3-Powered BMW 2800 CS the Perfect BMW?

Just recently, a wonderful Franken-Bimmer went up for sale, which featured an E38 7 Series body with an E39 M5’s powertrain. I said it could be the perfect BMW combination at the time but apparently Australian builder John Ward told that E38 M5 owner to hold his beer and made what could be the most perfect BMW we’ve ever seen. It combines one of the very prettiest BMW designs of all time with one of its greatest powertrains of all time — an E9 BMW 2800CS powered by an E46 BMW M3 engine.

The car started life as a rusted out shell of an E9 BMW 2800CS, with no engine or transmission. Its body was then completely repaired, its rust was removed, and, to accommodate more power, its structure was stiffened with additional welding and bracing. It then received strengthening to its rear subframe as well.

BMW 2800 GTS 5 664x830
Not the actual car. Image by BMW Classic

Under the hood, an E46 M3-sourced S54 3.2 liter inline-six was shoehorned into place, which required modifying the front subframe and the engine’s oil sump. The E46 M3’s engine was then mated to an E36 M3’s five-speed manual transmission, as it’s still sturdy enough to handle the S54’s power but also fits into the transmission tunnel of the E9 without modification to either. Power is sent to the rear axle through an E28 BMW 535i rear differential.

The E9/E46 M3 (known as Von Trapp) now makes around 333 horsepower (stock figure for E46 M3), which is far more powerful than the original car, so it should be the fastest E9 on the road. But forget the speed, the real selling point of this car is the fact that it’s absolutely breathtaking to behold and comes with of the best engines BMW ever made. It’s a near-perfect blend of old-school style and modern engine technology, and it’s likely an absolute blast to drive.

Admittedly, it’s very expensive, costing AUD 280,000, which roughly translates to $218,000 USD. So if you want one, you’ll have to spend about $88,000 more than a brand-new BMW M8 Competition Coupe to get one. Though, I’d reckon that Von Trapp is worth the extra money.

[Source: Top Gear]

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