The BMW New Six was launched in 1968 to fill a gap in the product line from Bavaria since the BMW 501 had been discontinued in 1961. The 501/502 was a post-war styled beast that was never transformed into a late 50s/early 60s styled car. In the mid 60’s BMW was futzing around with gorgeous low volume specials like the 3200 CS but Mercedes was gaining market share and steadily powering the world with its executive specials like the W111 and W108. Things changed with the launch of the cruise missile shaped predecessor to the BMW 7-series and Stuttgart was officially put on notice. Today, clean examples of the New Six are surprisingly affordable for what you get. Find this 1972 BMW Bavaria for sale in Seattle, WA for $5,000 via craigslist.
The Bavaria is in a unique place for classic cars. It has been depreciated for years and the rusty versions have been crushed, but the surviving examples are starting to be worth just enough to survive the crusher’s jaw and be worthy of some weld repair. The New Sixes (aka E3s) do have a bit of a reputation for being susceptible to the tin worm, but they offer a surprisingly modern driving experience in a great looking package.
The top trim of the New Six was badged as the Bavaria for the US market in 1972 and was powered by a 3.0 liter M30 inline-6 good for 190 horsepower and 185 ft-lbs of torque. The 190 horsepower figure is the later SAE net power level and not the SAE gross numbers from a few years prior, so it should make for a fun drive with the 4-speed manual gearbox.
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