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Thread: 1972 BMW Bavaria 3.5L 5-Speed Cold A/C SoCal History

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Costa Mesa, CA
    My Cars
    99 M coupe, 66 1600

    1972 BMW Bavaria 3.5L 5-Speed Cold A/C SoCal History

    1972 BMW Bavaria (E3)
    Orange County from New
    3.5L Engine / 5-Speed Manual
    Cold Air Conditioning
    1-Owner for 30-Years
    Over $23k of Recent Work

    VIN # 313xxxx
    107,000 Original Miles
    7,000 Miles on New Engine and Refurbishment
    Sahara (006) on Tobacco Leatherette
    5-Speed Manual Transmission
    Clean and Clear California Title
    Numbers Matching Engine Available*
    BMWCCA Member Owned
    Southern California from New


    The E3 was called the “New Six” and was first introduced in 1968. It came in a 2500 and 2800 variant. In 1971, for the U.S. market, Max Hoffman convinced BMW to produce a more powerful version with the 3.0L straight six engine that came in the CS/E9 coupes. However, he wanted it equipped in a base format similar to the 2500 in order to keep the purchase price as close to $6,000 as possible. Similar to the Speedster moniker created by Hoffman for marketing purposes, he suggested that these North American models be badged as a “Bavaria” to give it a more European vibe. They were a success and BMW sold over 30,000 3.0L models here between 1971 and 1977. However, they were simply transportation and were handed down in the family until they were eventually parted out or destroyed. Finding low-ownership and original examples that have survived are even harder than their 2-door CS counterparts.

    This Bavaria was built on May 12th, 1972 and delivered to Max Hoffman on May 17th, 1972. The first owner was Magna Schley of Costa Mesa, California. Her two sons, Mark and Paul Schley initially ordered a BMW 2002 for their mom. However, there was a mix-up and they ended up with a Bavaria. The Schley brothers are well known in the vintage VW Beetle scene. They built the first 10-second drag Beetle called the Lightning Bug. They now have a museum here in Orange County celebrating the SoCal VW drag racing culture. Mark and Paul flew back East in June of 1972 and picked up the car at the port. They drove it to Skip Hamm BMW in Pennsylvania as they were the selling dealership. Photos of their delivery from the dealership are included. They started to drive it back home across country. They got to Indianapolis and had to cut the trip short as they had other pressing needs. From there, they shipped the car the rest of the way home to Southern California.

    Magna was the head nutritionist at Hoag Hospital here in Newport Beach, California. Specifically, she took care of John Wayne and used this Bavaria to run house calls. During her care the car only went on one long trip, which was to Las Vegas. Other than that, for nearly 30-years, it stayed within a 10-mile radius of Costa Mesa. During her ownership, she always serviced the car at Hanza Motors in Huntington Beach. John Wickstrom, a German ex-patriot, was the owner Hanza Motors and was obviously familiar with the car. By the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, Magna could no longer drive and she sold the car to John, but he never registered it.

    With the help of his son, John began a sympathetic refurbishment of the car. He had the exterior repainted, but preserved the paint in the door jambs, trunk, and engine bay. New suspension was installed as well as they rebuilt the original motor and sleeved every cylinder. This was a slow project that took the better part of a decade to finish. The current owner knew the mechanic and saw it at the shop for years. Finally, in 2013, he convinced John to sell it to him.

    The current owner is the 2nd owner on record and a long-time local car enthusiast. He collects Chryslers and VWs. However, he’s always had BMWs for regular driving. Upon purchasing this Bavaria, he took it to Jeff Tighe for inspection and services. Tighe is a local vintage BMW mechanic who has been servicing and restoring these cars for over 25-years. He initially trained with Carl Nelson at La Jolla Independent. Tighe went through all the work John did and performed further tuning. This work included:

    5-speed manual transmission install
    Drive shaft
    Clutch kit
    Upgraded A/C system
    Rotary compressor

    The freshly built stock motor had an issue with consuming oil. They later found out that when John built the motor, he broke it in with synthetic oil and the rings never seated. At the time, Tighe had just rebuilt a fresh 3.5L from a late 80’s 7-series. This inline six puts out around 210hp and 225lb foot torque. The car had 99,380 miles when the new motor was installed. The original motor is available for purchase.*

    For the next 7k miles and 7 years, the current owner used the car for light weekend cruising and occasional commuting. He serviced it regularly with Tighe and continued to enhance the condition. Highlights of other work performed includes:

    Replaced side window frames with better original condition ones.
    (originals are available*)
    New front seat belts
    Sourced tool holder with extra pouch and correct factory tools
    Leather wrapped original steering wheel
    Correct factory wooden shift knob
    Alloy wheels with caps
    (Original steel wheels with beauty rings are available)*
    Michelin tires (9/14 @ 97,730 miles)
    New factory exhaust system with new hangars and mounts (4/20 @ 106,685 miles)
    Recent service/inspection (4/20 @ 106,685 miles)
    Tune up/adjust valves
    Distributor cap and rotor
    Spark plugs
    Oil service
    Trans service
    Diff service
    Front brake rotors

    In total, the current owner invested (not including the car) at least $23k bringing this nice survivor to the next level and making it a great driver.

    This Bavaria looks fantastic. It isn’t over-restored, but nicely preserved with attention on retaining originality. The paint work was very good and shows minimal signs of use. The trim and rubber are mostly original and still look fresh. All the light lenses are in good shape with no cracks. The glass is all original, including the windshield. They are wearing all their correct factory stamps. The windshield has no major cracks or chips, however there is a scratch on the passenger side from the wiper. The factory alloy wheels are wearing Michelin tires that are date stamped 2014 and have over 75% life left with no signs of age or cracking. The brakes also have about 75% life left.

    The engine bay, underside, and trunk area are very tidy with no signs of abuse or damage. The engine bay still wears its original finish as well as factory decals and badges. The underside is in similar condition with no signs of rust in the rockers or floors. The trunk area around the gas tank and spare tire well has a small amount of light surface corrosion on the original finish.

    The interior is equally as nice and all original. It is a testament to how this car was cared for. The leatherette seats show some light wear as to be expected, but no tears or rips. The carpet is in good shape without any major stains or tears. A full set (including the trunk) of custom Cocomats was installed to further protect the original carpet. The headliner and visors are in great shape with no major staining or sagging. The door panels are equally as nice with just light wear. The dash, remarkably, is also original and has no cracks. All the gauges work. The original radio has been bypassed with a hidden radio controller. The A/C system blows very cold.

    The experience of driving this Bavaria is fantastic. The drivetrain upgrade doesn’t detract from the experience, but just gives it enough extra power to make it quite usable in modern driving. The 5-speed transmission is nicely paired with the power and it shifts butter smooth. The brakes have an excellent bite and provide plenty of stopping power. The handling is crisp and although suited for open highway driving, it makes back road driving fun and confidence inspiring. A four-door vintage European sport sedan is the perfect usable compliment to any enthusiast’s collection.

    California registration is paid to July of 2021

    This Bavaria comes with 3-keys, original owner’s manual, tool kit, vintage delivery photographs, logbook of gas fill-ups, recent records, original full-size spare, jack, custom indoor flannel car cover, and full set of custom Cocomats®.

    *Available for an additional fee is the original engine and an extra set of original alloy wheels with hubcaps, original steel wheels with beauty rings (as seen in vintage photos), factory rear seat protector, personalized legacy black CA plates (CA buyers only), new clutch disc with pressure plate, two factory 3-ring binder factory workshop manuals, and extra set of side window frames original to car. Extra parts located with owner in Orange County.

    **Note: VIN and other numbers withheld to protect against fraud. All numbers including VIN, Engine, and color will be provided to serious buyers.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paul at 714-335-4911 or

    For tons of pictures, either cut and paste the following URL into your browser, or click here:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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