BMW 3200 CS

BMW is known for good design, which usually came from its in-house design department. In a few cases, however, the Munich-based brand used external coachbuilders. The most famous example might be the 3200 CS, which appeared in 1962. Here, Giorgetto Giugiaro provided the styling in his role as Bertone’s chief designer, which he had started shortly before. Italian elegance combined with some BMW details integrated panoramic front and rear windows and frameless side windows. The rear side windows were the first to feature the “Hofmeister kink” still known today. This double angle in the transition to the roofline came from BMW designer Wilhelm Hofmeister. Otherwise, the 3200 CS remained, in fact, the only production BMW ever to be partially built at Bertone. The bodies were created there and then sent by rail to Munich for final production. The chassis of the 502 served as the technical basis, although the 3200 CS was actually intended to inherit the 503, which was also built on this platform.

Sales crisis caused later premiere

The first two examples of the 3200 CS were actually ready in 1960. However, due to the severe sales crisis in which BMW had maneuvered itself due to the limited model program (Isetta, 600, 700 and 502), there was no direct chance of series production. It was feared that the hand-built bodies and the transportation costs from Italy would result in low profit margins. For this reason, the two-door coupé didn’t make its debut until September 1961 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. There, however, it was overshadowed by the brand-new 1500, the “Neue Klasse” (New Class). This mid-size sedan brought about the long-awaited turnaround for BMW to become a profitable manufacturer. The 3200 CS, however, became a slow seller and wasn’t widely advertised by the company’s management. There weren’t even test cars for the largest automobile magazines of the time. As a result, only around 600 units were built until 1965 (the figures vary depending on the source). A one-off convertible was even built for BMW’s main shareholder Herbert Quandt.

Last BMW with platform frame

While the “Neue Klasse” was equipped with a self-supporting body for the first time, BMW and Bertone used a platform chassis with an attached body for the 3200 CS. As in the 501, 502, 503 and 507, the transmission was located elastically on the frame between the seats. A short cardan shaft provided the connection to the engine. Another shaft led to the rear axle. At the front, a complex front axle with double wishbones and torsion bar springs as well as disc brakes was used. Meanwhile, BMW continued to use a rigid axle with leaf springs and drum brakes at the rear. Under the hood was a 3.2-liter V8 with 118 kW/160 hp. That was enough for a topspeed of around 124 mph. Inside, the 3200 CS offered space for up to four passengers. After about 175 units, the dashboard, which had previously been made of sheet metal, was replaced by one with a wood finish. In addition, leather upholstery was now standard. A fan with viscous clutch and a transmission now flanged to the engine were also among the changes.

Beautiful 3200 CS at Movendi

At the classic car dealer Movendi from Düsseldorf, Germany, one of probably only about 50 roadworthy BMW 3200 CSs worldwide is for sale. This coupé, painted in stone grey, was first registered in October 1964 and was fitted with special equipment including a steel sunroof and electric windows. A few years ago, it underwent an extensive restoration that retained the original color scheme. The brown leather is even still original. There are only 33,390 kilometers of mileage on the odometer. For the price of 109,500 € this beautiful BMW 3200 CS could change into your garage.

Images: Movendi