Outstanding 1974 BMW Bavaria 3.0S 4 Door Sedan.
This is the 3-liter, 4 door BMW Bavaria 3.0S from the famed Bavarian Motor Works of Munich Germany, once called “the best car in the world.” It is an innovative and unique concept of what a fine car should be. Above all else, this BMW was built to be driven, but it was also designed to displace the leading luxury models offered in America.
This rare and exceptionally low 46,000 mileage 1974 BMW Bavaria 3.0S sedan is in very good condition. Automatic transmission, 6 cylinder 2985cc/170hp 2x2bbl, Weber carbs makes her quick as a rabbit; fast as a rocket. It is a big step up from BMW’s model 2002 line in all respects.
It has new tires & upholstery, good body, and is excellent mechanically. Serviced only by experts. Interior judged at 47/50. No fabric tears, clean carpets and upholstery.
The 4-door Bavaria was BMW’s “Top-of-the Line” luxury and performance model from 1971-’74. It was engineered to displace Cadillac and the Mercedes 280SE as the premier luxury car in America, and is a faster, better handling car. The car was elegantly outfitted with a roomy interior and reclining seats. It has comfortable space for four adults plus luggage. And it is one of the best driving cars ever built. The best thing about Bavaria has always been is that it's fun to drive for the person who loves driving.
When it was introduced, Bavaria was called "Wundercar" and "the wonder of the age". Ken Purdy, the auto writer for whom the prestigious Purdy Award is named, said, "The Bavaria may be the best car in the world."
About 30,000 Bavarias were sold in the US. (It was not available in Europe.) Ours is believed to have the lowest mileage of all that remain. The most famous is Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ 1974 model she personally chose and drove in New York and the NJ countryside. (See the picture included here of her green Bavaria along with her registration.) Along with our car, Jackie’s was one of about 4,000 sold that year. It listed at $8,468, which was $801 more than a Cadillac Coupe de Ville. On the cusp of the Natalie Portman movie about Jackie, her car went up for auction with 75,000 miles, for $295,000.
Bavaria has an efficient, smooth and turbine-like OHC engine that was the most advanced in the world. BMW advertised, “The Bavaria can hit 130 mph. Cruise at 120 mph with ease.” Its “heart” is an overhead camshaft engine with BMW’s innovative triple-hemispherical swirl-action combustion chambers. It is so efficient and powerful that Road & Track said "It is without doubt the most sophisticated in-line six in the world."
The Bavaria suspension is independent on all four wheels, with multi-jointed rear axle. Its rear wheels never change camber no matter how rough the road thanks to the sophisticated suspension system. The resulting cornering capacity is phenomenal. The car was engineered to hold the road no matter how fast you turn, even on hairpin curves. BMW said, and you will realize, “It handles like nothing else.”
Bavaria, with its understated elegance, was recognized as the best engineered luxury car available. Between its performance and handling, no other car came close to its responsiveness and precise control. It rated high in comfort, durability, finish, quality of construction and even economy of operation.
Bavaria was the forbearer of modern BMW high-performance sedans, combining comfort, acceleration, fuel economy, room for four people and a large trunk. Its safety features included crush zones in front of and behind the extremely rigid passenger compartment. In every aspect of automotive engineering, the BMW Bavaria is special. It's not just outstanding in some areas, but in all.
The car sat in a garage in southern PA for many years before a friend got it. Since then, it has always been garaged and serviced by experts. All metal is original.
Our mechanic made a thorough check of mechanical systems in 2017 and had new tires and Weber carbs installed. It starts and runs strong and perfectly and makes full power as you would expect from a BMW thoroughbred with its impressive 3.0 6-cylinder engine.
Practically everything important works well except the AC, which we never missed, even during our daughter’s July wedding. Otherwise, the car is brilliant and a pleasure to drive.
1974 was the last year for the Bavaria name. In 1975, the name was dropped. Though other model names were used during the E3’s run, Bavaria was the one that stuck. You never hear about Jackie’s 3.0S, it’s always "The Bavaria".
BMW’s advertising summed it up by saying:
A BMW Bavaria tells the world you are going places. Because above all else, this BMW was built to be driven. It was not intended merely to be impressive, or ostentatious, or stately.
The Bavaria was designed and constructed with in almost fanatical dedication for what it does on the road. Especially when in the hands of a driver who knows and loves great machinery. The result is a car of extraordinary capabilities. It will go, stop, corner and maneuver, and respond in a way that, to the uninitiated, is nothing less than astonishing.
In sum, it is a car of tremendous refinement. Because to each aspect truly important to the car's function, in handling, safety, comfort and quality of construction, BMW brought standards born of a half-century tradition of engineering leadership. The more you like to drive, the more you will appreciate the Bavaria.
The car comes with its original Owner’s Manual, a 3 volume set of factory guides, a fabric cover and various spare parts we’ve come across during our 15 yrs of ownership. Images of historic BMW ad copy for the Bavaria are included in this listing among pictures of our car. Compare our seats with the BMW ad showing new seats.
We’ve loved driving it, but will be moving and sadly don't have space for it. We are looking for a new home with owners to enjoy it!