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BMW E9 3.0 CSi spotted in Malaysia (Not Really…)

Visits: 1033

From the later research of the car, I found out that this is NOT an original CSi model. It was a 1973 CSA from UK, later converted to CSi engine from a different car from Singapore (according to the engine number from BMW Classics).


Later only I found out that the engine is NOT a CSi engine. It is actually a 633 CSi engine with 5 speed manual transmission. SCROLL to the End of this page for Engine comparison photos.

Quite a rare car, especially the right hand drive. Saw the owner putting up the photos in Facebook yesterday.


Up-sized using Topaz to improve the quality of the photos.

Did some study of the E9 series, and found that there are CS, CSI and CSL series.

CS = Coupe Sport Carburetor

CSI = Coupe Sport Fuel Injection

CSL = Coupe Sport Lightweight

Got the VIN number from the current owner (2232348), did a search and found the following:



Creation date: July 12, 2011

Modified date: February 14, 2018

Year: 1974

Color: Malaga (021)

Name: Ruban Chelliah

Vehicle Status: Driven

Registration Type: Vehicle

Brought to Malaysia from the United Kingdom by its first British owner. Date of entry into Malaysia not evident. Sold to a Malaysian Architect on 21 April 1994. I bought the car from him on 20 June 2000
This is a Right Hand Drive model with a manual 5 Speed gearbox.

Original Malaga colour should be deeper red, but the current one is bright red. So the car must has been painted at one point of the time. The Malaga colour I found from the internet is of the following deeper red, which I think is much better colour and suits the elegant design of the car more.

Right hand drive version is very rare. There are only 207 units of RHD 3.0 CSI available as per e9coupe.com, making it one of the rarest BMW ever.


Requested more photos from the owner:

Whatsapp messages and photos were auto deleted due to disappearing setting in default set by the owner. So I requested a resent of photos from him and he added some extra photos that I have not seen before. Sharing here:

Story from the owner:

Q: Why do you want to sell the car?

​Had it for 20 years. Let someone else enjoy this. A Singaporean offered Sing100k for this but he had a condition. I had to keep the car in my place and look after it. Could not take that chance in case of an accident or something else. So I said no to him. Rather let go to a Malaysian.

Q: How did you found the car? Can share your story?

When I went to the UK to study I saw this car in a magazine. I was amazed with the design. When my elder brother was going to return home he wanted to buy a car to send back. So we went to the Earls Court Motor Show. There I saw this car on a pedestal. It was in apple green. I was stunned at the design and beauty of the car. I spent about 2 hours just studying every aspect of the car. I fell in love with it. Decided I have to find one from wherever. So I put out my request and a dealer saw this and texted me that he has one that he was selling for an architect. Went to see it. Loved it and drove it home.

Video from the owner of the engine running

The current owner is asking RM250k for the car. He said there is no rust, but the clock is not working. Did some study online, looks like not a too difficult fix.

Really itching to get this car, as I think it is a rare model and a good buy price at RM250k. Price is appreciating for this model, and getting rarer and rarer to acquire. Buying one from overseas will double up the price after import duty and tax, which can easily reach over RM500k. RHD is even harder to find, as there are only 207 units produced. Doubt many survived after 40-50 years. This is a 1974 model, so is 49 years old. Entitle for classic car status with 90% discount on road tax.

From Facebook, saw one E9 CS or CSI with Singapore plate.

There are various colour of E9 in the market. Saw a photo showing nice 8 different colours all together. Very rare in such occasion I must say. I think my choice would be the darker blue (2nd from the right) or silver (2nd from the left).

Update 12th March 2023 (Sunday)

A crazy day in my life. First time driving so far to Kuala Lumpur for just one purpose, seeing an antique car and came back on same day.

Make an appointment with the owner to meet him on Saturday at around 1pm. I departed from JB at 8.45am, after my breakfast. Drove till Nilai and too a short break there at around 12noon, and continue the journey to reach the owner’s place at 1.05pm.

The car was covered. The owner took the cover off and drove it under the sun for my better inspection.

I went through the car first round in around 1 hour, then 2nd round I use my camera to take as many photos as possible.

Front and rear whole car


Rust problems

Engine Compartment

Boot area


The position of the exhaust looks wrong. It dropped too much. It should be at the same height level as the spare wheel tank, and the exhaust exit should match to the cut out of the bumper.


These wheels are BBS style. I thought they were BBS until I saw the car that has one with Enkei logo on it. Not sure if they are original Enkei wheels or BBS wheels. Size 15″ as per the tyre. 205/60R15. One thing good that there is a spare wheel in the trunk, same design.

All the 5 tyres are very old from year 2011, cracked and poor condition. Definitely NOT safe for driving.


Other photos

Saying goodbye to the car before heading back home.

Email from BMW Classic

from: hdz.info@bmwgroup.com

to: khoking@gmail.com

date: 17 Mar 2023, 16:42

subject: AW: Requesting info of a BMW E9 Classic


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your email.

The BMW 3.0 CS Automatic VIN 2232348 was manufactured on June 5th, 1973 and delivered on June 6th, 1973 to Great Britain. The original colour was Verona, paint code 024.

The engine No. 3250936 belongs to a BMW 3.0 Si rhd built on January 15th, 1973 and delivered to Singapore.

We hope this information is helpful for you.

Yours sincerely,
Andreas Harz

BMW Group
Andreas Harz
BMW Group Classic
BMW Group Archiv

Postadresse / Postal adress:
BMW Group
80788 München
Besucheradresse / Visitor’s adress:
Moosacher Straße 66
80809 München

Tel: +49-89-382-68281
Fax: +49-89-382-24765

What can we digest from the email above? Something really interesting!

  1. Based on the VIN number 2232348, the car was original an automatic delivered to the UK. It was a BMW CSA, not CSI, produced in 1973. Total production quantity was just 215 units, still a super rare quantity.
  2. The engine No. 3250936 belongs to a BMW 3.0 CSi RHD built on January 15th, 1973 and delivered to Singapore.
  3. The engine and the car chassis are not original factory built same car. It was at some point in the time that the engine was donated to this current car, and the gear box was changed from an automatic to 5 speeds manual. I am not sure what model is the current 5 speed gear box.
  4. In short, NOT a matching number car. Some people are quite particular about this in classic car collection.

What are the repair needed?

Random list from my head:

  1. Bonet arm. Cannot hold the bonnet securely.
  2. Bonet emblem. Looks like missing outer plate and not centered.
  3. Radiator clean or replacement due to engine oil mix. RM300
  4. Engine gasket overhaul, due to collant leak. RM1000
  5. Chassis rails. From front extended till engine firewall. Current one is badly corroded and dented from engine weight lifter. The rails are curved up to the body, looks like quite badly damaged. RM5000.
  6. Outer sills both side. Rust badly. Will need replacement. USD2000.
  7. Door B-pillar cover (left and right are missing). US$200 per piece.
  8. Upholstery for the whole car. front seats, doors cards, rear seats to be done locally (RM5000), carpet (USD400), headliner (RM1000).
  9. Boot arm. Left right look different.
  10. Headlights (4pcs) blurry, need restoration.
  11. Steering is good, but gear knob can be changed to one with BMW logo.
  12. Air cond needs servicing or new set. The current air cond vents are broken with missing blades and slider. The switch to ON / OFF is also located at the bottom of the steering, not in the original center console position.
  13. Power windows will need to be check/service. Power window buttons will need to be replaced. RM500.


Another CLS in Malaysia?

Bumped into a Youtube video of a CLS in Malaysia. Poor video from handphone.

Asking ChatGPT comparing Volvo P1800 and BMW E9

volvo p1800 vs bmw e9, which one rarer?

The Volvo P1800 and BMW E9 are both classic cars that were produced in limited numbers, but in terms of rarity, the Volvo P1800 is generally considered to be the rarer of the two.

The Volvo P1800 was produced in various models between 1961 and 1973, with a total production estimated at around 47,000 units. In comparison, the BMW E9 model was produced between 1968 and 1975, with a total production estimated at around 30,000 units worldwide.

Furthermore, the Volvo P1800 was produced by a smaller car manufacturer compared to BMW, which is a larger and more established automotive company. As a result, the Volvo P1800 is considered a more exclusive and rare classic car compared to the BMW E9.

However, it’s important to note that rarity does not necessarily determine the value or desirability of a classic car. Other factors such as the car’s condition, history, and popularity among collectors can also affect its overall worth.

volvo p1800 and bmw e9, help me choose one

Choosing between a Volvo P1800 and a BMW E9 depends on your personal preferences, needs, and budget. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Design and style: The Volvo P1800 and BMW E9 are both iconic cars with unique and stylish designs. The Volvo P1800 has a classic and elegant design, while the BMW E9 has a more aggressive and sporty look. Consider which style appeals to you more.
  2. Performance and driving experience: Both cars offer a thrilling driving experience, but the BMW E9 is generally considered to be more performance-oriented with its larger engine and more advanced suspension system. However, the Volvo P1800 is still a fun car to drive and may offer a smoother and more comfortable ride.
  3. Rarity and availability: The Volvo P1800 is generally considered to be rarer than the BMW E9, which may affect its availability and price. Consider how important rarity is to you and whether you’re willing to pay a premium for a rarer car.
  4. Maintenance and repair costs: Both cars are classic cars, which may require more maintenance and repairs than a modern car. Consider the potential costs associated with owning and maintaining each car.
  5. Budget: Both cars may have a significant price tag, so consider your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on a classic car.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences and needs. It may be helpful to test drive both cars, do research, and consult with car enthusiasts and professionals before making a decision.

20th March 2023

Whatsapp an offer to the owner two days ago, RM150k. No reply from him. Guess is too low for him to even reply. 😛

Come to think of it, maybe it is not a good decision to spend so much on the car, with engine radiator leakage problem, and rust of the main rails and sills. These two things can cause quite a lot of damage and $$$, and with the limited sources in Malaysia, no guarantee if they can be rectified perfectly.

Dumping RM150k or 250k into an unknown is quite a challenge. I am OK to risk RM150k, and reserve the RM100k for the work, but I am not ready to risk RM250k and no balance for the work. The work can easily reach RM50k for just the body work and engine, if they can be done. If the two parts have been rectified by the owner, I would be more than happy to pay RM200k for the car.

26th March 2023

A relaxing Sunday. Did a 3km run on treadmill, washed two cars, washed house gate…and messaged the owner. I asked if he can consider selling the car at RM170k. Reply from him:

Let me be honest with you. There is an offer from a guy for RM220k. Also looking at my 628csi so that is where I am now.

He wanted to sell the 628CSi at RM110k. This model is definitely overpriced at such price. Furthermore his unit is Automatic, definitely less fun and not what I want.

I have seen Akash Classics Malaysia selling a manual version at only RM59800 (with a few issues: auto windows not working, radiator leakage, rear brakes not good). Still, to repair should not cost more than RM10k.


Back to the E9, that’s the only one that I am keen on.

If you can meet the current offer, I rather it go to you as you will love it like I do. That I am sure of bro.

Now the ball in under my feet. Can I afford RM220k for a problematic car?

Frame Rails & Sills Repairing Cost?

I contacted a workshop in Selangor that has his FB page showing some amazing restoration work:


I whatsapp some of the photos to the owner, to get his estimate. I know the quote won’t be accurate or final, I just want to know an estimated figure. RM10k, 50k or 100k?

The boss said sills both side would be around RM8-9k, if added the frame rails, the around RM15k. I think driver floor and fender are rusted too. Might need replacement. Total RM20k?

27th March 2023 (Wrong Engine?)

I posted a Question to FB E9 group yesterday:

This really shocked me as I never thought the engine has been swapped to a different model (not CSA or CSL or CSi). From the engine number sent to BMW classic, I thought it was a CSi engine.

As suggested from the FB replies, the engine does looks like a BMW E24 633 CSi model (M30B32 engine).

633CSi engine has only 181hp, while the original E9 CSi engine has 200hp. The 5 speeds transmission in the current E9 should be from the new 633 CSi engine.

Photos below are original CSi engine. The air filter box is totally different.

This is a real deal breaker for me. A CSA model with swapped 633CSi engine. Very NOT original car. I don’t think CSA is worth that much. Sounds too fishy and too many question marks.

The car has the classic car status in Malaysia from JPJ, but it is actually questionable why JPJ is able to grant classic car status to this particular model, with the swapped engine.

I was so closed of buying the car, almost made up my mind to take the car as in its current condition and do the restoration work as a challenge.

I thank God for the journey, guidance and experience learnt. What a dream!