Total Production: 603 1962 - 1965
By the close of the 1950s Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) found itself in financial distress. With the help of some creative and brilliant creations, BMW would weather these difficult times. One of their attempts to boost sales and their image the talents of Turin, Italy based Giuseppe 'Nuccio' Bertone was requested. Bertone was tasked with restyling the BMW 502 Salon which resulted in the 3200CS. With the aid of his chief stylist, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Bertone create a beautifully proportioned two door, four seater, high performance vehicle on the 502 chassis. Prototypes were shown at the 1961 IAA Frankfurt Show and construction started in February of 1962.
Under the bonnet was a very powerful 3.2-liter V8 engine that displaced 3169cc, had an aluminum block, twin Zenith double-barrel carburetors, and an available 160 horsepower. The interior was elegant, comfortable, and luxurious. Production would last until 1965 with a total of 596 units created.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
Debuting at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show alongside the BMW 1500, one of the most prestigious coupes of all time, the 3200 CS was produced from January 1962 until September 1965. The sporty touring 3200 CS would be the last of the big V8 engine BMWs . The 3200 CS was incredibly innovative for its time and featured numerous design elements that would be used in future BMW models including the renowned Hofmeister kink. The Bertone designed 3200 CS, the last of BMW's early postwar luxury cars, featured beautiful classic Italian lines that hinted at future coupe designs to come.
BMW's marketing manager Helmut Werner Bonsch made the discovery that the Pininfarina body for the Lancia Flaminia coupe would easily fit on the BMW 3200L sedan chassis without any extra work. He next went to BMW's management to commission Pininfarina to construct Flaminia coupe bodies with BMW grilles. This design would be the replacement for the 503, which had been discontinued in 1959. Unfortunately for Bonsch, BMW management chose instead to instruct chief engineer Fritz Fiedler to commission Giuseppe 'Nuccio' Bertone to both design and manufacture a coupe body for the 3200S. He restyled the BMW 502 Salon with the assistance of his chief stylist, Giogetto Giugiaro, resulting in the two-door, four-seater, high-performance 3200 CS on the 502 chassis.
The 3200 CS used a perimeter frame, a four speed manual gearbox, a 3,168 cc, twin-carburetor version of the BMW OHV V8 engine, a live rear axle, disc brakes on the front wheels and torsion bar springs at all four wheels. It was the last BMW that would have pushrod-operated engine valves, a solid rear axle and a perimeter frame. The 3200 CS had an available 160 horsepower.
The classic 3200 CS was a vision of what was to come in BMW's future as the low beltline, thin pillars and tall greenhouse became a template of sorts for the marque's later coupes. The 2000 C and CS coupes based on the New Class sedans and the E9 'New Six' coupes were examples of this. The styling as the side of the greenhouse eventually became known as the Hofmeister kind.
596 examples of the landmark BMW designed 3200 CS were built during its production run. The elegant model offered high performance, high style, and exceptional comfort all wrapped up in a classically styled package. The 3200 CS featured a roomy interior with wide windows. A 1964 3200 CS Coupe recently sold for $30,800 at RM Auctions. Sources:
By Jessica Donaldson