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      07-11-2011, 07:19 PM   #1
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CNBC: The Most Collectible BMWs

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BMW E30 M3

Production: 1986-1991
Units Built: 17,970
Body Style: Coupe/convertible
Horsepower: 200-238
Today’s Value Range: $25,000-$35,000

The BMW E30 M3 was greatly admired by the press and the public when it was introduced in 1986. Despite its hefty price tag, the E30 M3 was a commercial success and celebrated as one of the finest handling and enjoyable road cars—essentially “a racing car licensed for road use.”

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BMW 3.0 CS

Production: 1971-1975
Units Built: 11,603
Body Style: Coupe
Horsepower: 180
Today’s Value Range: $30,000-$50,000

Marketed at the time as BMW’s top-of-the-line model, the 3.0 CS was touted as having rich and famous owners, including celebrities and "even a dash of royalty."

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BMW 2002 Turbo

Production: 1973-1975
Units Built: 1,672
Body Style: Sedan
Horsepower: 170
Today’s Value Range: $40,000-$50,000

The 2002 Turbo, BMW’s first turbocharged model, sparked both controversy and enthusiasm in the auto industry. Although it sported a Kuhnle, Kopp & Kausch turbocharger and was capable of going from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.3 seconds, it also had extreme turbo lag and drivability issues.

Given that it was never certified for sale in the U.S. and unable to gain traction with consumers, only a limited number were ever produced, making those still in existence today some of the “most jealously guarded treasures of BMW enthusiasts around the world.”

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BMW Isetta

Production: 1955-1962
Units Built: 161,575
Body Style: Micro
Horsepower: 12-13
Today’s Value Range: $40,000-$50,000

After years of financial struggle and sluggish sales of its luxury models, BMW couldn’t survive without producing a car that was cheap to manufacture. In Germany at the time, it was the golden age of "baby" and "bubble cars," and BMW looked to find a model to add its line. They soon discovered the Isetta, an egg-shaped compact car owned by the Iso company of Milan, Italy.

BMW licensed the Isetta design but made several modifications, including building the car with a single-cylinder, four-stroke R25 motorcycle engine. Although a gamble for a company known for its luxury automobiles, the Isetta went on to be an enormous success, selling more that 150,000 units and bringing BMW back from the financial brink.

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BMW 3200 CS

Production: 1962-1965
Units Built: 603
Body Style: Coupe
Horsepower: 160
Today’s Value Range: $100,000-$130,000

The BMW 3200 CS coupe was designed by Italian automobile company Bertone and made its first appearance at the 1961 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. Many of the hand-built 3200 CS’ signature styling features, such as the kink in the rear window line at the C-post, were used again in later model BMWs.

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Production: 1978-1981
Units Built: 456
Body Style: Coupe
Horsepower: 277
Today’s Value Range: $125,000-$200,000

First conceived in 1976, the BMW M1's design was commissioned to ItalDesign with Lamborghini to build the car and BMW to provide the engine. By 1978, Lamborghini still had not supplied any pre-production units compelling BMW to transfer manufacturing to the Baur company. The M1 was saved, and able to be exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in October 1978. Nevertheless, sales were slow, and by 1981 only 453 had been sold to customers. Although the sports car was not a great moneymaker, it performed wonders for the BMW brand at the time.

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BMW 3.0 CSL "The Batmobile"

Production: 1971-1975
Units Built: 167
Body Style: Coupe
Horsepower: 180-206
Today’s Value Range: $200,000-$250,000

Throughout the 1960s, BMW strengthened its public image with its numerous achievements in motor sports. To capitalize on its growing appeal, in 1972 BMW created BMW Motorsport GmbH, a separate company with an emphasis on touring-racing.

BMW Motorsport’s first racer was the BMW 3.0 CSL, nicknamed "The Batmobile" for its lightweight body and aerodynamic racing features. The 3.0 CSL went on to win six European championship titles for BMW, but most of the cars were ultimately acquired by private customers for regular road use.

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BMW 503

Production: 1956-1960
Units Built: 412
Body Style: Coupe/convertible
Horsepower: 140
Today’s Value Range: $250,000-$350,000

The BMW 503 was designed by Albrecht Graf Goertz, a student of industrial design legend Raymond Loewy, and made its debut to the public at the 37th IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. The V8 2+2 seater was described as a sports car, but was actually more of a luxury automobile. With a high ticket price and stiff competition, sales for the 503 were low and an export business to the U.S. never materialized. Just over 400 were ever produced, making it extremely rare and highly collectible.

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BMW 328 Roadster

Production: 1936-1940
Units Built: 464
Body Style: Roadster
Horsepower: 80
Today’s Value Range: $600,000-$700,000

A top 25 finalist for Car of the Century, the powerful 2-litre, six-cylinder 328 Roadster is regarded as a racing legend. After winning its maiden victory in its debut at the 1936 International Eifel Race at the Nürburgring, a motorsports complex near Nürburg, Germany, it went on to win top-slot in most of its races in the 1930s, and more than 200 more during its lifespan. Of the 464 models ever built, less than half survive, some 120 of which are in still in Germany.

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BMW 507

Production: 1956-1959
Units Built: 252
Body Style: Roadster
Horsepower: 160
Today’s Value Range: $900,000-$1.1 million

Marketed as the "Dream from the Isar" and the "BMW Sensation," the BMW 507 was first presented to the public at the 37th IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in 1955. The roadster was also designed by Albrecht Graf von Goertz and has been regarded as one of the most beautiful sports cars of all time. The 507 fell flat with the public at the time however, and only 252 were ever produced. Despite low sales, the car was still a hit with car aficionados, including Elvis Presley, who enjoyed driving one during his service in Germany for the U.S. Army.
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      07-11-2011, 08:56 PM   #2
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They've had great success. Hopefully they stick to tradition and continue to build on there success in the future.
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