Ironically, The Market for Happiness-Bringing E9s Remains Depressed
Our love for the E9 is well-documented, and who can blame us? This graceful, refined, and downright gorgeous pillarless coupe arguably represents the Zenith of GT cars from a Gran Turismo Golden Age—there’s simply nothing on four wheels built since that approaches the E9 for sheer elegance and pitch-perfect style.
When the E24 was released in 1976, E9s were dumped en masse in favor of the newer coupe, and as a result fell into less than sympathetic hands. Throughout the eighties, many languished in less than ideal conditions, and as a result of their poor rust proofing, a large number simply rotted away—Hagerty once called the E9 “the prettiest moisture trap ever created”. For several more years, values sank deeper, exacerbating the attrition rate of a machine that wasn’t exactly commonplace when contemporary.
Today, market conditions are further complicated by the fact that almost all unrestored examples have some extent of rust repair needs, which in combination with expensive restoration costs, continues to depress values—it’s quite tough to make money bringing a haggard E9 back to glory, leaving this right and honorable task to those who view it as a labor of love, beyond even what most restos already are.
It can’t be escaped, though—E9s are stunningly beautiful, capable performers that carry with them the allure of their Munich pedigree, all of which points to a severely underappreciated model in the opinion of our expert friends at Hagerty, who speculate that the next A-1 condition example to be publicly auctioned will likely crack $100,000. For example, look to the recent Don Davis sale to see what a nice, albeit modernized example can bring.
With all that said, the E9 market has remained flat for the past five years, excluding a small bump in value about three years ago, and immediately following a 20% hike in 2007. Until that pristine 2800CS breaks six figures at a marquee venue, we’ll occupy ourselves browsing the internet to remind ourselves just how rusty is too rusty.
Petrolicious gives many thanks to Brian Rabold at Hagerty Insurance for his invaluable research and help with this article.