1970 E9 2800 CS: Reid Pepin/Parker Spooner/Michael Izor/Lou Ann & Lonny Shirk
1970 BMW E9 2800 CS #2270363
2.8-liter M30 inline six-cylinder, 192 hp/174 lb-ft
Sahara (custom formulation)
Lou Ann and Lonny Shirk (since 2011)
BMW’s the postwar coupes reached their zenith of perfection in 1968, with the lovely E9 designed by Manfred Rennen was mated to the M30 six-cylinder. Perfection doesn’t come cheaply, however, and the 2800 CS was priced at a staggering $7,480 when it arrived in the US in 1969. It was expensive to maintain, too, as the first owner of this 1970 example discovered. Within a year, he returned it to the dealer, where it was picked up by Boston dentist W. Reid Pepin. Pepin fitted #2270363 with triple Weber carburetors and a Holman & Moody cam, and he enjoyed it for half a decade before he was forced to part with it.
“The day Reid had to give it up, [CCA president] Parker Spooner was there,” says Michael Izor. “He wasn’t rich, but he had saved, and he bought it in around 1977. He absolutely adored that car.”
Spooner added an Alpina steering wheel/shift knob and black-painted Weds wheels. The CS was with him at every Oktoberfest for over a decade, often driven by Joseph Chamberlain and Diana Slocombe, and it became indelibly associated with Spooner.
“I came home one day in 1989 and the coupe was in my driveway,” Izor recalls. “I called Parker up, and he said, ‘I’m dying [of cancer], and I want to make sure that car is safe forever.’ I owned that car for 20 years, but it was Parker’s car, and that’s all there was to it.”
By 1989, the coupe’s paint was showing the effects of 19 New England winters. Izor had it repainted in a custom color: the original Sahara, but with half the red. “It changed from light tan to café au lait, this delicious, incredible color.”
Izor loved the CS for 20, but eventually he, too, was forced to sell. “I could not give it the life it deserved. I had to let it go.”
Lou Ann and Lonny Shirk had come to BMW via its Z3 roadster, but they’d long admired the E9 coupes. After ensuring Izor that they’d care for it properly, they bought the CS in 2011. At Vintage Sports & Restoration, they had it lovingly repainted in Izor’s custom shade of Sahara, with the wheels redone in silver and the seats reupholstered in the original tan; VS&R also replaced the 4-speed transmission with a 5-speed.
“With the exception of that first year or two,” Izor says, “that car has always been owned by someone who really cherished it.”