Frankenclassic

Topping E39 M5 mechanicals with modified CS coupe bodywork, MKO creates a hybrid of modern and classic BMW.

May 24, 2013
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When I first spotted it in the back of the MKO workshop, the 3.0 CS coupe looked like yet another immaculately restored vintage E9—still elegant, still sporty, a classic BMW in the very best sense.

As I came closer, I noticed that it wasn’t exactly standard. Its lower, more purposeful stance and wider wheels stood out, and its rear wheel arches had been extended, too. In fact, the sill area just before the rear arches had also been subtly and sympathetically flared. MKO boss Michael Oberhauser explained that the 3.0 CS bodywork had to be modified to accommodate an E39 M5’s shortened floorpan and mechanicals.

Say what?

Oberhauser raised the hydraulic lift and showed me how the 1970s coupe body had been grafted onto the late 1990s M5 chassis to create the CS M5.

That’s the kind of car that has to be driven as well as admired, but before we headed for the quiet two-lanes around the village of Wörth, about an hour east of Munich, Oberhauser took me down the long road he had traveled to get the beautiful CS M5 prototype to its finished condition.

“This prototype involved three donor cars: one E39 M5, which I bought in April 2010, and two E9 CS coupes,” Oberhauser explained. “I already had the first CS before I bought the M5, but then found I needed another for parts. The second CS was a metallic green 2800 CS originally owned by the famous Bavarian TV chef, Alfons Schuhbeck. Like the first one, it had a lot of rust, but I was able to use most of the body shell parts.”

New parts and custom panels

Also from Issue 116

  • 8-Fest preview; E31 8 Series, F12 M6 Convert
  • 2013 F34 3 Series GT first drive
  • 2012 E84 X1 xDrive 28i road test
  • Interview: Sales chief Ian Robertson
  • Buyer’s Guide: 5 Under $5k
  • ESS Tuning's E60 545i
  • Matt Russell's turbo E30 325i
  • Legends of the Autobahn ’12, with M8!
  • Amelia Island auctions: 3.0 CSL & 327 cabrio
  • How-To: 2002 grille installation
  • Paddock Pass: Z4 at Sebring
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