Volume IX, Number 4

The BMW 2000, 2800, 3.0 and 3.5 Coupes in Small-Scale
by Doug Breithaupt

The sport/GT cars of the 1965-75 era have become some of the most popular collector models on the planet. BMW was well-positioned to compete with their European, American and Japanese rivals with their stylish CS Coupes in 2, 2.5, 2.8, 3.0 and 3.5 litre form. These coupes combined good looks with the power and handling needed to give serious drivers a car that could deliver what it promised.

For ten years, from 1965 to 1975, this series of BMW coupes were offered. The line began with the 2000C or CS (1965-69), became the 2800CS (1968-71) and the 3.0CS, CSi and CSL (1971-75. A 2.5CS was also offered in 1974-75. The 3.0 and 3.5CSL were the racing version that had great success for BMW. The factory also offered a street version of the CSL although owners had to install the huge rear wings after delivery.

The 2000, 2800 and 3.0 models are all represented in small-scale. Best Box and Siku both offered examples of the 2000CS. The nose on these early cars is quite different and was not the strong point of the design. Schuco did a beautiful 2800CS with the new nose which is both hard to find and worth the effort. The 3.0CS and CSi were even more popular with Matchbox, Majorette and Summer offering castings. The Majorette is the best of the three with delicate lines and good detail. The Matchbox is a bit chunky but still a popular model. This casting was later sent to Hungary where better color combinations were done such as the silver example shown here. The Summer version is actually rather nice and represents one of Summer's earliest offerings.

Someone at Summer clearly liked this car as they went on to do two additional 3.0 models. Both are racing examples. The first is surrounded by some controversy. It is clearly labeled as a BMW on most castings yet the design and grill have more of an Alfa GT look. Some have wondered if Summer mis-labeled this casting as a BMW. Bertone was the designer for the Alfa and BMW so the confusion is perhaps justified. Summer went on to offer the full 3.0CSL with the huge fenders and wings.

The best examples of the 'batwing' CSL come from Japan. Tomica did an excellent CSL 30 years ago. It has been offered in a variety of colors over the years. Like many of the models shown here, it has opening doors. Only the solid rear wings and spoiler are a distraction. Kyosho's recent BMW series included the ultimate small-scale CSL. It is in authentic racing colors and numbers. The detail is amazing for a 1:64 scale model and it is a must for any BMW Coupe lover like me. Here are the examples from my collection.

BMW 2000CS - Best Box

BMW 2000CS - Siku

BMW 2800CS - Schuco

BMW 3.0CS - Matchbox

BMW 3.0CS - Matchbox (Hungary)

BMW 3.0CSi - Majorette

BMW 3.0CS - Summer

BMW 3.0CSi - Summer

BMW 3.5CSL - Summer

BMW 3.5CSL - Tomica

BMW 3.5CSL - Kyosho