In 1961 BMW was looking for a replacement for the aging 503 Coupe. They turned to Bertone to produce a classically proportioned coupe body with distinctive BMW styling marks, in particular the kidney grill. The result of the joint effort, the 3200 CS V8, was introduced at the IAA in 1961 and production started in 1962. This established a firm knot between BMW and Nuccio Bertone, who became a personal consultant to BMW. Although having limited commercial success, the 3200 CS' elegant and understated lines were generally highly acclaimed. Production of the 3200 CS lasted to April 1965 and about 600 were made.
Launched three years later, the successor to the 3200 CS was the 2800 CS, which was styled in-house. It was the coupe version of the all new 6 cylinder E3 sedan model. The new engine (available in 2.5 or 2.8 liter displacements) was the pioneer of the straight six engines that power BMWs to this day. The 2800 CS, internally called E9, was basically a combination of the front part of the E3 with the glasshouse of the smaller engined 2000 CS four cylinder coupe. BMW, however, did not forget about Bertone and asked them to create their own version of the 2800 coupe.
Using a 30 cm shortened BMW 2500 chassis as a base, Bertone created the Spicup show car. The name referred to the Spider/Coupe option, offered by a roof consisting of two panels, that could slide into a large size T-bar. The interior was fitted with a cacophony of green, yellow and silver skai upholstery. The front part of the bore a resemblance to the Alfa Romeo Montreal, shown a year earlier. Sadly, the striking car was not very well received at its 1969 Geneva Motor show launch and with no further use for it, BMW decided to sell it.
Its new owner then clocked up over 100,000 km with what was basically a show car. At one point he changed the exterior color to orange and the interior to mainly black. Eventually the car was put off the road, until it reappeared some years ago in The Netherlands in the hands of a collector. He then sold it to a Belgian enthusiast, who has brought it back to its former glory. It required a full re-spray but the interior formed the biggest challenge as matching colours of the original material used were not available anywhere. It was therefore decided to go for all leather trim, whereby the silver parts of the seats were actually hand painted.
The first owner connected the silver engine cover with the hood so that they opened together. During the restoration it was brought back to the original configuration, whereby the cover sits firmly over the engine. The tolerances between hood and cover are about 1 mm, but even starting the engine does not create enough vibration to make the two parts touch.
The car was shown at the 2009 Villa d'Este Concours, where the proud new owner, having literally put the last hand on the restoration the day before the Concours, gave us an opportunity to admire this remarkable motorcar.