The predecessor to the BMW 6 series was the E9, the 2800 CS model. The 1968 car introduced a lot design cues and features we now think of as quintessential BMW: the straight-six engine (code-named M30), the longer nose, and front-end treatment of quad headlights and kidney grill that became the BMW standard. It came with a 4-speed manual, though the one you see below has had a 5-Speed swap.
The new focus was on the mainstream appeal, but we can trace BMW’s bias towards luxury and sportiness back towards this car and the 2000 that preceded it.
Relatively light at 3131 lbs, making about 168/180HP, with staggered-width 16″ Alpina wheels, the 2800CS was successful as both a middle coupe and weekend racer. The 3.0 CS and 3.0 CSi were the replacements in 1971-72.
Only 183 of the E9 2800CS models were exported to the US in 1971, making this a relatively rare car. These have become increasingly collectible: The version you see below sold for $49,500 in May 2018 and then resold two years later June 2020 for $60,000.
Source: Bring A Trailer