1972 BMW 3.0 CSL (E9)SOLD

Gp.1 Historic Touring Car

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Estimate: £28,500-32,500

Sold: £23,500

In the early 1970s BMW realised that it had a battle on to gain position in the hard-contested European Touring Car Championship. The company's CS2800 was struggling against Ford's Capri RS2600 and BMW was quick to realise that it could not fulfil its sporting ambitions without preparing a lighter, higher-performance variant. Thus the CSL was homologated and in September 1972, BMW produced the first of its CSL lightweight derivatives, which offered an aluminium bonnet, boot lid, and doors with very little in the way of luxury equipment. BMW needed only 1000 cars to comply with the FIA rules of homologation and in all the factory produced a total of just 1208 cars.
he race cars were further enhanced by an aerodynamic package - in much the same way as Ford's RS3100 would later appear - only the BMW version was so distinctive, it was immediately dubbed 'The Batmobile'. This aero package cut as much as 15-seconds off the car's lap time on the dreaded Nurburgring circuit - the 'wings' not only creating downforce but curing the car of uplift, culminating in an altogether more stable package - BMW were back in control of the circuits again! The mighty 3.0 CSL went on to win five European Touring Car Championships between 1973 and 1979, as well as national championships in several countries. In fact the race developed CSLs were so successful that they continued to win races way into the late 1970s even though production had officially ended in 1975 to make way for its successor, the 6 Series.

The car that we have on sale today was built and prepared by a respected CSL specialist, who has been responsible for the restoration of many important Works race cars. Built around a RHD CSL, the restoration and preparation of the shell was entrusted to a reputable BMW body specialist. The task involved a total strip down to bare metal, the chassis being strengthened within the guidelines of the permitted regulations and a full roll cage tied into the framework of the freshened bodyshell. A race engine, running on huge Weber carburettors (as all early CSLs did) was then prepared by the renowned marque specialist Lester Owen. The chassis was enhanced by carefully reworked suspension geometry and complimented by uprated brakes cooled through finned alloy wheels. The correct 'Batmobile' aero package was then applied making sure that the usual aluminium bootlid was substituted for a steel version (as were all period racers) that could withstand the pressure of downforce created by that iconic rear wing setup. Sadly, as with many busy specialists, there wasn't enough spare time in the year to fit in weekend racing and reluctantly this stunning Gp.1 car was passed onto another owner, competing sparingly in Gp.1 events and contesting the Manx Classic on one occasion. Mothballed for several years, it was until only recently when this racer was carefully recommissioned by a leading race specialist. Now looking every bit the part of its groundbreaking forbearers, this purposeful BMW is set to race again. Eligible for Top Hat's fast emerging 'Groovy Baby!' series for 1970s touring cars, it would be equally at home in FIA events for post 1966 touring cars. With the sale of an original, standard road-going CSL 'Batmobile' making £84,600 at auction in London last June and original race cars commanding prices in excess of £220,000 - £280,000, this ready to roll race car looks to be the bargain of the year - don't let it get away!

Reference Number 5621

as of 1/2/2007

Overview
Car 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL (E9)
VIN 2285303