After last week's post about it seemed only fitting to bring this BMW race car to everyone's attention. The 3.0 CSL was above all else the beginning of BMW's success in the European Touring Car Championship.
Based on what was originally the 2800 CS platform, the 3.0 CSL wasn't officially launched until May of 1972. Built as a homologation special, the CSL's light weight was achieved by using thinner steel to build the unit body, deleting the trim and soundproofing, using aluminum alloy in the doors, hoods, and trunk lids, as well as the installation of Perspex side windows. The engine was also slightly bored out from 2986 to 3003 cc, allowing it to compete in the 3 liter and over category. By July 1973 the decision was made to alter the aerodynamics of the car, adding its oversized air dams and rear wing and rapidly earning the nickname "the Batmobile".
This particular CSL is a bit of an odd case because looking at the VIN tag it actually started its life as a 2800 CS. All of the modifications are period correct, and it is said to have a fairly significant racing history. According to the official Wagenpass issued in 1977 by the ONS, The Supreme National Commission for sports car racing in Germany, chassis `220093′ is listed as being a full specification 3.0 CSL and the car competed for several years.
If these records all prove accurate, which knowing Bonhams I would trust they are, this is a great example of an absolute legend of a car. Having won 5 championships between 1973 and 1979 the CSL eventually went on to become one of the most successful production racers of all time. There is a classic image of this car from a lap of the with Hans-Joachim Stuck at the wheel, 4 tires off the ground en route to one of his many victories. Google it.
Having recently been prepped by McGee Motorsports at Sears Point Raceway, chassis `2200093′ is track ready and includes three sets of wheels and tires and a spare motor. With its proven pedigree and a relatively recent restoration in 2007, this CSL is another great opportunity for someone to get into vintage racing at the wheel of an exclusive yet reliable piece of machinery.