Bat Signal: 1976 BMW 3.5CSL

While there are iconic liveries that permeate motorsports, sometimes there are equally iconic aerodynamic aids. The 1970s and 1980s saw some incredible experiments, from the Brabham BT46 ‘Fan Car’ which sucked all of the air out from underneath the chassis, literally sticking the car to the road to the 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’ car, which somewhere underneath the long tail and stretched front end was actually a 911 (in theory, at least!). For BMW, exploiting the Group 5 FIA rules to suit their E9 chassis and make it competitive with the Porsche 911. That meant the aerodynamics of the 3.0CS had to be altered, and the result was wings, fins, and flares. But if the road going version of the also lightened 3.0CSL looked outrageous, the racing version simply took the recipe and turned it up to 11. Giant boxed flares widened the E9 half again. A huge front air dam looked capable of clearing cattle on the Sante Fe railway. Huge centerlock BBS magnesium wheels sported a footprint that would make most large commercial planes jealous. And if the tires didn’t shock them, the huge cantilevered wing protruding from the back of the trunklid certainly would spoil their plans to go airborn. This was the legendary car which gained the name “Batmobile”, and though they were not ultimately able to defeat Porsche in the Group 5 contest for 1976 (you know that, of course, because of the many Martini Championship Edition Porsches we feature), they are no less memorable than the 935:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 BMW 3.5 CSL at Jan Luehn Cars

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Motorsport Mondays: 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL

The “Batmobile” is a legendary car that helped to both define BMW’s place in global motorsports and to solidy its presence in the sports sedan realm. Sure, they had competed successfully for years in touring car and sports car races, not to mention substantial involvement in motorcycle racing. But the bread and butter of BMW’s 1980s reputation was built on their sporting nature, and that legacy was born in the 1970s touring cars. The CSL was a message to the world, much like the Porsche 911RS was – BMW was a major player, and here to stay. They’ve since built upon that racing legend, but enthusiasts look back upon these models as the ones that spawned the dreams of countless children – the lucky ones of which would go on to buy new BMWs in the 1980s. It’s not often that you see a well presented CSL with racing pedigree come up for sale, but there’s a stunning example available today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 BMW CSL on racecarsdirect

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1973 BMW 3.0 CSL

Like most hot versions of street vehicles, the BMW 3.0 CSL came about from a desire to compete in Motorsport. In order to homologate this special for the European Touring Car series, BMW took the elegant E9 coupe to new levels by lightening the body through use of aluminum alloy, deleting excess luxuries and adding perspex side windows. It wasn’t soon before this car made its bones in motorsport, achieving a class victory at LeMans in 1973 and capturing the European Touring Car Championship every year from 1975 through 1979. In addition to making a name in motorsport, the CSL would be the basis for the first two BMW Art Cars.

This CSL is on offer near Stuttgart, Germany and has had a curious overhaul that includes some later BMW M bits. Done up in perhaps one of the most famous CSL liveries, Jägermeister, this would make for one aggressive tool for vintage race events.

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Year: 1973
Model: 3.0 CSL
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 15,066 km (~ 9,368 mi)
Price: 98,950 (~ $129,238 USD)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW 325is on Mobile.de

Original BMW 3.0 CSL with certificate of authenticity from BMW, in all respects, optimized driving dynamics (Fire extinguisher, brakes, engine, transmission, rear axle). Uprated M88 – M-Technik, a professionally and lovingly executed conversion. Through attention to detail, attractive performance gains for sports-oriented applications with performance that will delight even from today’s perspective!

Car was produced on 24.10.1973 and exported to the Switzerland. Once it arrived via the importer, the car was registered on 18.09.1974 to the original owner. With the specified VIN we identify the CSL as the 6st-last built the first Series with 3.2-liter fuel injected, of which 110 were built. Of the 2nd Series 3.2 – liter 57 copies were made, making a total of 167 cars built (there are certainly more desirable sports series models, eg the abbreviation “RS” wear …).

So great was this works series of sports coupes from the 70s, that their destiny was already created at that time: racing, sports, privateer racing, homologation numbers, and so this model was already as a new car a basis for further action. So its understandable that the upgrading with M-Technik, with this engine any buyer at the time would have liked this car, which makes historical sense. Apart from that, this engine is and remains the core of EVERY motor vehicle who had the good fortune to be powered by it.

Visit us on our homepage: www.dls-automobile.de our showroom where you can find more detailed pictures and description of the motor vehicle. If you want to inspect the car, SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT PLEASE! Although spontaneous visitors are always welcome, we can’t guarantee detailed showings of individual vehicles.

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This car certainly looks the part, but of course some will take issue with modifying what is an important and valuable piece of BMW history. Given that this particular CSL doesn’t have a high profile history, I could forgive the modifications, as they are not too outrageous. CSLs of this vintage seem to be hovering in the $100,000 to $150,000 range on average, depending on provenance. Whether the modifications are viewed as favorable remains to be seen.

-Paul