Back in June I took a look at the roadgoing version of the CSL ‘Batmobile’ – well, at least a replica of one:
1971 BMW 2800CS ‘Batmobile’ Replica
I talked about the race exploits of the FIA and Touring racing cars, and today we’re looking at a replica version of one of those.
While Touring Car fans are widespread (after all, we can interpret NASCAR as a form of Touring Cars, right? crickets chirp in the distance), it seems that every fan has their favorite era. For some, it’s the wild wings and gold BBS wheels from the 1970s that defined production-based racers. For others, the winged warriors from the 1980s and early 1990s are the best era; after all, we get the M3 and 190E 2.5-16 Evolution from those generations. I have to admit that my personal favorite touring car has to be the V8 quattro that was won the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft in 1990 and 1991 is my favorite because Audi just did things differently. They took their largest car, kept some luxury details like the wood trim, and stomped on both BMW and Mercedes-Benz with their lightened luxury liner. But although there was some stellar racing from some superstars of the 1980s in the DTM around then, it’s not personally my favorite period. For that, I’d have to move up towards the mid-1990s, when even more companies like Nissan, Opel and Renault joined Audi and BMW at the front of race series like the British Touring Car Championship. I watched in awe as pilots like championship-winning Frank Biela rubbed doorhandles with the Alain Menu, Matt Neil and John Cleland. And who could forget Rickard Rydell, the Super Swede piloting the 850 wagon replete with inflatable dog in the back? It gave the series more character; you genuinely weren’t sure who would win any day the flag fell, and that made for some great watching. Today, two stars from that period are for sale and allow us the rare opportunity to get into a touring car – if you have the means:
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: