1970 BMW CSL Group 2 Coupe
Chassis no. 2200093
* 3.5-liter in-line six-cylinder
* Getrag five-speed manual transmission
* Period European race history
* FIA Historic Technical Passport
* Iconic BMW Motorsport livery
* Prepared for vintage racing by McGee Motorsport
While the sport coupe concept may not have originated with BMW, the 2800 CS and the 3.0 CS series certainly were instrumental in the increased popularity of the concept. But following a natural order, it was a given that a true lightweight version would be coming and BMW Motorsport delivered on that promise with the CSL in 1972.
The CS was ground breaking, however, and in such a way that manufacturers worldwide have followed BMW's lead in producing the popularized sport coupe.
The BMW flagship's 6-cylinder engine with twin downdraft Zenith carburetors produced a top speed of 124 mph at 170 bhp. This driving pleasure combined with efficient design concepts for a well-balanced composition of refinement, comfort and individual style. The lack of over-design created a dignity and appealing sophistication to even the most discerning driver.
The original car possessed the potential to accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds and careful balancing produced a vibration free drive. The chassis specifications included independent suspension all around, wishbones and spring struts in front with splayed longitudinal arms with spring at the back, combined with a stabilizer. Because of the safety reserves of the design, driving maneuvers were possible that had been previously unthinkable. The brakes operated by a dual circuit system with each individual circuit independently rated 100% above the standard prescribed for safety at the time.
The two-door E-9, built for BMW by Karmann, was a standout, with the platform proving very successful in racing as well. Beginning with the 2800CS and ending with the 3.5CS, approximately 30,000 E9's were manufactured from 1968 to 1976. Cars for the U.S. market arrived through importers such as Max Hoffman until the BMW of North America was officially established in 1975.
The promising performance figures for the original CS pale in comparison to the results that were to come from the CSL. Constructed in far fewer numbers, the pure CSL model existed in a sphere of its own. BMW filed homologation papers for an increase in displacement and horsepower in 1974 with the 3.5-liter engine increasing horsepower and torque for production-based racing. The four-speed gearbox was replaced with a five-speed Getrag unit and the weight reduced by 150 kg or 330 pounds.
The successful aerodynamic component package comprising a large rear wing, a traditional rear spoiler and front fender spats, earned the nickname "Batmobile" because of the appearance.
In 1975, the BMW of North America racing team campaigned the 3.5 CSL and stood on the podium at IMSA races at Sebring, Laguna Seca, Riverside, Daytona and Talledega with the likes of Hans Stuck, Sam Posey, Brian Redman, Allan Moffat, Dieter Quester and Benny Parsons behind the wheel. At Le Mans that year, the debut of the BMW Art Car came about through the efforts of art collector and race driver Herve Poulain by enlisting his friend Alexander Calder to apply his talents to a BMW CSL thus the beginning of a long tradition with BMW and the art world.
Production ended in 1975 but the racing success of the 3.0 CSL continued with five European Touring Car Championships between 1973 and 1979 as well as national championships in several countries. The CSL continued to be raced for years as sources for parts and performance items kept the car competitive. Many CS coupes filled the grids around the world with CSL upgrades and continue to be raced today in vintage events. A classic design that still reverberates.
The example being offered is one of those period survivors that raced extensively in several national championships. Chassis number '2200093' is listed as the earliest example of a CS that was used in competition. According to the official Wagenpass as issued by the ONS, The Supreme National Commission for the sports car racing in Germany GmbH, in 1977, shows chassis '220093' as being a full specification 3.0 CSL and the car competed for several years.
The car was sold on and last raced in Sweden, now in BOSCH graphics, and then put away in storage for several years. Eventually a deal was made for '2200093' and it found its way to U.S. where it was restored in 2007. An application for the Historical Technical Passport issued by ACCUS and the FIA was accepted and official documentation issued on April 22, of 2010 recognizing the car as a "Competition Touring Car". An HTP is essential for those planning to compete outside of the U.S. and adds a great deal to the car. Chassis '2200093' has been a constant competitor on the vintage racing scene with multiple appearances at the Monterey and the Sonoma events since 2007. One of the major showings was at Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix where the car was featured on the cover of Victory Lane Magazine.
The BMW CSL represents an era where a private team could compete on a reasonable basis with the bigger funded entries. In today's world of vintage racing, with a world-wide calendar of events to choose from, the CSL is a logical and exclusive - choice. Reliability and a recognizable icon of motorsport are only two of those reasons. A 3.5-liter putting out 360 horsepower through a 5 speed are two more.
Prepared by McGee Motorsports at Sears Point Raceway, chassis '2200093' is track ready and includes three sets of wheels and tires and a spare motor. Paperwork includes the ONS Wagenpass and the current FIA Historical Technical Passport.
- Please note that this vehicle is titled as 1969.