1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444

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Lot 431
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project
Registration no. KLM 157N Chassis no. 2285444

Sold for £ 64,220 (US$ 80,081) inc. premium
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project
Registration no. KLM 157N
Chassis no. 2285444
*The 444th of 500 right-hand drive cars
*Two owners from new
*In storage since 1996
*Offered for restoration
*Runs and drives

Footnotes

  • 1973 was a landmark year for BMW, for not only did the German manufacturer power Jean-Pierre Jarier to the European Formula 2 Championship, it also captured the European Touring Car Championship using one of the most iconic racing 'saloons' of modern times: the 3.0 CSL, known popularly as the 'Batmobile'.

    BMW had returned to six-cylinder power for its range-topping models in 1968 with the launch of the 2500 and 2800 saloons. Also new was the 3.0 CSL's forerunner, the 2800CS coupé, though the latter's running gear had more in common with the existing, four-cylinder 2000C/CS. The introduction of the similarly styled 3.0-litre CS in 1971 brought with it numerous improvements, including four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, and with 180bhp on tap the model was good for around 130mph. For racing purposes there was the lightweight 3.0 CSL.

    Visually indistinguishable from its more 'run of the mill' relations, the CS and CSi, the 3.0 CSL (Coupé Sport Leicht) was creative homologation at its best. The BMW engineers' solution to the marketing department's requirements was to develop a limited production run 'homologation special' to meet the constrictive framework of the Group 2 racing class regulations. By removing the trim; using thinner steel for the main bodyshell; aluminium alloy for the doors, bonnet and boot lid; and Perspex for the side windows a valuable 300lbs (136kgs) in weight was saved – 'Leicht' indeed.

    Homologated initially with a fractionally over-bored (3,003cc) engine (enabling it to compete in the over 3-litre class) the 3.0 CSL came with 206bhp for road use and well over 300 horsepower for the track. In 1973 the engine's stroke was increased, upping capacity to 3,153cc (nominally 3.2 litres) and from mid-season onwards the racing CSLs used the so-called 'Batmobile' aerodynamic package, developed at Stuttgart University, which consisted of a front chin spoiler, large rear wing and various other devices. Illegal for road use in Germany, the wings were left in the boot for final installation after purchase.
    Thus equipped, the Batmobiles were able to defeat the previously all-conquering Ford Capri RS2600s, Toine Hezemans capturing the 1973 European Touring Car Championship for BMW at the wheel of a 3.0 CSL and co-driving one to a class win at Le Mans that year with Dieter Quester. Ford bounced back in 1974 but from 1975 onwards the BMW 'Batmobiles' won five consecutive European Touring Car Championships, a quite unprecedented run of success.

    This original, right-hand drive BMW 3.0 CSL has had only two owners from new: the first (Mr P Arnold) from 1974 to 1982, and the current vendor from 1982 to date. There are bills of file relating to a cylinder head overhaul in 1978 and a re-spray in 1981, and the car also comes with its service booklet, stamped up to May 1975 (at 18,004 miles). Since then the odometer has been 'around the clock', the current recorded mileage of 9,667 reflecting an actual distance covered of 109,667 miles.

    Last MoT'd in 1996, the BMW has been in storage for the last 20 years and is offered for restoration. Benefiting from a newly fitted fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel lines, and an exhaust system, the car runs and drives, but several body panels need replacing. It comes complete with spare wheel, (partial) tool kit, some expired MoTs and tax discs, a V5C Registration Certificate, and an original handbook and brochures.

    With only some 1,300 CSLs produced between 1973 and 1975 compared to over 19,000 standard CS/CSi models, these 'specials' will always be relatively rare and today this ultimate BMW coupé is highly sought after.
Contacts
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé Project  Chassis no. 2285444
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