1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE

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Lot 40
1973 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE

Sold for US$ 330,000 inc. premium
1973 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
Coachwork by Karmann

Chassis no. 2275525
Engine no. 2275525

3,153cc SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Fuel Injection
206bhp at 5,600rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes


*A well-restored example of BMW's legendary homologation special
*Matching-numbers CSL in factory Polaris Silver
*Desirable and highly-collectible BMW
*Offered with BMW Classic Certificate



THE BMW 3.0 CSL

The early 1970s were landmark years 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 Coupe, 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-liter 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 also the lightweight 3.0 CSL.

Visually indistinguishable from its more 'run of the mill' relations (the CS and CSi) the 3.0 CSL (Coupe 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, and by using thinner steel for the main body-shell, aluminum 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-liter class) the 3.0 CSL came with 206bhp for road use and well over 300hp for the track. In 1973 the engine's stroke was increased, upping capacity to 3,153cc (nominally 3.2 liters) and from mid-season onwards the racing CSLs used the so-called 'Batmobile' aerodynamic package. Developed at Stuttgart University, the package consisted of a front chin spoiler, large rear wing, and other various 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.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Completed at the Munich-based Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) plant in October, 1973 as a 1974-model, this rare, homologation-special CSL was finished in Polaris Silver over a black interior – just as it appears today. According to the BMW Classic-issued Certificate for this car, the new CSL was made to European specifications and delivered new to the Swiss market, where it was sold through the BMW agency MOTAG in Dielsdorf, Switzerland, in September of 1974.

This stunning CSL benefits from a comprehensive restoration to a very high standard, and presents in fabulous condition throughout. Starting with the notoriously complex Karmann bodyshell, this exhibits precise panel fit and beautifully straight reflections. It is highly correct, with the full factory aero kit (including the rare roof spoiler and front wing splitters), correct CSL stripes and 14" Alpina alloy wheels wrapped with period correct Michelin XWX radials. This early car is denoted by the lack of a central support for the rear spoiler. Even the C-pillar badges are the correct original Cloisonné type. Brightwork presents in very good condition, and is limited to a few flashes of anodized alloy and stainless around the windows and the wheel arches.

As part of the weight savings, BMW deleted electric windows (on most early cars) and fitted lightweight, form hugging Scheel sport seats. This example still wears these highly desirable seats and the entire cabin has been correctly trimmed in black vinyl with black cloth inserts. The original three-spoke sports steering wheel remains and the correct but somewhat incongruous wood trim has been restored to a high standard. Engine bay detailing is done to a high standard with everything appearing neat and tidy while remaining very usable.

With the original, matching numbers engine still in place, this Batmobile is a rare and highly desirable BMW. Offered with a BMW Classic-issued authenticity certificate and tool kit, this great example of the iconic 3.0 CSL is ready for spirited drives on rallies such as the Copperstate 1000 or for Concours showings.

Footnotes

  • Please note car is titled 1974
Contacts
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
1974 BMW 3.0 CSL BATMOBILE
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