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Lot 241: BMW CSL 3.5-Litre Group 2

The Monaco Sale, Bonhams (11 May 2012)

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'. 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. We are advised that this 3.2CSL was restored between 2007 and 2012 and has been prepared to full Group 2 specification at a cost of ¬125,000. The 3.5-litre engine, which produces 246bhp at 7,000rpm, is only four hours post-rebuild. Equally importantly, more than 240 horsepower is available between 5,500 and 7,500 revs (see dynamometer printout on file). This car has been raced successfully in Europe in the Masters series, driven by Roger Wills, Joe Twyman and John Fitzpatrick. Set up by Paul Radisich and tested by Jonathan Palmer, it has also featured in Total BMW magazine. Described as in generally very good condition, the car is offered with sundry restoration invoices and FIA papers and comes complete with spare wheels shod with 'wet' tyres, spare front splitters and a front splitter mould. An ideal entry for prestigious events such as the Masters, Le Mans Classic, etc.

Lot Details
Auction The Monaco Sale
Bonhams, Monaco
Lot Number241
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating2
Registration number
Chassis number2240112
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2