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Numbered 2212279, this example was sold new in Italy and eventually exported to the US, making its home in Atlanta before being discovered and acquired in 1986 by a prominent and well-established BMW collector and marque enthusiast. Upon further research, it was discovered that this car was one of the few (169) first-series carbureted versions of the 3.0 CSL produced from May 1971 through July 1972, and the decision was made to commence a complete and thorough restoration. The restoration work began in 1993 or 1994, when a Weber-carbureted and tuned 3.5-litre engine and a five-speed manual gearbox were sourced and installed. The remainder of the restoration was performed with advice from acknowledged CSL “guru” Richard Conway, parts sourced from Carl Nelson, and the effort overseen by Denver’s Paul Schultz. The restoration, which included an exterior color change to black, was finished in 1997, culminating in the outstanding 3.0 CSL presented here.
Importantly, the vehicle’s original matching- numbers engine block, numbered 2212279, is included in the sale of the car at auction. Of equal importance, this 3.0 CSL retains its lightweight aluminum doors, fuel-filler door, hood, trunk lid, and the Resart/Glas Plexiglas rear- and quarter-windows. It is also complete with the correct wheels, front valance, sport seats, and factory-correct BMW tricolor decals. A recent evaluation confirms that this car is an excellent performer, in keeping with the model’s sporting reputation, delivering strong acceleration, with a tight suspension, shifting, and braking feel. A documentation file folder containing history, service, and restoration records accompanies the sale of the car. Particularly collectible as one of the early-production carbureted 3.0 CSLs produced, it remains a highly desirable example of one of the finest and best-performing racing-homologation specials ever conceived.
The 3.0 CSL Legend
Produced in two distinct series between 1973 and 1975, the BMW 3.0 CSL was truly a racing car for the road. Specific features included a lightweight alloy bonnet and outer door skins, thin-gauge steel panels, lightweight interior, and an uprated three-litre engine. Deleted front bumpers and radical aerodynamic devices were further late-series options inspiring the “Batmobile” nickname.
On the track, BMW won the 1973 European Touring Car Championship with Toine Hezemans winning the Driver’s Championship at the wheel of a 3.0 CSL, which he also co-drove with Dieter Quester to a class victory at Le Mans that year. The CSL would go on to capture the ETCC from 1975 through 1979, and after 1974, the CSL continued in German Touring Car and FIA Group 5 competition, highlighted by the dramatic and often airborne driving style of BMW works driver Hans-Joachim Stuck. The CSL was also highly effective in American IMSA GT Championship events in the hands of Brian Redman, Ronnie Peterson, and Sam Posey.