1975 BMW 3.0CSL

Batmobile Coupe 3.2 L

Vehicle values by condition

Fair
Condition 4
£198,000
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Good
Condition 3
£270,000
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Excellent
Condition 2
£396,000
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Concours
Condition 1
£483,000
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1975 BMW 3.0CSL Batmobile Coupe 3153
valued at £270,000
£1224.05 / year*

History of the 1973 - 1975 BMW 3.0CSL

1973 - 1975 BMW 3.0CSL
1973 - 1975 BMW 3.0CSL

When BMW launched the two-door, 6-cylinder CS line of sport coupes in 1968 (internally designated the E9), only the badge on the nose and the twin kidney bean grille resembled BMW's other two-door sport coupe offering, the 2002. With straight-6 power in displacements ranging from 2.5- to 3.5-litres and a longer, leaner, more agile outside appearance, the CS spoke to a different buyer. Top of the line was the 3.0 CSL of 1972, with a front- engine, rear wheel drive design.

Following several years of development in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC), the CSL (for Coupe Sport Leichtbau, or Lightweight) was created as a homologation special. The cars are regarded as the first BMWs developed under the auspices of the company's famous Motorsport, or simply "M," division, and were much lighter than the standard 3.0CS thanks to the use of thinner steel in the chassis, plus aluminium bonnet, doors, and boot lid.

Several variations of the BMW 3.0 CSL were produced. In 1971 and 1972, a 2,985-cc, carburetted engine was installed. In 1972 this was replaced by a 3,003cc fuel-injected version, produced in both left- and right-hand drive configurations (only 500 of the latter were built) The single-overhead camshaft (ohc) engine produced 206 hp, went from 0-60 mph in just over seven seconds and had a top speed of nearly 140 mph.

In 1973, displacement was increased to 3,153 cc and horsepower raised to 330. At this point, the BMW CSL also received a radical exterior that included deep front air dam, small fins along the tops of the front wings, wider wheel arches, a roof hoop spoiler and—most famously—a large rear wing. Early 3.2-litre cars had a double rear wing while the later 3.2-litre models had a triple spoiler. In both treatments the wing was so large that the aluminium trunk lid had to be exchanged for steel. The package gave the cars such a menacing appearance that they were nicknamed ‘Batmobiles’.

The BMW CSL had an extensive competition history in the ETCC and the American IMSA equivalent. BMW pulled factory participation from the ETCC early in the 1974 season, but privateers continued to race the CSL with great success into the late 1970s. By the end of the decade, CSLs had captured five ETCC championships.

Mechanically, the BMW CSL is very robust with excellent parts availability. Interchangeability with other BMW cars is extensive and many performance upgrades are available. Bodywork issues are however more complicated and usually more expensive. Sills, wheel arches and door pillars are all the most susceptible to rust and interior trim can be hard to find.

Today, the BMW E9 CSL is a very sought-after sports coupe. Cars with racing history are the most desirable, followed by original CSLs. Other BMWs of the era include the smaller BMW 2002 and alternative cars from other manufacturers include the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA, the Ford Escort Mexico and the Jaguar XJ6.

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