Tag Archives: E9

Not So Lightweight – BMW 3.0 CSL

In May 1972 BMW launched the lightweight variant of the CS model based on the E9 platform known as the BMW 3.0 CSL with the L denoting ‘light’ = leicht in German.

BMW 3.0 CSL, Race Retro

The the CSL was a homologation special the purpose of which was to allow a higher specification racing cars to be built. It would appear the car shown here is one of the earliest CSL’s built fitted same 200 hp 2,986 cc / 182.2 cui motor as the CSi model. Over time the CSL was fitted with larger motors to be eligible for the over 3 litre / 183 cui class.

BMW 3.0 CSL, Race Retro

Light weight features included thinner steel body, deleting trim and sound proofing, using aluminium alloy doors, bonnet / hood, boot / trunk lid and perspex side window’s.

BMW 3.0 CSL, Race Retro

BMW’s UK importer however insisted that the 500 CSL’s imported to the UK retain the soundproofing, electric windows and bumpers from the stock CSi meaning UK CSL’s are a higher specification than all other CSL’s and also no quite so light weight.

BMW 3.0 CSL, Race Retro

The final version of the CSL from July 1973 featured a 3,153 cc / 192.4 cui six cylinder motor and a variety of aerodynamic aids both front and rear which led to the model being nicknamed the Batmobile.

BMW 3.0 CSL, Race Retro

In 1973 Dutchman Tonie Hezemans driving a BMW CSL was crowned European Touring Car Champion securing the manufacturers title for BMW. 3.0 CSL’s would continue winning European Touring car races every year all the way through to 1979 with eight drivers sharing championship spoils between 1975 and 1979 securing a further 5 European Touring Car Manufacturers Championships for BMW.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Not So Lightweight’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres. I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Bavarian Coupé – BMW 3.0 CS Automatic

Soon after we got our first black and white TV in 1967 I remember seeing a Karmann built BMW 2000 CS on a report from a motor show, possibly Geneva, thinking that was one cool futuristic car, I must have been 8 at the time.

The next time I remember seeing a BMW Coupe was on the cover of one of the earliest copies of Motor Sport I bought in the summer of 1973, it was a white works CSL being yomped through the Eifel Forest on the Nurburgring by Hans Joachim Stuck Jr, the magazine must have been a sell out because the following year a near identical picture appeared on the cover Motor Sport from the 1974 6 hour race at the Nurburgring this time with Hans driving a black works CSL.

In 1968 the 2 litre Karmann built BMW Coupé’s evolved into the BMW 2800 CS based on the E9 platform, unfortunately ditching the very cool faired in headlights lights for the familiar US spec twin round headlights.

BMW was thought stand for British Motor Works in the USA around the time this car was built, BMW engaged in a works backed US Motorsports programme using the ‘Batmobile CSLs’ to correct that perception, to Bavarian Motor Works, in 1975.

In 1971 the E9 platform was fitted with a 3 litre / 183 cui 6 cylinder motor which when equipped with twin carburettors produced 180 hp.

This vehicle, according to the registration plates, was first registered in London around 1973/4.

I never did get what performance cars and automatics were all about, which is probably why I never became a auto marketing executive, but 30 plus years on an ‘automatic’ badge shows us the relative aspirations of the original owner and utilitarianism of the time when the car was manufactured.

There is something about vehicles designed around a simple horizontal midriff I find extremely alluring.

IMHO one of the few cars that looks as good in standard street form as in fully equipped racing form.

Like to thank every one who pops into ‘Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres’ at some point during the night this blog had it’s 10,000th page hit not exactly close to the 10 billion hits achieved by Apple Store but if you’d asked me if this was possible a year ago I would have wondered what on earth you were talking about, thanks again.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Bayerische Motoren Werke edition of ‘Gettin a lil psycho on tyres and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday in the Bonham’s auction house for a look at a vehicle once owned by a dreamer who imagined all the people living in the world as one. Don’t forget to come back now !