The timeless and beautiful shape of the big BMW coupe was first conceived back in 1965 in the 2L coupe by Karmann, it developed into the e9 chassis in 1968 and production continued until the final model rolled off the production line in 1975. The introduction of the coupe in 1968 signalled BMWs intention to return to the luxury car market sector, an area it had been forced to ignore for years while it struggled to turn around its fortunes during the early 60s. Early cars were all carbureted until the adoption of Bosch fuel injection in the 3L CSi.
Hugely important in BMW motorsport history was the homologation special CSL (coupe sport leicht) which offered an aluminium bonnet, boot and doors with little in the way of luxury equipment, weight saving was also achieved by using thinner gauge steel in the construction of the body. To qualify the car for racing in the over 3 litre division, capacity of the engine was re bored and quoted as 3003cc which in road trim resulted in 200bhp at 5500rpm. The CSL label needed only 1000 cars to make it eligible to race. It was developed by a separate division in BMW AG which would later become BMW Motorsport GmbH. While the CSL does not carry the M badge many consider this as the first ever M car and one that first carried the tri colour motorsport livery.
Racing achievement – It is rare that a competition car lasts more than four seasons, in fact by the time a race car is winning it is usually obsolete and designers are developing its successor. Such was the achievement of the coupe in international racing that it raced from 1969 through to 1978 and even then in 78 still won its fifth European touring car championship against stiff competition. Exploring the success of the CSL during its motorsport career is an impossible task to do here on this page, there is too much of it! Further reading and viewing is highly recommended as drivers such as Hans Stuck and Dieter Quester all wrestled the Munich monster in various Works, Alpina and Schnitzer incarnations from Group 2 400bhp cars to Group 5 750bhp fire breathing turbo rockets.
Just 500 RHD CSLs were produced and nearly all had additional equipment over the LHD car to help aid the drivability of the car on a day to day basis. These additional options were grouped and labeled the ‘City Package’ and included power glass front and rear windows, power steering, interior bonnet release, chrome CSi front and rear bumpers and a tool kit.
RHD City Pack, Electric windows, Power Steering, Scheel sports seats, Alloy wheels, Aluminum bonnet, boot lid and door skins, Period Radio.
Finished in it original colour of Polaris Silver, this CSL makes quite the impression when it comes into view. Owned at the time by the dealer principal of a BMW dealership, the body on this stunning car was restored on his request in the 90s. It then remained there in the dealers classic collection for the following 12 years.
There is a comprehensive history file documenting the cars thorough improvement past 2012 where the next long term owner spent a further 20k through the same BMW dealership. This constant spend, care and maintenance to improve on this historic touring car is evident in its superb condition as it stands in our showroom today.
The paint finish now over 8 years old remains in superb condition, a testament to how well the work was done by BMW and all of the chrome trim remains in excellent condition.
The interior in a BMW E9 coupe is like none other, beautifully laid out with lashings of wood trim it is a wonderful place to be. Slide into the Scheel seats and it’s obvious this is a special car. The seats are in lovely condition with no tears and the wood trim remains in good condition with no major marks or peeling. There is a period radio neatly fitted with speaker fitted in the footwells rather than cut into the door cards.
Engine & Transmission:
Having been inspected in house by our BMW technician of 40 year, we’re pleased to report the mechanics are in excellent working order all round. The car starts quickly from cold and idles correctly right up to temperature, the matching number engine is strong and runs smoothly after constant and regular maintenance.
The gearbox remains smooth and precise and the clutch fully functional.
Wheels, Tyres & Brakes:
This CSL sits on its correct period 14 inch Alpina wheels which present in excellent condition. These are wrapped in a matching set of premium tyres all round with good tread.
Brakes are strong and consistent with plenty of material on both pad and disc. With invoicing from BMW for much of its suspension components the car drives incredibly well.
Chassis 131 was first registered in December 1972 and delivered by the factory in Polaris Silver. Much of its early history before 1990 is unknown until North Oxford BMW purchased the car and set about preparing it for the then dealership owner to go into his personal collection. With just 3 previous owners at this time and as a BMW dealership buying we suspect it was in very good condition on purchase without having fallen into disrepair at any point such was the fate of many CSLs. Paperwork from BMW confirms this ownership and long term storage up until 2012 at which point the car was sold to another dedicated keeper.
Invoicing and work from here is intensive as its new owner breathes new life into his treasured purchase spending in excess of 20k through the same dealership and enjoying the car for a mere 1k miles as recorded by the MOT certificates on file and as part of his 5 year ownership.
With the car in excellent order the current owner purchased this CSL in 2017. He has had time to focus on some of the smaller details playing his part in what is a near 30 year run of fastidious ownership and a reflection on it current superb condition as it sits in our showroom today.