BMW – 3.0 CSL (1972)
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- Michael Ulbig (DE)
Class F50 Years of Mean Machinery: BMW’s M Cars and their Ancestors
The BMW Motorsport Department created the CSL as its first in-house vehicle with the assistance of Alpina in 1971. The three letters CSL stand for Coupé Sport Leichtbau or “Coupé, Sport, Lightweight”, and today the CSL is regarded as the legitimate precursor for all M models. The idea was timeless. A race-worthy sports car was created with a radical lightweight construction and aerodynamics. The myriad successes of this car provide a succinct explanation as to why so few CSLs have survived in an authentic condition.
The history of this particular example is therefore all the more fascinating. In 1972, a dealer in Upper Bavaria had ordered this thoroughbred 3.0 CSL – without the comfort option in the form of the weighty City Package – and sold it to a buyer in Austria. In 2008, a German collector took ownership of the car and put the CSL through a nuts-and-bolts yet sensitive restoration. Today, this well-documented CSL is equipped with all the characteristic lightweight details such as rear glazing made of Perspex, a rear bumper in plastic and the use of aluminium for key body components such as doors, bonnet and boot lid. Furthermore, the racer is presented in the striking Golf Yellow livery, the most typical of all CSL colours.