A Munich Legends restoration:
1973 BMW E9 3.0 CSL - PUL
The restoration of ‘PUL’
Our bodyshop chief, Sam, was always a 3.0 CSL fan, despite his main love being Porsche. He got in touch to say that his long awaited E9 project – a lovely CSL that currently consisted of a shell and a large collection of crates – was being indefinitely shelved and would therefore be available for sale.
As it happened, we had recently been approached by the owner of a car collection that would make your eyes water – including amongst many a Ferrari 250 GTO, a Mclaren F1 soft tail and a £9m Bugatti – asking if we would find him an excellent 3.0 csl. Anybody who has an interest in E9s knows that solid, original cars, with traceable history, are incredibly hard to find. So, we suggested a restoration project – meaning that the car would be exactly as he wanted. PUL (as it is known) was unusual, firstly because of its history. We’d been approached by a friendly customer, who had owned a 3.0 CSL ‘back in the day’, and he’d lent us a few pictures of his CSL, together with two others – all in Chamonix – parked on his drive in Haywards Heath. One of them was PUL. So, we were aware that PUL had been a local car, certainly at one point in its life.
By another peculiar coincidence, we found out that one of the previous owners was already known to us – by one degree of separation. Our dent master Tim Dent (possibly not his real surname) was at Munich Legends working his magic on a customer’s car when he spotted the PUL number plate on the wall of our restoration workshop – a tradition we have of collecting plates from cars we’ve restored. ‘That was my dad’s car’, he claimed with some confidence. So, we applied to the DVLA using a V888, to gather the preceding V5s together. Low and behold, there amongst the early V5 was Mr Dent Senior. And the other owners were local too. Our showroom team carried out some detective work, and we invited 3 of the previous owners to visit and be reunited with PUL. Those super photos now form part of this CSL’s history file.
The other key element to our client’s interest in the project was that the car still boasted all its original panels, which had never been off the car, so the integrity of the original shell and structure was intact. Work soon began in earnest, and the decision was made to media blast the stripped shell rather than using a chemical dip. Our instructions were to achieve total originality where at all possible. The interior wood trim was restored by our in-house cabinet maker, the Scheel seats retrimmed in the original fabric (kept locked away in our stores since forever) and only the carpets were new, but made from a direct copy of the (worn out) originals.
The legendary M30 3.0 litre was rebuilt, gearbox and drive train refurbished, cooling system replaced with all new components, and soon the CSL was ready to paint. Having bare-metalled the shell and removed any signs of corrosion and filler, the prepped shell was ready for a fresh coat of BMW Chamonix white paint. The underside had been vapour blasted too, with all new fuel and brake lines, refurbished and freshly powder-coated suspension and brake components, re-anodised bolts, new exhaust system making the underside look every bit as good as the top-side.
Luckily, the original headlining, front and rear glass, and rear seats were in excellent condition. Once a three-spoke drilled steering wheel had been found and retrimmed, PUL was ready for inspection, and that all important first drive. Happily, PUL received full marks.
PUL didn’t stay for long in the collection, as the owner decided to relocate abroad, with limited space. A new owner was found who kept PUL stored for 3 years until he too decided to move the car on. But there is a happy ending for this beautiful machine. PUL has now been acquired by our friend and customer John – he the proud owner of the world’s best 3.0 si saloon (the restoration story for which can be found on these pages) who now has the fabulous duo of 3.0 sports saloon (E3) and coupe (E9). We are jealous…but also very pleased that PUL has at last found the owner she rightly deserves.