BMW E9 3.0 CSL – ‘project’ car

£75,000
  • Body: Coupe
  • Mileage: 64,150 miles
  • Year: 1973
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Exterior Colour: Inca orange
  • Interior Colour: Black scheel / vinyl
  • Former Keepers: 7

BMW 3.0L CSL – matching numbers ‘project’ car

One of the most beautiful. One of the most underrated. The 3.0 CSL is a car that looks amazing even when parked next to cars worth ten times the amount. As a classic it ticks every box; racing pedigree, limited numbers (500 RHD), beautiful styling, period feel – and most importantly, that mystery ingredient that attracts so many people to its distinctive lines.

The 3.0 CSL was so expensive back in 1972 – twice the price of your average house – that very few people could afford one. Remember that until BMW started to win on track with the CSL, the company was more known for producing Eastern-bloc style nasty square boxes. And with the war a recent memory for many people, German cars were not necessarily flavour of the month. But a few people got it. Driving a CSL now you can see just how ahead of the pack BMW really were. Compare, say, an E-type Jag, or even some of the more expensive Italian exotica, and its not hard to see why the CSL then cleaned up at the race track for the next five or so years.

The few who ‘got it’ soon spread the word. And despite the relative commercial failure of the CSL – UK cars had to have a ‘city pack’ of toys fitted to entice people to part with their £6800, which promptly added back most of the weight shed for the ‘L’ designation – a cult following was born. The faithful few watched as values plummeted over the years and their cars often fell apart – we’ve heard many a story of ruined holidays and embarrassing breakdowns – but even then, for many, its still the best car they ever owned. And those who remember the CSL from their childhood, with relatives or friends who owned one of these incredibly rare cars, the memory has never left them. Many of them end up in our showroom, hoping to find the car of their dreams.

Set up right, the CSL drives like the GT it was always meant to be and still impresses even today. The 3.0 M30 engine – which went on to power a huge swathe of BMWs in various forms right into the 90’s – throws out a smooth but very vigorous 200bhp, making it a seriously quick machine by the standards of the time. And by 70’s classic car standards the CSL is a very reliable machine, with good parts availability for all but the odd piece of trim.

The problem is availability. Out of the original 500 it is estimated that fewer than 65 remain (source: How many are left? Website) and we would suggest that the majority of those still registered are in urgent need of saving from extinction. Many people took advantage of BMW’s generous offer to change the engine when faults occurred back in the day, so matching number cars are scarce too. The biggest problem has never been the price of CSLs, but whether you can find one worth owning.

Here we have a CSL that is definitely worth owning, even if it does want some tlc. Wearing factory original Inca orange paintwork (with some added over time) and with the interior complete, original and in good order, a healthy engine with matching numbers, good quality brightwork (which is rare) and no hidden horrors, this particular car is an excellent starting point for someone who wants to take a fast track to excellence. We would suggest recommissioning rather than restoration, with all the components present and correct, needing refreshment or refinement. Should the new owner wish to go further and carry out a full restoration, this is certainly the best ‘project’ car we have seen in a long while, with which to start.

For more detail on this rare classic CSL, or to book a visit (by appointment please) call our showroom team on 01825 740567 or email sales@munichlegends.com

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    £75,000
    • Body: Coupe
    • Mileage: 64,150 miles
    • Year: 1973
    • Transmission: Manual
    • Exterior Colour: Inca orange
    • Interior Colour: Black scheel / vinyl
    • Former Keepers: 7