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  •   CFB18705 reacted to this post about 7 months ago
    BMW ART CARS / #Frank-Stella : #BMW-3.0CSL / #BMW-E9 / #Kugelfischer-Injection-System / #Kugelfischer / #BMW-E9-Frank-Stella / #BMW-3.0CSL-E9 / / #Art-Cars / #BMW

    Never mind the fine artwork on the bodywork, underneath Stella’s geometric lines this #CSL packed a mighty turbocharged punch.

    The second of BMW’s Art Cars was another CSL and technically this machine was the brainchild of the then-head of #BMW-Motorsport , Jochen Neerpasch. It came about as a result of rule changes for the #1976 season which would have seen the factory works CSLs effectively detuned for the more stringent Group 2 regulations which demanded a return to smaller aerodynamic addenda, wet sump lubrication, and most crucially, a banning of four-valve cylinder heads unless they were used in series production. Neerpasch didn’t take this lying down and decided to strap a pair of turbochargers to the CSL’s engine and take on the dominant Porsche 935s in Group 5.

    In hindsight it might not have been the best idea as the car wasn’t desperately reliable and in the end only raced three times at #Silverstone , #Le-Mans and #Dijon . The Stella CSL used a 3.2-litre version of the twin-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder #M49 / #BMW-M49 unit to which Josef Schnitzer attached a brace of #KKK turbochargers and a Kugelfischer injection system. On the dyno it could crack 1000hp, but it was wound down to develop 750-800hp in race trim in a vain attempt to allow the rest of the car to cope with these monumental forces that it had never been designed to withstand. There was no doubting that it was quick… but on its first outing at Silverstone it lasted just 14 laps before needing a new set of boots that had been vapourised by the engine’s torque and by lap 43 it had retired with a melted transmission.

    At Silverstone the car didn’t yet sport Frank Stella’s geometric patterns but BMW had seen how much interest the Calder CSL had generated at Le Mans the previous year so it commissioned Stella to paint the car for the 1976 running of the endurance classic. With longer gearing for Le Mans the CSL was a monster, allegedly pulling 212mph on the Mulsanne straight – drivers Gregg and Redmond must have been absolute legends – and they managed to put it eighth on the grid. Sadly in the race the inevitable happened and it retired after 23 laps.

    Its last outing was at the last round of the World Makes Championship which was held at the small Dijon circuit in September 1976. By now the turbo CSL sported a reinforced differential, gearbox and halfshafts and was back in the hands of Peterson (who had driven it at Silverstone). In qualifying at least, things at last seemed to be going according to plan as he managed to hold back the phalanx of Porsche 935s to take the top spot on the grid.

    Peterson led from the start and once he’d pulled away from Jacky Ickx’s Martini 935 the boost was wound down until Ickx could maintain the same pace as the CSL but not catch it. However, even this approach didn’t work and on lap 33 the diff turned into a casing full of swarf! A glorious failure then… but just look at, obscenely bulging arches, huge wings and that fantastic livery – what’s not to like?
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  •   Chris Hrabalek reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    The heavy CS wasn’t a natural for the racetrack but #BMW race team #AC-Schnitzer could see its potential and had managed to extract 360 bhp from the engine by the early ’70s, which enouraged the factory to get involved. Accordingly, a lightweight version of the CS coupe – dubbed CSL – was the first to be developed by the newly formed #BMW-Motorsport GmbH.

    The first 169 cars made in #1971 were based on a standard 3.0 carburettor engine and used steel 18 per cent thinner than the regular BMW bodyshell, with a 25 per cent lock-up LSD, #Bilstein gas dampers, progressive rate coil springs and the now-famous 20-spoke Alpina wheel style. The rear bumper was replaced by a small black fibreglass item, the front bumper was removed entirely and replaced by a small air dam, the rear side windows were plastic and boot, doors and bonnet were all alloy. The chromed arch extensions and side stripes completed the job, while inside was a pair of Scheel bucket seats and no power steering.

    In summer 1972 a second batch of 1096 cars was made, of which 500 were reserved for the UK market. With the engine now taken up to 3003cc to allow it to fall within the FIA’s over-3 litre category, the cars used the Bosch injection and British-market cars were supplied with the ‘City Pack’ which added back the front and rear bumpers, electric windows, tinted glass, power steering, carpets, heated rear window and sound deadening. Not so lightweight then. A third batch of cars was produced in 1973 to homologate the famous ‘Batmobile’ aerodynamic package for racing. The engine was now 3153cc and the cars were supplied with the full spoiler kit including the bonnet fi ns and roof hoop, although the boot was now steel to take the 30 kg weight of the downforce induced by that rear spoiler. Just 57 examples were made, all left-hand drive and offered in only Chamonix White or Polaris Silver.

    The CSL is a very specialist proposition when compared to the regular CS coupes and there are many more cars wearing the full ‘Batmobile’ kit than were ever produced by BMW. It’s further confused by so many CSLs being sold with the full complement of luxury kit, so check chassis numbers to be sure. BMW UK is very efficient at this kind of thing.


    We spoke to the experts at Lancaster Insurance (01480 4484 26, regarding the cost of a classic car policy for a 45-year old sales manager living in Gloucestershire GL2 post code area and driving no more than 5000 miles a year in an unmodified #1972 3.0 CSi. Our imgainary owner keeps their BMW in a garage next to the house and has a clean driving licence which they have held for over 20 years. The car's got an agreed value of around £20,000 and the estimated annual premium to insure the car for 12 months could work out at around £101 or without an agreed value the cost would be £84. Policy benefits and discounts offered by Lancaster Insurance may vary between insurance schemes or cover selected, and are obviously subject to underwriting criteria. An additional charge may be payable.
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