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  •   CFB18705 reacted to this post about 7 months ago
    BMW Art Cars #Alexander-Calder : 3.0CSL. In the first of a new series looking at BMW’s Art Cars we delve back in the history books to unearth the story behind the first such machine… #BMW-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL / #BMW-3.0CSL-E9 / #BMW / #Alexander-Calder / #BMW-E9-Alexander-Calder / #1975 / #BMW-3.0CSL-Alexander-Calder / #BMW-3.0CSL-E9-Alexander-Calder /

    BMW is rightly proud of its collection of #Art-Cars and they’re regularly exhibited around the world in art galleries, but while it is happy to take the plaudits for the range of artists it’s commissioned over the years the first Art Car wasn’t actually a #BMW creation after all. The car you see here was actually commissioned by a wealthy French art dealer and part-time racing driver, Hérve Poulain, after he purchased a Group 2 racing #CSL from BMW Motorsport to compete at Le Mans. He then persuaded his friend, sculptor Alexander Calder, to paint the car in order for it to be a moving work of art at the #1975 24-Hour race.

    Born in 1898 in Philadelphia, the legendary artist Alexander-Calder began his career as an engineer, but art soon won out over engineering and he developed a unique style of sculpture. His often large-scale pieces had a buoyant appeal and were often painted in cheery primary colours. His forte was creating mobile sculptures, combining Calder’s love of art with his knowledge of engineering and, despite the fact that he was primarily a sculptor, Poulain commissioned him to paint the CSL that he was to race at Le Mans.

    It wasn’t Calder’s first foray into painting a machine; in #1973 he painted a passenger jet owned by Braniff South American Airlines and from the experience garnered from this exercise Calder felt he was able to put his own stamp on the CSL. Instead of trying to work with the shape of the car, Calder subjected it to his bold use of colour – bright red, blue and yellow – that didn’t attempt to use the car’s streamlining or overall shape to constrain his view of how it should look. He created a bold design that looks stunning.

    The fact that the car has the mechanical backing and aerodynamic addenda to carry off the colour scheme was the icing on the cake. Under the bonnet was a 3210cc version of the legendary ‘six, it boasted twin overhead cams and four-valves per cylinder and was rated at around 480hp with a top speed, according to BMW, of 180mph.

    Poulain entered the car under his own name and employed the services of well-known endurance racers Sam Posey and Jean Guiche. Perhaps thanks to the depleted field at Le Mans the car qualified well, taking pole position for its class and tenth spot overall on the grid. Strictly speaking the class win should have been a formality for the Calder CSL as its main competition came from another CSL, a brace of Ford Capri 2600s and a Heidegger 2002. However, when it comes to endurance racing there are no such things as certainties. Initially the car ran well and was in fifth position overall but sadly suffered a driveshaft failure after seven hours and was forced to retire leaving the Heidegger 2002 to take the Group 2 class win.

    Despite the car showing promise at #Le-Mans it never raced again as #BMW purchased the car from Poulain and it became the first machine in its #BMW-Art-Car collection. It wasn’t the end for Poulain though, but we’ll come onto that when we look at some of the other #Art-Cars that followed in the ensuing years…
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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 1 year ago
    BMW CSL PRINT BY #FREDERIC-DAMS / #BMW-Art-Car / #BMW-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL / #BMW-3.0CSL-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL-Art-Car / #BMW / #BMW-E9-Art-Car /

    Ah, the irony – a BMW ‘Art Car’ from the mid 1970s turned into contemporary art. The CSL racer kickstarted the whole Art Car movement and was painted in 1975 by #BMW-3.0CSL-Alexander-Calder before racing at #Le-Mans . This dynamic modern print is by Frederic Dams. From £35. historiccarart.net
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  •   Chris Hrabalek reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Iconic #1972 Batmobile at auction / #BMW-E9 / #BMW-3.0-CSL / #BMW-3.0-CSL-E9 / #BMW-3.0-CSi-Batmobile-CSL-FIA-Gp4-Race-Car / #BMW

    WITH AN ESTIMATE OF BETWEEN £130-£150K, GETTING YOUR HANDS ON THIS FIA GROUP 4 BATMOBILE IS A BMW ENTHUSIAST’S DREAM!

    Spotted up for grabs at H&H’s Imperial War Museum Duxford sale last month, this genuine Batmobile CSL racecar, which has been campaigned for 30 years, was earmarked for a new racing owner.

    The brochure information for Lot 77 was a mammoth read in itself. This #Batmobile was constructed in 1981 around a 3.0 CSi shell by BMW racing guru Chris Randall of Zaprace for his own use. For a while it passed into the hands of Tim Busby who, among other things, switched it from right to left-hand drive and campaigned it in the iconic Luigi racing colours. Following Busby's death, Randall bought the car back and re-engineered It before selling the BMW to Nick Whale.

    Whale is known to have invested a lot of money in the car with #Techspeed-Motorsport , which equipped it with all the correct brake and suspension components, plus air jacks, centre lock wheels and a reliable Lester Owen engine that produced some 350bhp running on #Kugelfischer fuel injection. He and Ian Guest successfully raced the BMW throughout Europe for 10 years, running it in both Patrick Peter’s Endurance Series and the Masters championship for Post-Historic Touring Cars. They also finished first in Plateau B of the 2006 Le Mans Classic.

    In #2010 the car was acquired by the vendor who ran it last year in the Masters and Legends Series, paired with Chris Conoley of #MASS-Racing . They achieved fourth overall and first in class in the Masters at Donington, third overall and first in class in the Legends at Donington, fifth overall and class winners at Legends at Portimao and overall winners in the JD Classics Challenge.

    This Batmobile made £134,400 at auction and was sold complete with #FIA HTP papers and numerous spares and is eligible for the #2012 #Le-Mans Classic as well as Legends, Masters and Youngtimers series. What a rare opportunity to buy such an iconic race car! We can only think that the new owner is still rubbing his/her hands with glee...

    Sold For £134,400
    Reg Number: Un-Reg
    Chassis Number: 2331066
    Engine Number: 7427831
    Cc: 3498
    Body Colour: White
    Trim Colour: Black
    MOT ExpiryDate: None
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