BMW 3.5 CSL
This 1974 BMW 3.5 CSL was raced for BMW North America Factory team in the United States IMSA series in 1975, Group IV. Raced at the Daytona 24 Hour and Sebring 12 Hour.
In 1976, it returned to Germany and converted to Group V specifications. It was raced at LeMans and finished 10th. It ran the European Championship series and, in 1976, won the South African 1000k.
Sold by BMW to Vasek Polak, Hermosa Beach, California, and then sold by his estate to Rug Cunningham in 1997.
The list of drivers include Hans Stuck, Sam Posey, Ronnie Peterson, Brian Redman, Allen Moffitt, Jody Schecter, George Follmer, and Rug Cunningham.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2007
In 1973, the BMW 3.0 CSL made its debut and introduced the world to BMW Motorsport GmbH. Adorned with the now-classic three blue, violet, and red stripes, the 3.5 CSL won multiple titles, including the Touring Car Grand Prix at Nurburgring in its first attempt. Two years later, and a matter of days after BMW of North America was incorporated, the 3.5 CSL won the 12 Hours of Sebring, and continued its success with a victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1976. It would go on to become the most successful touring car of its day.
Additionally, this car has very significant race history in 1976, in Europe, participating in the inaugural World Championship of Makes.
This series was intensely contested by BMW, Porsche and Lancia. This car was driven throughout the series by Walkinshaw and Fitzpatrick. It secured 3rd place in the second race of the series at Vallelunga, Italy and followed that with a stunning victory over the twin turbo Porsches at Silverstone, England. A subsequent 2nd place finish at Zeltwig, Austria, was a further important contribution to BMW Motorsport's pursuit of the title. The 1976 campaign of the car ended in South Africa, where the car was driven by the brilliant Formula 1 pilot Ronnie Peterson and John Fitzpatrick.
This 3.5 CSL is one of four cars built by BMW Motorsports. It was the most highly developed version when brought to the US mid-way through the 1975 season. It was first driven by Hans Stuck and Sam Posey, later by Peter Gregg and John Morton. Extraordinary technical aspects of the engine include: mechanical fuel injection, crankshaft triggered ignition, slide throttle induction, 4 valves per cylinder and 475 horsepower at 8500RPM. Innovative aerodynamic features: front air dam, 'fences' on the front fenders, roof and rear wings (thus dubbed the 'Batmobile') dramatically increased the road holding capability. Road and Track Magazine celebrated this car with their 'Car we'd most like to race' award at the 2011 Monterey Motorsport Reunion, where 33 years earlier it was victorious and set a race lap record.