Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
11/24/20 8:12 a.m.

Whether they’ll admit it or not, everyone has a favorite car. But to what lengths would they go to get it? For longtime collector Jay Proops, his dream car turned out to be a bit of a needle in a haystack.

The object of his desire? A BMW 3.0 CSL, the lightweight, race homologation version of the E9 coupe not officially imported stateside. BMW only produced 1265 copies total during the model’s 1972-’75 run.

But Jay wanted a fuel-injected, left-hand-drive example, narrowing the list to just 429 of those cars. And then he wanted one fitted with the more comfortable City Package. Most of the 3.0 CSL coupes sold in the U.K. had this option, but Jay figures only about 50 left-hand-drive cars came so equipped. 

One more wish: He also wanted a car with a fall build date–more on that later. 

And then add in the fact that these cars were built more than 45 years ago. It was a hunt for the ages. 

Read the rest of the story

peter890 New Reader
2/23/21 6:20 p.m.

Great article - I so regret selling my 3.0 CS to my then-young aunt (before I was posted overseas) who was not a car nut, and when a mechanic told her there was some rust in the chassis, she gave it away. Now they are so scarce (nearly as rare as the CSL). Just one thing in your article which says:

A City Package was also offered during the 3.0 CSL run. This package–fitted to nearly all of the U.K.-market cars and optional elsewhere–added back some of what had been removed in creating the 3.0 CSL. This version was slightly tamer. 


I wonder if you meant the CSi was created ?

2/24/21 1:29 p.m.

Nah, Nah, Nah.....  big time wrong history on the sidebar.

The actual CSL story should note how BMW's Neerpasch and the FIA rulesmakers slicked Ford by homologating the aero kit mid-season. The Ford Capris were leading BMW up until then during the 1973 season.

BMW lawyering ruined any chance of a straight-up dogfight. Instead you had BMW aero cars versus non-aero Ford coupes, but both with the same engine rules.

The "fault" was with the FIA in allowing late jinking with the rules in so dramatic a fashion. They should have denied the CSL aero mods on many valid grounds. They chose not to do so.

The final twist of the sword is that BMW was supposed to kit out a minimum of 500 CSLs with the aero package to the public. It is now known that only a small fraction of that number were actually produced in time for the 1973 season.

That ain't racing, and that is what the CSL should be remembered for: a one year "cheater special". And not a very successful one at that, barely winning in 1973, even with all its claptrappery.

In 1974, the Capri won the DTM over the CSL, and that was the last year of the German Ford touring car program. The CSL stunt was good for 1 year (1973). So much for "vanquishing" the Capris!!!!

The Ford Racing manager at that time, Michael Kranefuss, who was inducted into the Ford Capri Hall Of Fame, said the games with the FIA and BMW were "his fault" because he never believed they would approve aero devices in Grp 2 sedan racing. It was an unprecedented rules change to "Touring Car" FIA rules.

A fair rules change of something that radical would have extended all competitors a window to respond to such a sweeping change, or at least policed the proof of minimum production numbers to satisfy legal homolgation. The FIA did neither.

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