A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £42,750
Emerging from a difficult financial period, BMW felt sufficiently confident in the mid-sixties to return to six-cylinder power for its top-of-the-range models, culminating in 1968 with the launch of the 2500 and 2800 saloons together with a really stylish coupé, the 2800CS. Known by their factory code 'E9', these Karmann-built cars were effectively a development of BMW's existing, four-cylinder 2000CS stretched to accommodate the 2800 saloon's M30 engine, although its platform and running gear had more in common with the earlier car. The 2800CS was, in turn, replaced by the similarly styled 3.0-litre CS in 1971 and the new car brought with it numerous improvements, including four-wheel disc brakes in place of the old disc/drum combination. With 180bhp now available, these were quick cars, the 3.0CS was capable of speeds in excess of 130mph, and with the arrival of the 200bhp, Bosch D-Jetronic fuel-injected, 3.0 CSi, these sleek coupés were getting into Italian sports car territory. However the car that sticks in everyone's memory is undoubtedly the lightweight 3.0 CSL Group 2 'homologation special', affectionately known as the 'Batmobile' on account of its similarity to the daily transport of the 'Caped Crusader'. Developed at Stuttgart University and used from mid-1973 onwards, the 'Batmobile' aerodynamic package consisted of a front chin spoiler, large rear wing, a rooftop wing, and front wing fins. The body was made from thinner steel, the boot, door and bonnet from aluminium, and the side windows were perspex. Interestingly all these 'sticky-out' bits were illegal for road use in Germany, so the wings were left in the boot for final installation by the supplying dealer. Thus equipped, the CSLs had a very successful few years in European Touring Car racing, all well-documented elsewhere. The dramatic, right-hand drive, 3.0 CSi offered here is not a 'Batmobile' but an extremely rare example of a road going aluminium wide-bodied lightweight BMW, and has the looks and performance of a 'Group 2' ETC car of the early 70s. The car was converted by Alpina, BMW's motorsport partners, we believe in the late seventies and there is a photograph of the car in London at about this time showing it in its present configuration. Initially supplied by the main dealer Motor Tune, Brompton Road, London in 1972 to its first owner, it was later purchased in the late 80's by a Mr. Johnson, a BMW specialist and enthusiast, who recognised that there was something special about this car. Eventually, after 20 years in dry storage, 'JYN 78K' was subject to a three-year "ground upwards", 80K, restoration to return it to its post-Alpina condition, and that was completed in 2014. Naturally the bodywork was taken back to bare metal and was carefully inspected and found to be sound. The car was rebuilt retaining the front wing splitters, front spoiler, fins, rear wing and aluminium arches as found. It was painted in the classic BMW White with Blue, Back and Red 'M' striping and the interior is finished in dark blue leather with heated electric front bucket seats. The mechanical spec is as follows 3.5 litre, straight six with big valves & high-lift cams - triple twin choke Webers - straight through stainless steel exhaust with side exit - 5-speed Getrag dog-leg box - balanced prop-shaft - twin boot mounted fuel fillers - centre lock style wheels, 12 x 18" Fronts and 14 x 18" Rears on Khumos. Accompanied by a current MoT (September 2016), its V5 and a number of restoration invoices, 'JYN 78K' is in very good all round condition and set to go. This 1972, 3.0 CSi 'Wide Body' Coupé, "does what it says on the tin" and, if you are a fan of motorsport from this period, it could be a dream come true. With the price of original 'Batmobiles' reaching remarkable levels, this rare car at this guide seems to make a lot of sense.