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.
Chassis #: 2275987
Engine #: M49/3-18
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.
This BMW, chassis number 2275987, was one of the two initial workhorses for the BMW N.A. team. Both cars made their racing debut in February of 1975 at the 24 Hours of Daytona, and both retired early due to engine troubles. They were entered in the 12 Hours of Sebring where chassis number 987 was driven to victory by Brian Redman and Allan Moffat. At Road Atlanta a rear axle-hub failure led to an accident. The damaged car was returned to the Alabama workshop for repair. For the 1976 season, chassis no. 987 was loaned to the Hermatite-sponsored team and driven at the 24 Hours of Daytona to a 15th place finish by John Fitzpatrick and Tom Walkinshaw. In March of 1976, it was sent to Munich and converted to Group 5 specifications and raced in the inaugural World Championship of Makes by the Hermatite team, finishing 3rd at Vallelunga in early April, 2nd at Zeltweg, Austria, in late June, and claiming outright victory at the Six Hours of Silverstone in May. This may also be the car that was driven (and retired early) by Hermatite BMW at the 1976 24 Hours of LeMans. It also is likely that ownership of the car passed to Tom Walkinshaw during this time.After the 1976 season, BMW sent the car back to the United States to compete in additional IMSA GT events. It is believed that John Morton drove the car at Laguna Seca in 1978, and set a series of records in the process.
Chassis #: 2275987
Engine #: M49/3-18
The car is currently powered by a correct 3.5-liter upright M49/3 engine and is finished in its Sebring-winning livery with race number 25.
987 was later sold to Vasek Polak and after his passing in April of 1997, the CSL was sold to its current owner, Henry Schmitt. Since then, the car has been campaigned in many vintage events, including vintage races at Laguna Seca, Sonoma, Reno, Coronado, and Mt. Tremblant.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2019
1974 BMW 3.5 CSL
2019 RM Sothebys : Monterey
Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,500,000-USD $2,200,000
Lot was not sold
Recent Sales of the BMW 3.5 CSL
(Data based on Model Year 1974 sales)
BMW 3.5 CSLs That Failed To Sell At Auction
1974 BMW 3.5 CSL's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
|Vehicle||Chassis||Event||High Bid||Est. Low||Est. High|
|1974 BMW 3.5 CSL IMSA||2275987||2019 RM Sothebys : Monterey||$1,500,000||$2,200,000|
Vehicles With Comparable Market Values
Similar sales to the range.
1974 BMW 3.5 CSL• Additional valuation insight and sales data
• Image gallery
• Other BMW 3.5 CSL model years