The 3.0 CSL race cars were the first cars to be developed under the new BMW subsidiary, established in 1972 - BMW Motorsport GmbH. They were the first to sport the newly designed official colors of BMW Motorsport - red, blue and purple.
Based on the 3.0 CS coupe production car, the CSL ('L') is for lightweight, referring to the aluminum doors and hood) began an assault on European touring car racing that would make it one of the most successful production racers of all time. In fact, CSL's continued to win races into the late 1970's, even though production ended in 1975 to make way for its successor, the 6 Series.
Throughout its span of development, the BMW six-cylinder engine, a 3.0-liter unit in the production car, grew from 3.2 to 3.5-liters, increasing in horsepower from 340 to 430, thanks to the development of a four-valve cylinder head.
The 3.0 CSL won six European Touring Car Championships between 1973 and 1979, as well as national championships in several other countries.
This 3.0 CSL was one of a team of three cars campaigned by BMW of North America in 1975 & 1976, enjoying considerable success, winning IMSA races at Sebring, Laguna Seca, Riverside, Daytona, Lime Rock and Talledega. Several drivers were involved in the American success of the CSL's including Hans Stuck, Sam Posey, Brian Redman, Allan Moffat, Dieter Quester, Benny Parsons, Peter Gregg and David Hobbs.