Classic Car RestorationSold Cars 1971 BMW 3.0CSL Lightweight
- Year: 1971
- Make: BMW
- Model: 3.0CSL Lightweight
- Engine: 3.0 Liter 180 HP
- Transmission: 4 Spd.
- Price: Complete Restoration & SOLD
BMW launched its new 3.0 Coupe Sport or CS series Coupes in 1968 to add power and athletic handling to the BMW lineup. While the CS was an excellent grand touring coupe, it needed refinement to make it competitive in the European Touring Car Championship and in American IMSA racing. To answer this need, the lightweight CSL was the first car developed as a homologation model for the German Touring Car Championship by what would become the Motorsport or “M” division. Introduced in September 1971, the first CSL coupes used thinner steel for the frame and employed aluminum for the trunk lid, hood and doors. Devoid of most conveniences, the Series 1 CSL weighed just 2,568 pounds, some 440 pounds less than an equivalent 3.0CS. It was powered by the standard 2,985cc M30 engine with twin carburetors and was only offered in left-hand drive. This early-production Series 1 CSL is the 29th produced of a total of only 169 cars made with factory carburetion before the switch to fuel injection. It was completed in ultimate competition form with optional lightweight Vertex Plexiglas windows. As verified in the original BMW Certificate accompanying the car, it was manufactured on December 1, 1971 and delivered new to BMW Italia S.p.A., in Palazzo, Verona, Italy on September 7, 1972. While its earliest Italian owner history is unknown, the car was apparently raced in Italy for a number of years early on. In or around 1974, its original 2,985cc engine was replaced by the more potent, then-current 3.3-liter E3 engine with triple Weber carburetion. Its 4-Speed transmission appears to be original to the car. In 1986 it was imported by its second owner, Robert Mandraccia, from Italy to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and then on to Fort Myers, Florida. To meet U.S. standards the car was fitted with safety glass and an American-spec steel front bumper. It was then repainted from its original Colorado Orange to Polaris Silver Metallic with tri-tone M stripes. An active member of the CSL club network, Mr. Mandraccia kept extensive records of his ownership, all of which are included in the documentation. In 1998 Ormond Beach, Florida, resident James Arocho took ownership of the car, which by that time was known as a Prototype due to its many early production details. He used it sparingly over the course of his ownership, but nonetheless was highly impressed by the power and agility it displayed during rare track sessions. The car then made its way into the Craig Brody Collection, where it was completely dismantled and stripped to bare metal for a ground-up restoration. It was refinished in its original code 2 Colorado Orange with Black CSL stripes and chrome fender trim, and refitted with the original Green-tinted Vertex Plexiglas windows for maximum authenticity. Its mechanical restoration included a new custom-built factory-style exhaust system to extract full power from the 3.3L inline-6 cylinder engine. In addition to its excellent original velour competition seats, the interior retains its original wood trim, steering wheel and carpeting, as well as the unique rear passenger compartment fresh air ducting exclusive to early-production models. The car was completed with restored original 14×7-inch wheels and Michelin XWX radial tires to complete its return to stock factory Lightweight specification.