1972 BMW

CSL 3.0 Coupe


Engine: 3.0L SOHC Inline 6 with 9.5:1 compression ratio, Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection

Horsepower: 200 hp (150 kW) at 5,500 RPM

Torque: 188 ft-lbs at 3,700 RPM

Transmission: 4-speed manual

A Little History

Introduced in May 1972, the 3.0 CSL was a homologation special built to make the car eligible for racing in the European Touring Car Championship. 1,265 were built.

The “L” in the designation meant leicht (light), unlike in other BMW designations, where it meant lang (long). The lightness was achieved by using thinner steel to build the unit body, deleting the trim and soundproofing, using aluminum alloy doors, bonnet, and boot lid, and using Perspex side windows. By removing the trim, using thinner steel for the main body-shell, aluminum alloy for the doors, hood and trunk lid, and Perspex for the side windows an impressive 300-lbs in weight was saved – ‘Leicht’ indeed!

The five hundred 3.0 CSLs exported to the United Kingdom were not quite as light as the others, as the importer had insisted on retaining the soundproofing, electric windows, and stock E9 bumpers on these cars. The CSL was never sold in the United States.

The E9 platform, especially the 3.0 CSL homologation special, was very successful in racing, especially in European Touring Car Championship and the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft. This helped to establish BMW’s status as a sporty driver’s car and an ultimate grand touring car.

The 3.0 CSL was homologated initially with a fractionally over-bored (3,003 cc) engine, which enabled it to compete in the over 3-liter class.

Other Cars in this Collection

1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Piccadilly Roadster

1929 Brough Superior 100SS Motorcycle

1931 Lincoln Model K Convertible

1935 Packard 1207 V12 Convertible Coupe

1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe

1957 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet

1958 Ford Edsel Citation


1963 Porsche 356B Cabriolet

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet

1968 Ford Shelby GT350 Convertible

1968 Ferrari 330GTC

1972 BMW CSL 3.0 Coupe

1978 Aston-Martin V8 Canadian Vantage

1981 Ferrari 400i 2+2

2006 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

2015 Aston Martin Vanquish Carbon Edition