From rust heap to race track: BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile will fly again

By Will Pembroke
Jan 31 2017, 12:25 pm
2

From rust heap to race track: BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile will fly again

They say never inspect a classic car in the rain or dark, and absolutely make sure you look at a number of examples before taking the plunge and buying one.

Oh, and by the way, never fall for the oldest trick in the book: “You’re welcome to see the car, but I’ve got two other potential cash buyers visiting this weekend.”

Seven years since its acquisition and now in its third incarnation, my 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL still isn’t drivable…

Personally, I say the truest petrol-heads follow their heart and not their head! I would love to admit that I listened to the advice of others who have walked this well trodden path. I would love also to admit that I learn from my own mistakes, and that following the purchase of a decidedly ropy Datsun 240Z, my second classic car turned out to be a gem.

Sadly not. Seven years since its acquisition and now in its third incarnation, my 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL still isn’t drivable. It turned out to be even more rotten than the Datsun.

It always amazes me just how many sins can be hidden with enough layers of metal plate, soldering, body filler and paint. Even more amazing is how a car can hold itself together with just these patches, when the genuine bodywork has long since perished.

My dreams of driving a mint ‘Batmobile’ road car were down the Swanee. If I couldn’t resuscitate the road car, then the only option was to donate her carcass to a great cause, and build her up into a thoroughbred race car. (Who said I can’t make sensible and justified decisions…)

This time however, I did seek advice, and the car is nearing completion of her build into a magnificent Group 2 BMW CSL by the hugely talented Richard Shaw at Laranca Engineering.

If it hadn’t taken seven years to get to this point, I’d say I can hardly wait!

Comments (2)

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  • Stefan Marjoram 2nd February 2017 Reply

    Argh! One of my all-time favourite cars – but there should be a warning about the rust photos! Well done for saving it from certain extinction.

  • Jeremy Stoker 31st January 2017 Reply

    At long last!

    I’m looking forward to seeing the finished car.