Using the new 3.0 CSi model as a foundation, BMW created the Coupe Sport Leicht or Coupe Sport Lightweight to homologate the car for the European Touring Car Championship.
BMW took the Lightweight name seriously, as CSLs came with aluminum doors and trunk lid, and a lightened monocoque formed from thinner-gauge steel. A number of items were deleted, including power windows and steering, thick carpets, sound deadening and the front bumper. Even the underbody rust protection was given the axe, although that came back to bite the car as you’d imagine.
The CSL was very successful on the track, winning the European Touring Car Championship six times, along with four consecutive 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps victories.
Total 3.0 CSL production totaled 1,265 cars, although far less remain due to the CSL’s previously mentioned rust vulnerability and extensive motorsports use.
Source/Location:Piston Heads; car is located in Wolverhampton, U.K.
Seller Comments: “This beautiful, very original CSL is in fantastic condition and doesn’t appear to be suffering from the extensive rust and rot of many examples I’ve seen. To be truly concours it would need a respray. There is slight corrosion in the driver’s footwell and in the base of the spare wheel holder. There is also slight rust appearing on the edge of a couple of the panels. The car is used weekly and is an absolute joy to drive.”
“In addition to this there is a very thick file containing a large number of independent service invoices, old MOTs and original photos from previous owners. With a mild restoration this car could be a supreme example of this fantastic style icon. I would highly recommend a viewing of this vehicle.”
Sports Car Digest Comments: The asking price for this very original CSL is £17,500. While the Porsche 911 RS of that period routinely trades well above $150,000, authentic CSLs typically have a hard time reaching the price of a well-done RS replica, or roughly $50,000 USD. Much to the dismay of BMW aficionado, the CSL trades at a discount to the RS because of its comparatively weak street car performance and somewhat mundane looks. (For the record, SCD loves the CS-series looks).
With that said, this particular 1 of 500 UK Right Hand Drive model is undeniably rare and desired, and it still has its very rare (and expensive) Alpina go-fast parts, Scheel seats, and so forth. The “slight corrosion” and “slight rust” are certainly worth garnering an expert’s opinion before making a bid.