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The BMW 3.0 CSL, nicknamed the Batmobile by enthusiasts, was developed from the 3.0 CS road car and was the first race car built by BMW Motorsport. The CSL designation in German - Coupé Sport Leichtbau - stands for Coupe Sport Lightweight. The CSL was made lighter than the road car using a body shell made of thinner gauge steel; using aluminum instead of steel for the hood, trunk lid, and doors; and using thermoplastic windows instead of glass. The 3.0 CSL went on to win the European Touring Car Championship six times between 1973 and 1979, along with seven wins in the North American IMSA series.

 

The example featured here - 3.5 CSL chassis number 2275988 - was built in 1974 to the FIA's Group 4 regulations and was campaigned by the BMW North America factory race team in the IMSA series in 1975.  It was piloted by German Hans-Joachim Stuck and American Sam Posey at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. After the conclusion of the 1975 racing season, BMW Motorsport brought the car back to Europe where it was converted to the FIA's Group 5 regulations.

 

In its new Group 5 specification for the 1976 season, chassis 2275988 competed in six of the seven rounds of the World Championship for Makes. It also raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where it finished 4th in its class and 10th overall, and the Kyalami 1000 Kilometres in South Africa where it earned its first and only victory. Mounted under the hood was BMW's M49/3 inline 6-cylinder engine which featured mechanical fuel injection, displaced 3.5 liters and produced 480 horsepower. The M49/3 consisted of a cast-iron block, forged-steel crankshaft, and an aluminum cylinder head featuring 4 valves per cylinder and dual overhead camshafts. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a Getrag close-ratio 5-speed transmission.

 

Following the 1976 racing season, BMW sold chassis 2275988 to Vasek Polak, the preeminent Porsche and BMW racer, tuner, and dealer based in Southern California. Under Polak's care, the car was repainted in his signature white and featured red, blue and black stripes as depicted here. It competed at Laguna Seca in 1977 and 1978 and remained with Polak until his passing in 1997. Since then, the car has seen regular action in historic racing in the hands of Rug Cunningham and later Andrew Cannon. Having worn the Vasek Polak colors for decades, chassis 2275988 was involved in a racing accident in 2013 resulting in major front-end damage. The car was subsequently repaired and repainted in black, the same livery it wore at Le Mans in 1976.


Multi-color print on a Light Grey 100% cotton shirt.

BMW 3.5 CSL E9 Vasek Polak sports car T-shirt

$24.95Price
  • Multi-color print on a Light Grey 100% cotton shirt.

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