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Walking around SEMA is pretty much a paradise for every petrolhead. I don’t think I have ever spoken to anyone who has come away disappointed from the show, there is just so much impressive metal on display. If you had been keeping up with Autolifers on Instagram (@autolifers) you will have spotted some videos where I wax lyrically about the RWB Porsches… again. However, when I came upon the H&R Springs booth I was blown away by this amazing E9 BMW CSL original race car. I spent more time photographing and looking this car over than anything else at the show which is why I wanted to do this small feature on it. I really think it is that special.

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BMW Motorsport has a proud history in competition be it tin-tops, rallying or, the pinnacle, of circuit racing in Formula 1. I have a serious yearning for a E30 BMW M3 DTM car or I would gladly accept a BTCC car from that period. The E9 however is the stuff dreams are made of in my opinion.

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From every angle this car is just stunning. It’s aggressive and beautiful all at the same time. In its motorsport guise the car was dubbed the “Batmobile” because of its wild flares and wings. I love the boxy-ness of the extended front and rear quarters to accommodate the humngeously fat tires! There is not one thing to dislike about this car bar the fact it is an insanely expensive piece of kit!

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The E9, as a road going car, was launched in 1968 and its production life ran for 8 years. In that time the car had several iterations of engine from the 2.5l dual-carb to the 3.2l fuel injected version. This version of the car is a 1975 3.5l CSL model. The engine revved all the way to 8800 rpm sending 430bhp through a 4-speed gearbox and out through the rear wheels.

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Apparently this version was campaigned by BMW Motorsport in the 1975 and 1976 seasons of the IMSA GT Series and has been restored to its original spec from when it competed and won at Sebring in ’75. The car would go on to win at Riverside, Laguna Seca, Daytona and Talladega. The E9 really helped to define BMW as a serious player amongst manufacturers at the race track! I am just delighted to have actually seen one in the flesh as it were – such a fine, fine piece of motorsport history!
 
Words & Photos: Patrick McCullagh
 

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