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The 3.0 CSL is a lightweight, performance-oriented version of the standard 3.0 CS/3.0 CSi coupé. Utilising the E9 platform, it was initially unveiled at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show prior to being introduced in May 1972 as an 'homologation' model for the German Touring Car Championship developed by a separate division within BMW AG that would later become known as BMW Motorsport GmbH. The CSL achieved some great results, with wins at Le Mans in the touring car class in 1973 and 1974, the IMSA GT Championship in 1975, and winning the European Touring Car Championships every year from 1973 to 1979 (apart from a minor blip in 1974). The "L" in the designation stood for leicht (light) and a total of 1,096 CSLs were built, with just 500 of these being imported into the UK. The great majority of UK cars were optioned with the ‘City Package’ designed to make the 3.0 CSL more usable as a daily driver. These versions retained the standard interior trim, negating the total weight saving somewhat, but the other benefits were retained, including the aero kit, thinner gauge steel, and aluminium parts.
‘YVW 101L’ is quite simply the best E9 CSL Silverstone Auctions have ever seen. It's on offer directly from Rock Legend, Jay Kay’s eclectic collection and is one of only 500 CSLs built in right-hand drive. It had been ordered from new with the popular ‘City package’ which included electric windows, extra sound deadening, full bumpers and wheel arch extensions and is finished in its original shade of Chamonix White with black graphics. This, matching numbers car, has covered around 62,000 miles supported by a fantastic history file which contains the original buff logbook displaying the date of first registration as the 17th October 1972 to BMW dealer, Bates of Maldon in Essex, a record of previous owners recalling its interesting life since 1972, the service records, early MOTs including the first in 1975 and some early correspondence.
We pick up the story in 2017 when the owner prior to Jay Kay purchased the CSL after some years in storage and found that it was a pleasingly original example that had been well looked after and importantly still retained all the model's original defining features. Following his purchase, he commenced a renovation programme with the aim of returning the car to a level of perfection whilst focussing on originality. As you might expect, there are invoices on file detailing the impressive amount of work which resulted in excess of £60,000 being lavished on the classic coupe. All mechanical areas were inspected and rebuilt or replaced as necessary, the engine, gearbox, rear axle, brakes and suspension were rebuilt and the body was stripped with any corrosion being removed before being put back together using BMW parts if the originals could not be refinished.
The result of all this is clear to see and this CSL clearly caught the attention of Jay, who certainly knows a thing or two about E9s having been lucky enough to own a few, and it was quickly added to his impressive collection. This is the second CSL in the Jay Kay collection and is now only being offered for sale as the other car is due to return from long-term restoration shortly. These low production, era-defining coupés often feature as a choice in car enthusiasts’ 'dream garage' scenarios, and with good reason – beautifully engineered machines that have that special feel, unique to BMW.