Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 11, 2014 . . .
The BMW 3.0 CSL Group 4 race car that won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring wins Best-in-Class at the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The BMW 3.0 CSL Group 2 race car that won the 1973 European Sedan Championship takes second at the Concours. The highlight of the class of BMW 3.0 CSL race and road cars was the Alexander Calder BMW Art Car from 1975—the very first in the now legendary series of BMW Art Cars.
The 3.0 CSL race cars were the first cars to be developed under the then-new BMW Motorsport GmbH subsidiary, established in 1972 and led by Jochen Neerpasch. They were also the first to sport the new official colors of BMW Motorsport—red, purple and blue. Based on the production 3.0 CS coupe, the aluminum skinned CSL (L = lightweight) homologation special, nicknamed the ‘Batmobile’ by its fans, formed the basis for an assault on Group 2 through Group 5 European touring car racing that would make it one of the most successful production racers of all time.
The class-winning 3.0 CSL was one of a group of five chassis campaigned by BMW of North America in the 1975 and 1976 IMSA Camel GT Series in Group 4 specifications. Campaigned under the racing numbers #24 and #25, the CSL enjoyed considerable success winning at Sebring, Riverside, Laguna Seca, Daytona and Talladega in 1975. Several iconic drivers were involved in the American success of the CSL’s, including Brian Redman, Hans Stuck, Sam Posey, Ronnie Peterson, Dieter Quester, Benny Parsons, Peter Gregg and David Hobbs. This car, sporting race number 25, is part of the BMW of North America Classic collection and is configured as it raced and won at the 1975 running of the 12 Hours of Sebring with drivers Brian Redman, Hans Stuck, Sam Posey and Alan Moffat.
The BMW 3.0 CSL race car that took runner-up honors was built in 1972 to compete in FIA Group 2. This particular car brought the 1973 European Sedan Championship to Dieter Quester and Toine Hezemans and is owned and vintage raced by BMW collectors Scott and Fran Hughes of Sunset, South Carolina.
The BMW 3.0 CSL class also included the car that won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1976 driven by Brian Redman, Peter Gregg and John Fitzpatrick.
A limited number of BMW 3.0 CSL models were produced and sold for street use in order to homologate the car for racing. The road-going BMW 3.0 CSLs featured in the class at the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance included a car entered by Indy 500 winner and BMW Team RLL team principal, Bobby Rahal.
The class-winning BMW 3.0 CSL #25 will be featured in the Gallery of Legends at the 62nd running of the 12 Hours of Sebring this weekend.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
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Information about BMW and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwusanews.com