BMW isn’t Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Porsche, in that it doesn’t have a ton of uber-high priced classics from its history. While there are a few expensive vintage Bimmers on the collector’s market, only the M1 has reached truly legendary status. However, some classic BMWs have started to creep up into surprisingly high price ranges. One of which is the BMW 3.0 CSL, which is not only revered for its stunning looks but also its racing pedigree and one just sold for a whopping $280,000.
Just a couple of days ago, a premium listing on Bring-A-Trailer for a 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL ended, with a winning bid of $280,000, which is more than $100,000 more than the most expensive brand-new BMW. One look at this car and it’s not hard to see why it sold for so much money.
The BMW 3.0 CSL was always one of the best looking Bimmers ever made. This one, though, without its big rear wing, 14″ ALPINA wheels, and nearly mint condition. This specific 3.0 CSL wears a Polaris Silver paint, with a black interior, and wood trim. It’s among the best looking CSL’s we’ve ever seen. With its CSL-spec Bilstein suspension, lowered ride height, and perfect wheels, we’re not sure we’ve ever seen a prettier CSL.
Its interior isn’t so shabby, either. The Scheel front bucket seats, with a mixture of cloth and leather, not only look great but are more supportive of the standard E9-chassis BMW seats. Every aspect of the interior looks to be in superb condition; the steering wheel, shifter, and wood trim — all the wear items — are all in excellent shape.
Under the hood is a 3.0 liter (hence the name) naturally-aspirated inline six, making 200 horsepower and 204 lb-ft of torque. That power is routed through a four-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels. While it’s vastly underpowered by modern standards, the 3.0 CSL is more than powerful enough to be enjoyable.
However, what makes the BMW 3.0 CSL such a valuable car is its rarity. Only 1,265 CSL models were made and this model is one of only 429 left-hand drive models made. It was an Italian market car that was imported to the ‘States in 1994. This specific car also has the City Package, which came with better sound insulation, rear glass instead of plastic, thicker carpets, and even power windows. Being a homologation racing car, the BMW 3.0 CSL was about 440 lbs lighter than the standard 3.0 CS but the City Package added 297 lbs back to the car.
The $280,000 price tag is high, even for a 3.0 CSL, but we can see it becoming an even more valuable collector’s car in the future. BMW isn’t Ferrari or Porsche but it has one or two special classics and the CSL is one of them.