1972 3.0 CSL Group 2 Rally
1972 BMW 3.0 CSL Group 2 Rally #2211342
2,985cc M30 inline six-cylinder, 300 hp @ 7,000 rpm
Approximately 2,800 lbs.
Peter Gleeson (since 2014)
Though rallying was crucial to BMW’s motorsport identity in the 1920s and ’30s, budgetary constraints limited the company’s participation in the 1950s and ’60s. For 1967 and ’68, BMW handed responsibility for rallying to Alpina, but BMW’s own team returned in 1969, fielding Finnish aces Timo Makkinen and Ake Andersson in the 2002 ti. The most interesting development involved another Finn, Rauno Aaltonen, in the Tour de Corse. In a one-off drive, Aaltonen rallied a 2002 fitted with a 275-hp six-cylinder engine from the E9 2800 CS, perhaps as a trial run for an official E9 rally effort in 1970. That year, Gerd Raschig and Peter Linzen won the Hugenotten Rallye in the factory-supported CS. With a few exceptions, however, BMW’s rally drivers stuck with the 2002 for 1970 and 1971.
When BMW Motorsport was created in 1972, rallying took a back seat to racing the 3.0 CSL and building F2 engines. Motorsport built just one CSL rally car, #2211342, the car you see here.
Manufactured by Karmann on September 15, 1971, it was delivered to BMW in Munich and registered as M-AH1072. Since the Alpina-developed CSL hadn’t been homologated for the 1972 racing season, BMW technicians replaced its aluminum doors, trunk lid and hood with CS parts in steel, then entered it as a 2800 CS in April’s Ostmark Rallye for Raschig and Linzen, who finished 2nd. They DNF’d the ADAC Rally Hessen, then factory driver Achim Warmbold paired with Linzen in #2211342 for the Vorderpfalz Rally, taking 2nd in his only E9 outing.
For August’s 5-day Olympia Rally from Kiel to Munich, BMW paired Aaltonen—by then a BMW factory racer—with British navigator John Davenport in #2211342. Aaltonen liked the car, but mechanical problems doomed his effort. “First we had a distributor failure, but I changed it on a stage. Then something else failed, but it couldn’t be repaired quickly, and accordingly we were excluded because of lateness.”
Toward the end of 1972, BMW sold CSL #2211342 to Hans-Peter Koepchen, whose team raced it twice at the Nürburgring in 1973. After that, the car ended up in the US, identified incorrectly as a 3.0 GT. In 2011, collector Peter Gleeson learned that the car had been hidden in a Philadelphia garage for over 20 years, and a few years later he purchased it from its longtime owner.
“Within ten minutes, I’d rubbed down the hood, the trunk, the roof and the fenders and found the blue and white paint underneath, and the original Colorado orange,” he says. “It was like discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun—a once-in-a-lifetime thing for a guy like me whose sweet spot is early BMW Motorsport.”
The car was restored in the U.K. by Alex Elliott and returned to action at the Rolex Motorsport Reunion in 2016.