cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

What, exactly, is a BMW 3.0CSL?

Like any good car nut, I have a framed iconic car poster in my garage. It shows Hans Stuck driving a BMW 3.0CSL at the Nürburgring in 1974. All four wheels are airborne. It's an awesome shot-a glorious blur of fat tires, flared fenders, air dams, BMW Motorsport-colored livery, and side scoops.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/the-hack-mechanic/what-exactly-is-a-bmw-3-0csl/
15 REPLIES 15
Kid_Veloce
New Driver

Perspex, like Lucite are brand names for transparent acrylic material. Lexan or Makrolon is a brand name for translucent and clear polycarbonate sheeting. While transparent polycarbonate became available in the ‘70’s, I believe acrylic/Perspex would probably have been used as it is optically superior, more abrasion resistant and in 1970 had been widely available for 20 years.
Valvefloat
Intermediate Driver

Perspex, or Plexiglass, as we call it, may have been optically superior to Lexan in those days, but since the lightweight material was only used for the side and rear windows, that advantage wouldn't have mattered. But I believe Lexan has superior impact resistance and that would have been a benefit.
Also, the aperture in the rear of a car is just a window. The only windshield is the one facing forward.
Snailish
Engineer

Again an interesting article I read the entirety of even though "I'm not into BMW".

I respect that they made some good looking cars not... as good looking in the name of racing performance. Often I like the race versions of things (especially rally) better than the street versions.

The CSL is a very cool race car. I don't think it looks as good as a street car.
audiobycarmine
Technician

"What, exactly?" — BMW's best-looking cars of the '70's.
A very good article, Rob, on some amazing cars.

As Kid_Veloce mentions, Perspex is a brand-name, but specifically British; the way they refer to any/most loudspeakers as "Tannoys".
Snailish
Engineer

Wellies for rubber boots sprang to mind.

 

Then I got thinking about kleenex being the word for tissue for most people where I live.

 

Some time ago xerox was a photocopy but that one has gone away.

 

Language does interesting things regionally...

DMcC
Detailer

Aviation world, esp. from WWII and after, "plexiglas", (spelling?) and is that a product name? I do not know.
Snailish
Engineer

Sounds like the German inventor called his version of acrylic plastic Plexiglas and it was one of the first to the market. Also seems like it is a trade name in some jurisdictions today.

 

So you google it and you get things like "is all plexiglas Plexiglas?" with answers like... it depends.

Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

You know, for whatever odd reason, I see a dash of 2nd-generation Corvair in that design.

Cornbinder
Detailer

As I own both an E-9 and a late Corvair 2-dr hardtop, you're not the first to notice. They are even markedly close in size, although the Corvair was considered a "compact" in the 1960's marketplace and the E-9 a full-sized BMW of the time. Both are 16-feet long and within inches/millimeters in width (the E-9 is markedly taller), both are some of the best looking cars to come from their respective manufacturers, and both are dead sexy.
thehackmechanic
Advanced Driver

It's the thin C-pillars, the curved rear glass, and the trunk / rear clip / rear fenders with the little haunches.
topside
Instructor

I've always been torn a bit between the Calder and Stella cars: which is the best-looking BMW ever?
The Calder car jumps out as a riot of color, while the Stella car looks technical and sinister. I had no idea that the Calder and "flying" cars are the same, what a nugget of info!
I must say though, that how one can love old cars but not be smitten with racing history, is beyond me. The two have been intertwined for me since childhood, for any vehicle that's not a luxury car; those seem more about the occupant's station in society than their mechano-technical potential as applied to actual performance.
MATTMERICA
Technician

As usual, the Hack Mechanic covers all bases and no detail is left unexplained. Some of those color schemes have never been equaled. Thank you Rob
Stradakat
Intermediate Driver

Thanks for the great article, Rob. A very interesting read.
SlowJoeCrow
Intermediate Driver

I know CSLs becuase I had the 1973 Motorsport brochure which had all the specs, a promo for Motorsport and an explanatory drawing of the aero package. I wish I knew where it was, probably in a forgotten box with the BMW magazine featuring sidecar racer Schorsch Meier explaining why his 2002 had an automatic.