BMW Motorsport collection for auction at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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BMW Motorsport collection E9 35 csl BMW Motorsport collection E9 35 csl

Four race-ready Bavarian brutes up for No Reserve auction at Car Week

Henry Schmitt is a BMW lifer. He is the current owner of BMW San Francisco, which has been in his family for over 40 years – and currently races IMSA in the US, naturally, behind the wheel of a BMW M4 GT4.

He’s also offloading four stunning pieces of his BMW Motorsport collection, all of which will be heading to RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction on July 15-17, on offer for No Reserve.

Apart from being hugely capable race cars, Bavarian tin-tops of old are also regarded as some of the most beautiful.  Read on for a closer look at these four rare gems.

You can also view all available lots at RMSothebys.com

1972 BMW 3.0 CSL

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BMW’s E9 ‘batmobile’ is one of the marques most iconic cars.

Apart from being achingly beautiful, it was designed to compete in the European Touring Cars Championship – and won five of them.

It also proved competitive within the US’ IMSA racing series, and was one of the first cars developed under BMW’s M Division.

This black example represents one of just 169 early carburetted cars built to "lightweight" specification – later in 1972, the cars were switched to fuel-injection.

It previously sold five years ago at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction of 2014, for AU$212,500. RM Sotheby’s have yet to publish any pre-auction estimates but US Insurance company Hagertys value an equivalent concours condition 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL at AU$470,000.

1974 BMW 3.5 CSL IMSA

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70s IMSA racing adopted FIA Group 5 regulations, and was a hotbed for some of the sharpest looking silhouette racers in modern history. BMW’s 1974 entrant was no exception: with an uprated 3.5lt 24v straight-six and even wilder aero.

Five were built by BMW for IMSA competition (all of which still survive today), winning at Sebring and Daytona.

Again, RM Sotheby’s has no listed pre-auction estimate at the time of writing, however Hagerty’s purports a road-going 1974 3.0 CSL Batmobile to be valued at AU$560,000 – so we’d expect a genuine ex-race car to land somewhere north of that.

1978 BMW 320i Turbo IMSA

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You may have forgotten about the BMW E21 3-series, and you’d hardly be blamed for it. It’s hard being the middle sibling when your elder is the gorgeous E9, and you younger sibling – the indelible classic E30.

In IMSA race guise however, the E21 320 made for an admirable replacement for the outgoing E9 CSL. It was a fire-breather yielding 600hp from its 2.0lt turbo four-banger, and was one of the few serious contenders against Porsche’s dominant 935.

A field of three 320 racers were operated by McLaren North America, gaining wins at Sears Point, Hallett and Road America.

Porsche 935 racers are million-dollar cars, bolstered by good race history – but the 320i was never as famous as its competitor – or its own siblings.

We believe E21 road cars are bargain classic buys compared to what else is around, and we’d expect much the same for this unhinged IMSA racer. We’re not saying it’ll go for "cheap", but if you’re after a genuine 70s silhouette racer – this might be the value proposition compared to its big brother above.

1989 BMW E30 M3 DTM Tribute

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Does the BMW E30 really need an introduction? Whether you know it or not, it’s likely the reason you care about BMW Motorsport. "The winningest tintop of all time" they say…

It was a dominant force throughout late 80s touring cars, winning the DTM Championship in both 1987 and 1989.

This one is dressed up as the famous Warsteiner-sponsored racer and presents in full race-ready specification, fully stripped with a properly gusseted cage.

If it was the real McCoy, it would easily be a six-figure car, but inauthentic race replicas will always be valued below outstanding condition road cars and genuine race-used vehicles.

Still, it’s would be a capable turn-key package ready to compete in vintage motorsport, and won’t go eye-watering amounts of money.

 

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