by Alexander Stoklosa | Photography by Alexander Stoklosa
BMW built only 1265 original, lightweight 3.0CSL coupes during the first half of the 1970s and just 110 with the wild “Batmobile” aerodynamic kit that was offered later in production. Their rarity ensures that buying one is cost prohibitive for most people. Want one? Maybe consider following the path of an enthusiast we found at the SEMA show: Willy Izaguirre, who built his own. We first noticed the incredible BMW at SEMA’s annual Gran Turismo awards ceremony, an event where judges choose their favorite SEMA cars in several categories. An overall best of show is chosen from among these class winners and then actually put into the Gran Turismo video game. Willy’s BMW won the European Import category, although it didn’t get chosen for Gran Turismo fame.
It’s too bad, because we would have been pretty excited to drive his wild creation in the game. The real-life build began 18 months ago with a very rusty 1973 BMW 3.0CS coupe and inspiration from both the original 3.0CSL Batmobiles and a rendering by illustrator Jon Sibal. After bringing the BMW’s floors and rocker panels back from the dead, Izaguirre added fiberglass box flares and spoilers faithfully mimicking the CSL’s pieces. According to him, the car is now seven feet wide.
Filling out that girth and completing the car’s look are 17-inch BBS wheels (they’re 9.5 inches wide in front and 15.5 in back). An S52 inline-six and ZF six-speed manual transmission from a 1998 BMW M3 provides the motivation, and Willy added a Precision turbocharger to up the output to a claimed 550 horsepower.
As cool and complete as the BMW looks from a few feet away, it is still an ongoing project. A roll cage is ready for installation, but there wasn’t enough time to get it done before SEMA. Ditto the brakes, which are still the original pieces, but a modern big-brake kit is to be fitted to all four corners soon. We imagine the final result will be ridiculously fast and, most important, the manifestation of its owner’s vision. And isn’t that what fiddling with cars is all about?
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