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My BMW E9 in Inka Orange

When I first embarked on on the restoration, values were low and I decided to make a number alterations, purely for my own preference, not intending to sell and having no idea just how much values would increase.
When I took the body apart to remove all the corrosion, I found that all 4 wheel arches were so badly rusted, I decided to replace the lower portions of all 4 wings. I never liked the stainless steel ”eyebrows” around the arches and I found some original period Zender boxed arches which were fitted during the rebuild. I also disliked the original colour and eventually decided on the Inca it is now displaying. The engine was totally dismantled. The block was rebored to the maximum acceptable, the crank was rebound and balanced and the con rods and flywheel were also balanced. It had new Mahle light weight pistons, all new bearings, rocker shafts and rockers, and a BMW supplied 289 camshaft. The engine was eventually meticulously rebuilt by a good friend of mine, Darcy Smith, at Thatchway Motorsport. (A little later when the decision to move to Spain was made, we fitted an electric fan and an oil cooler and never had problem with overheating )
I had a complete wiring loom made and the whole exhaust system was of stainless steel, including a six branch manifold – a fraction of the weight of the original and claimed by the manufacturer to increase power substantially – the cast iron original being very restrictive )
The original gearbox and differential were refurbished, as were the brake calipers . Master cylinders, all brake lines and discs (grooved) were renewed.
I had the seats ( including the original Scheel fronts ) professionally rebuilt using original pattern black ridged cloth, but the vinyl sides and back were replaced with leather – far better wearing. I personally dismantled the dash and ’re – venerred all the wood trim, including all four window ”sills”. New door cards were made, finished as close as possible to the original. Couldn’t find an original Petri steering wheel but found a Motolita of similar design. Due to the widened wings, I had three-piece sills made in stainless steel with a ”brushed ” finish . The original 14 inch Alpina wheels were replaced with similar design ( expensive ! ) 16 inch items from Alpina …….. much easier to find decent tyres.
I had the car transported out here to Spain (I am a member of a classic car club here) but quickly realised that the intense sun, dust and luckily infrequent but frightening hail storms (not to mention Sanish parkers) was a far from ideal environment for what was a fragile, very valuable motor car ( As you will know, values of e9 coupes in general and Csl’s in particlar have shot up in the last few years ) …… so I was nervous of using it and enjoying as I’d hoped.
So – when I heard of a lovely man called Nigel Fox (Horsepower Hanger) who was actively looking for a Csl, to cut a Lon g story short, I did a deal and it is now back in the UK , I believe still in his ownership…….. I miss it !

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.


8 responses to My BMW E9 in Inka Orange

  1. Many thanks for this article, Richard. It is a real beauty and the color is eye-watering.

  2. I understand what you say about being nervous to use it. It’s always a dilemma between making them really beautiful, but not too perfect to be used.

  3. Yeah, that color & trim look fabulous! It’s a pity you had to part with it. I’d have missed it, too… 🙂

  4. What a magnificent car!
    To me it is the one that lifted BMW to eye level with Mercedes, just like the first (aluminium body) A8 did for Audi 25 years later.

  5. Buy it back, it’s only money!

  6. when I was 14 years old my father had a white 3,0 csl…I told him to keep it long term but his reply was „where to store it ?“ a garage box was 50 deutschmarks equal to 25 euros.
    No much money but today 31years later it would be a valuable car. Same with my 1968 porsche 912 swb and 911 Targa from 1977 sold 18 years ago for small money. you cant keep everything BUT you got space for new old cars.

    Still I kept the e21 323i when I sold the 911 – and its
    the better car compared to the Porsche, belive it or not

    Thanks for the story about your csl Replica

    • Thanks for your response ……. yes – if only we could have seen into the future……..
      One little point ……. me e9 was a genuine matching numbers CSL – not a replica…….. all original ally panels etc.

      2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  7. The colour is stunning!

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