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Press Release


BMW of North America CEO to Race Historic BMW 3.0 CSL at the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion

  • 06.08.2014
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BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch Races BMW CSL at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. (08/2014) Show all media

1975 12 Hours of Sebring and 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance winning 3.0 CSL No. 25 to race at Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion.


Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – August 6, 2014 …Today BMW announced that BMW of North America President and CEO Ludwig Willisch will once again race the iconic BMW 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ in the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next week. “BMW fans and I have a very emotional attachment to this important car in the history of the BMW brand in the US. I’m honored to take the wheel that has been held by the great heroes like Posey, Stuck and Redman to demonstrate the car for the fans at this historic track and event,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America. This BMW 3.0 CSL, No. 25,  won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring and was instrumental in establishing the ‘Bavarian Motor Works’ name to a completely new group of US auto enthusiasts as BMW of North America was being established as a subsidiary 39 years ago.


The BMW 3.0 CSL race cars were the first cars to be developed under the new BMW Motorsport GmbH subsidiary, established in 1972 and led by Jochen Neerpasch.  They were also the first to sport the new official colors of BMW Motorsport—red, violet and blue.


Based on the production 3.0 CS Coupe, the aluminum skinned CSL (L = lightweight) homologation special, nicknamed the ‘Batmobile’ by its fans, formed the basis for an assault on Group 2 through Group 5 European touring car racing that would make it one of the most successful production racers of all time.  In fact, the CSL continued to win races into the late 1970’s, even though production ended in 1975 to make way for its successor, the BMW 6 Series.


This 3.0 CSL (Chassis No.  2275985) was one of a group of five chassis built and campaigned by BMW Motorsport in North America in the 1975 & ’76 IMSA Camel GT Series in Group 4 specifications. The cars were powered by a 3.5 liter, 430 hp version BMW inline-6 engine with double overhead cams and four valve cylinder heads. Campaigned under the racing numbers No. 24 and No. 25, the CSL enjoyed considerable success winning at Sebring, Riverside, Laguna Seca, Daytona and Talladega in 1975. In 1976, Chassis No. 2275987 campaigned as the No. 59 car driven by Brian Redman, Peter Gregg, and John Fitzpatrick won the 24hr of Daytona.  Several iconic drivers were involved in the American success of the CSL, including Hans Stuck, Sam Posey, Brian Redman, Ronnie Peterson, Dieter Quester, Benny Parsons, Peter Gregg and David Hobbs. All five chassis are still in existence.


Chassis No.  2275985 has been restored to its race number 25, 1975 12 Hours of Sebring specification and was honored this past March with a Class win at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Ludwig Willisch is scheduled to race the No. 25 BMW 3.0 CSL at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion from Thursday August 14th through Saturday August 16th.



1975  BMW 3.0 CSL Specifications:


General Data            

Weight                                                                                                2431 lbs.

Length x width                                                                                  184.0 x 70.0 in.



Engine Type       ‘M49’ DOHC, 24-valve inline 6-cylinder, Kugelfischer Fuel Injection

Displacement                                                                               3498 cc

Bore x stroke                                                                              94.0 mm x 84.0 mm

Power output                                                                              438 hp @ 8800 rpm



Drive system                                                             Front engine/rear-wheel drive

Transmission                                                             Getrag dog leg 5-speed



Front suspension                                                                  McPherson strut with

                                                                                             coil springs, anti-roll bar

Rear suspension                                                                   Semi-trailing arms with

                                                                                            coil springs, anti-roll bar

Steering type                                                                       Worm & Roller

Brake system                                                                      4-wheel ventilated discs

Wheels/Tires         BBS 3-piece Mg/Al wheels/ 300/625-16 front 350/1650-16 rear


BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 120 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:  www.bmwgroupna.com


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Journalist note: Information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com


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The following AV media material regarding this press release was compiled for you. You can also find additional material using the navigation items "Photo", "Audio" and "Video and TV".
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BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch Races BMW CSL at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. (08/2014) Link to detailed page
06.08.2014 | P90158784
BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch Races BMW CSL at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. (08/2014)
BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch Races BMW CSL at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. (08/2014) Link to detailed page
06.08.2014 | P90158785
BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch Races BMW CSL at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. (08/2014)
BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch Races BMW CSL at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. (08/2014) Link to detailed page
06.08.2014 | P90158786
BMW NA CEO Ludwig Willisch Races BMW CSL at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. (08/2014)

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