2275489

Creation date: April 23, 2019
Modified date: May 9, 2019
  • Location: Switzerland

Year: 1973
Color: Chamonix (085)
Build Date: July 12, 1973
Forum Username: 2275xxx
Name: Marc
Vehicle Status: In Restoration
Registration Type: Vehicle
Alpina Details: N/A
CSL Details: Factory Batmobile

Built on 12th of July 1973, this car was registered M-YM313.
It was delivered to BMW's Global Sales and Marketing division on Friday the 13th.


Pre-production Batmobiles
=====================

Ten pre-production 3.2CSLs were manufactured before the August 1973 summer break, out of which seven were kept for internal use by BMW.

> The two first were test cars and it looks like they were never road registered;
> M-YM313 was the third one and it is likely the oldest surviving one;
> the fourth car was delivered to BMW Motorsport on July 18th and it was registered M-YM709;
> The 5th, 6th and 7th cars were manufactured later the same week and they were delivered at the end of August to Sauermann, the BMW importer in the Canary Islands;
> The 8th, 9th and 10th cars were manufactured on July 31st and registered in the name of BMW. Among them M-CE104, a press car which I will mention again later, M-CE360, which was the first silver Batmobile and which was also a press car, and finally a yellow car (the only  "2275" Bat with a color other than Chamonix or Polaris).
> The VINs of these ten early cars were not sequential (the first test car was a 2275.5xx).


Life at BMW
==========

M-YM313 had a pretty unique specification by CSL standards. A blend of sportiness and comfort, specified for its VIP first user :
it was a City Pack with 4 electric windows, air conditioning, and a toolkit under the boot lid...
Despite this luxury package it was devoid of power steering and headrests.
Pretty uncommon were the strange "American" seatbelts hanging from the roof.

In August 1973 BMW organized Press Days to introduce its "74" model range ahead of the IAA73 motor show.
Motoring journalists were invited to the manufacturer’s testing facility in Aschheim.
M-YM313 was there on display for the photo shoots, but it was not available for testing.
The journalists were allowed to drive another batmobile, M-CE104. This other winged CSL had power steering, headrests and the same weired seatbelt arrangement as M-YM313, but no other options.

In some magazine articles M-YM313 appeared with the classical Alpina wheels and Petri steering wheel.
In others it was shown with new BMW Motorsport accessories :
the new Motorsport "Ati3" steering wheel and a set of prototype wheels made by Mahle, inspired by the race wheels of the Group 2 CSLs.
In an updated form, the Mahle wheels became part of BMW Motorsport’s catalogue in the fall of 1973.

M-YM313 was also used for the B&W pictures included in the BMW press kits prepared for the IAA Motorshow in Frankfurt and the Salon de l’Auto in Paris.
The car received extensive press coverage, being featured in more than 20 car magazines only in 1973.
It has eventually continued to illustrate many of the CSL articles published to this day, as well as numerous books and "Quartett" games.



Life after BMW
============

In February 1975, when BMW sold it as a "Jahreswagen", it was equipped with the Motorsport-Mahle wheels, a Petri steering wheel and no rear wing.
Hans Biermann, an entrepreneur living in the Black Forest region, picked it up directly at the factory in Munich.
Now registered TUT-S5, the car was occasionnaly raced in local rallyes.

In December 1977 the car was imported in Switzerland and registered GL7902.
Its new owner, Roland Jenny, kept it until 1990 or 1991. Over these years he tried to resell it on several occasions, without success. A likely reason for the lack of interest was that 2275489 had been relooked in a pretty strange way (probably in 1977 already).
It was Alpin-weiss, with painted black stripes, protective mouldings on the sides, Ronal "Kleeblatt" wheels and headrests over the rear seats...

After Jenny finally got rid of it, 2275489 was never road registered again. It changed hands a few times, between body shops and used car dealers.
It may have been used occasionally with trade plates (and obviously on salty roads).


Hibernation
=========

In July 1994 the car was in a terribly rusty condition. The last seller was Oasis-Garage near Solothurn. The owner of this garage needed to make room and he let it go for peanuts.

Expecting to start a restoration in the next two or three years, I put the car in storage for a while.
But things did not happen as planned....
The storage finally 24 years and restoration started in the spring of 2018.

Much of the lower 15cm of the shell needed to be rebuilt with new parts, but for the rest most of the original lightweight substance has been preserved.
Some time in the past the original front wings were replaced with "heavy" non CSL parts, but luckily I had a pair of NOS light ones in my reserves
It took me many years to find a set of the ultra-rare Mahle 7x14 prototypes, which I considered a must for this project.