While it’s usually the homologated CSL that gets the market excited these days, we think its CSi sibling is actually the better buy: almost as fast, every bit as beautiful and a lot, lot cheaper. It’s also rarer, at least in right-hand-drive form, with a mere 215 built for the UK versus 500 CSL right-hookers.
Two examples of the CSi are up for grabs at the sale on 11 May, each of them with a pre-sale estimate of more than £40,000; a CSL will usually set you back around £200,000.
We’re particularly taken with the 1975 BMW 3.0CSi pictured above, which is finished in the rare – and eye-catching – shade known as Turkish Blue.
The 43rd of just 207 right-hand drive cars built during the last two years of production between October 1973 and November 1975, it gained its striking blue – and period-correct – paint job during a recommission courtesy of Classic Legends of Northampton.
That spruce up also saw the interior restored, the seats reupholstered and the mechanicals overhauled, at a total cost of more than £22,000.
It’s coming to next month’s Oxfordshire auction with a £40-45,000 guide price.
Joining it at the Silverstone Auctions sale is another 3.0CSi, but this one is from 1973 and is left-hand drive.
It’s another blue example, but it’s this time finished in a darker hue called Atlantic Blue and teamed with a cream interior.
The car was delivered new to Berlin in July 1973 and since then it has covered fewer than 84,000km (around 52,200 miles).
It’s also been resprayed in its original colour and, as detailed in its history file, work completed on the car last May included repairs to the fuel pump, the exhaust and the anti-roll bar bush spacers; it’s expected to sell for £40-46,000.
Both will seek their next owners at Silverstone Auctions’ Heythrop sale from 12.30pm on 11 May, which will be followed by the firm’s British Marques sale at the same location.