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Taking the bat back home

2 years ago

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Mel Nichols | Journalist


17 June 2022

I see it is 50 years since BMW launched the 3.0 CSL, an event now commemorated by the creation of the M4 CSL and, for me, stirring memories of a task I was given in the winter of early 1975. Would I, asked BMW’s UK PR director Raymond Playfoot, be so kind as to drive back to Munich the 3.0 CSL that for 18 months had been topping his British press fleet? Only one answer to that.

By rights, Raymond’s CSL should have been pensioned off months earlier. It had logged a high mileage but it was a press favourite so he’d hung onto it, and simply by being in Britain it could still defiantly sport all the wings that had earned this ultimate CSL the nickname Batmobile.

Back home in Germany, the big rear wing and roof deflector were outlawed; BMW supplied them in the boot, leaving it to owners to fit if they dared, or when they went racing. Police heat wasn’t the only deterrent: in Germany, at the height of the mid-Seventies fuel crisis, driving anything that looked like a fuel guzzler brought damnation from other motorists.

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