In 2011, with the help of Jeremy Whittle, I stumbled across the find of a lifetime. Tucked away in a garage in central Georgia was a 1971 2800CS, sitting right where it was parked 4 years prior. It hadn’t moved an inch since its owner brought it home: after discovering the cost of the parts and pieces needed to take the car from clean to perfect, his interest waned, and it was by sheer chance that I was the first to call when his Craigslist ad was posted.
It seems that, somewhere along the way, many ex-racecar E9s wind up with wide Group 5 fenders dressed in white. As teams sold off their chassis to privateers to move onto new platforms, some of the reverence was dismissed and cars were disassembled and reassembled to mimic the M-striped cars that the factory had campaigned with great success. When Steve Walker’s latest acquisition arrived at the airport from it’s Italian home in 2014, it was no different.
I remember the first time I saw Ron’s 1971 2800CS quite well. I was at the StanceWorks HQ, and having just finished up bolting on my newly acquired Work Meister S1s to my E38, I was feeling pretty jazzed. After pulling the car outside to admire the new wheels, we heard an M30-powered car ripping towards us.
Photography by Herb Allen
It was nearly two years ago that word of Joe Rodriguez’s creation came to our attention. When a car earns the regard of the gentlemen at BMW, it’s sure to be special in every way, and for Joe’s car, that was just the case. Through word of mouth, trackside at Laguna Seca, our friends at BMW told of us of a build that rivaled BMW’s own; one that scrutinized the details in the name of authenticity and perfection.
As Shark(Nose) Week begins, it’s important to start with a bang. The E9 CSL’s successes were pivotal in helping to define BMW’s brand as a whole; without the devastatingly fast touring coupe, BMW’s sport-luxury trademark approach to motoring would likely never have seen the success it has today. As for what an E9 CSL actually is, let’s paraphrase the basics.