1975 BMW 3.0 CSL Takes the Stand in Detroit

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There's something about classic shark-faced BMWs with dramatic boxed-fenders that excite Bimmer fans right down to the core.

Exactly four decades after making its first appearance in the IMSA GT endurance series, which included the 24 hours of Daytona and the 12 hours of Sebring, in January of 1975, BMW's stunningly beautiful 3.0 CSL racer is flaunting its stripes in front of the Detroit Motor Show crowd.

"At Sebring in 75, this car secured the first victory for our new American company. And other victories - such as Daytona a year later – followed," said BMW USA Chief Ludwig Willisch at the firm's Detroit show press conference. "Yet, the CSL's greatest achievement was to help firmly establish the company as the maker of the Ultimate Driving Machine."

Speaking of establishing the Bavarian brand in the States, Willisch said that, when BMW of North America was founded in 1975, "we offered only 4 models and sold around 19,000 cars", but in 2014, "we finished as the Number One premium brand in the United States, selling almost 340,000 units - a new record, and the highest US volume in BMW's history".

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