Paying homage to the 1975 Wynns 1000 Batmobile

Paying homage to the 1975 BMW BatmobileAs many will remember back in 2011, the Alec and his team at Evolution 2 Motorsport were approached to restore an existing BMW CSL Batmobile by race car collector Paolo Cavalieri (owner of Pablo Clark). To recap, the team re-shelled all the good bits from this existing race car into a better (non-rusted) Chassis, build a new Engine and use the Group 5 Bodywork. The dramatic and larger Wings and Spoilers gave our ‘Batmobile’ the look of the BMW E9 CSL’s in the North America 1975 IMSA Series.

The benefit of the larger Spoilers was to create more down-force on the oval race tracks in the USA, but created they also created more drag: which is great in the corners but slows the vehicle down on the straights.

BMW E9 CSL’s have reached iconic status, where people are willing to pay telephone numbers for genuine road and race cars. As dramatic as our ‘Bat’ looked with the large Wings and Spoilers (think back to the BMW UK Magazine March 2013, and then TopCar Article in March 2013), it was always a long-term plan of owner Paolo to give this race car the iconic Group 3 look, once we had ironed out all the reliability issues.

Back from the panelbeaters
We managed to source the smaller Group 3 Front Spoiler and Rear Wing from a gentleman in the United Kingdom, who is lucky enough to have owned some pretty special BMW E9’s during his lifetime. With our current service workload and the other ongoing race and road car projects we have been busy with over the past 2 years, finding time to make the necessary upgrades and desired changes to the ‘Bat’.

Our client identified the 2018 Festival of Motoring at Kyalami Grand Circuit as the ideal event to showcase the car again, as the theme of the event tied in with the 1975 Wynns 1000. Paolo wanted his replica Batmobile to pay homage to the #1 ‘works’ BMW Motorsport BMW E9 CSL Batmobile that was shared by legends Hans-Joachim Stuck and Ronnie Peterson that participated in the endurance race at Kyalami in 1975, that eventually took 2nd place behind a little Ford Escort (after having some mechanical issues late in the race).

It has been 5 years since we completed the initial build of the ‘Bat’, so it was time to give it some TLC. We firstly wanted the Bodywork to be attended to by Khaya Lami Autobody

  • fix the Front and Rear Wheel Arches
  • fit the Group 3-type Spoiler and Wing
  • respray and polish

A big thank you to Gert, Buks and their staff for their patience and workmanship.

When the car returned from panelbeaters, Head Technician Wade wanted to make mechanical changes to vehicle which had been identified as ‘weak’ points by he and Alec:

  • strengthen the Rear Sub-frame
  • move the Alternator to the Engine Bay
  • improve the Cooling System
  • minor Suspension Changes

Looking like a pukka Batmobile

Once this has been completed the vehicle was just naked – just a gorgeous white, no stickers. Paolo called on Malcolm and Lindy Sampson (of MS Screenprinting) to copy the exact livery and stickers as used in 1975 by the #1 ‘works’ BMW Motorsport Batmobile. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding and the way that our ‘Bat’ turned out certainly pays tribute to these special race cars from yesteryear that competed all around the world.

It was important to keep the vehicle under wraps from the public eye until the Festival of Motoring at the beginning of September 2018. Historic race cars drum up memories and nostalgia and many event goers fondly commented how close our replica now looks to the original that graced Kyalami in 1975 – that’s quite a compliment!

There are a few exciting projects on the horizon for our little workshop, and encouragingly after all our hard work Paolo enjoyed the car and does plan to use and race the BMW E9 3.0 CSL Batmobile more often in the future.

Our Location

  • Unit 3, 6 Forssman Close, Barbeque Downs, Kyalami
  • 011 466 1266/ 7