The 1970 BMW-Alpina Prototype Gruppe 6 B1 6.0 CSR Concept Rally/Racer is completely restored and upgraded
with a 5.7-liter OHC V8 and 21st Century suspension and handling.
The Alpina-BMW 2800 B1P 6.0 CSR (Club Sport Race) is a design/build concept exercise by Pathfinder Motorsports applying the old 1967 FIA Group 6 race category to a BMW 2800 CS.
The FIA’s original ‘Group 6’ race series was introduced for the 1966 racing season. With no minimum production requirement nor limits on maximum engine capacity, Alpina was encouraged by BMW to develop a racecar using a 1967 2000 CS – later replaced with the 1968 2800 CS. A 2800 CS would have had a choice of engines, including a modified 2.8 liter six-cylinder engine, the soon-to-arrive 3.0-liter engine, and a larger displacement prototype version of the M534 3.2-liter BMW OHV V8 engine found in the 1965 BMW 3200 CS.
However, due to a change in the 1968 Group 6 rules that limited engines to three liters, BMW ultimately chose its inline 6-cylinder 3.0-liter engine for the now famous 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile.’ Pathfinder’s CSR was inspired by what might have happened in 1970 had Alpina used a big, powerful prototype BMW V8 for a Prototype racecar.
The CSR was built on behalf of a Hollywood studio that had a movie script involving a retired British spy who drove a “converted former BMW racecar.” Asked for a suggestion, Pathfinder proposed taking a 1970 E9 CS, fitting it with a prototype ‘Alpina 6.0 liter OHV V8,’ and creating the ‘Alpina-BMW 2800 B1P 6.0 CSR’. The studio enthusiastically agreed, asking only that it not appear “overly race-like” given that it had to look both street legal and be somewhat indiscreet.
The remit also stipulated construction that ensured “driver safety, very high-speeds, racecar handling – with maximum reliability and minimal service delays due to parts availability.” Pathfinder finished building the CSR in 2020 but sadly the movie was never produced.
A 1970 2800 CS was procured and a meticulous ‘creation’ undertaken. The 2800 had a solid body but a tired 2.8 liter 6-cylinder engine, as well as corroded suspension pickup points. The decision was made to use as many authentic BMW and Alpina components as possible, and to find a robust and modern chassis and engine that would neatly marry up to the E9 body.
The solution was a very clean General Motors C5 rolling chassis that would see extensive upgrades and enhancements. Starting with its all-aluminum 5.7 liter OHV V8 engine, Pathfinder added custom stainless steel headers, C5R Le Mans-type radiator, cold-air intake, and other tricks resulting in an extremely reliable 400+ bhp package.
The frame incorporated a modern highly-customized hydroformed twin-fuel tank chassis with a longitudinal center tunnel backbone and a lightweight Metal Matrix Composite driveshaft with aluminum double A-arms on all four corners of the independent suspension.
Also added were competition coil-over springs and shocks, drilled and slotted competition brakes, BMW-spec Racing Dynamics competition-grade sway bars, and aluminum tanks. Unlike most prototype racecars, the CSR makes no use of fiberglass and instead boasts all hand-formed metal bodywork – including the stunning Gruppe 5 fender flares. The CSR has an aluminum transaxle and a Tremec T-56 6-speed manual transmission attached to the rear differential.
Unlike traditional rear-wheel-drive racecars with the driveshaft behind the engine and transmission, the CSR’s is located between the engine and transmission providing an ideal 50/50 weight distribution.
The interior features a true BMW CSL race dashboard, CSL-type upper and center switch consoles, Alpina-branded gauges, vintage Halda Twinmaster and Speedpilot rally instruments, Heuer stopwatches, plus an FIA-compliant roll-cage, racing seats, 6-point belts, etc.
The engine is ingeniously shrouded with a gorgeous ‘Bosch’ mechanical fuel injection system, custom BMW valve covers, and bespoke Alpina engine plates, stickers, and emblems. The CSR is both race ready and street legal.
The Alpina-BMW 2800 B1P 6.0 CSR was on display at the 2021 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Cars & Coffee, and was accepted as an entrant in the Mexican La Carrera Panamericana – the longest, most dangerous road race in the world. Interested parties should contact Alan Petersen at +1 321.544.2320 or email at Alan@PathfinderMotorsports.com.
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