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Its been on my list for a while and I nearly bought one 5 years ago.  Now I have pulled the trigger.  

Initial impressions are positive.  Its one of those cars where the more you put in, the more you get out.  Seems ordinary and disjointed but still pleasantly mechanical at 2/10ths but goes completely feral at 8+/10ths.

Couple of pics in a minute.

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Its been on my list for a while and I nearly bought one 5 years ago.  Now I have pulled the trigger.  
Initial impressions are positive.  Its one of those cars where the more you put in, the more you get out.  Seems ordinary and disjointed but still pleasantly mechanical at 2/10ths but goes completely feral at 8+/10ths.
Couple of pics in a minute.
Thats a rare and hardcore choice Mr B. That model is normally consigned to collectors garages - doubt yours will be.

Sent from my SM-A310F using Tapatalk

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Love it, been contemplating one myself 

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Garage?  No way.  It will do thousands of hardcore miles.  I can already see that it will be mega on the smooth, flowing roads of Europe.  Same on track I reckon.  I have purposely insured it so I can park it basically anywhere, commute if needed and my wife can drive it.  Got to get maximum benefit from a car or its not worth it.  That said, I may store it for winter for 3 months as I simply won't use it after November.

I have been lurking on the CSL Register. My first thoughts posted there are that I totally get the SMG debate on both sides.  It requires real concentration to drive in harmony with it.  It works in auto if you can time your throttle lift with the gear changes.  It works great on paddle down changes with perfect rev matches and if you paddle the upshifts then you can time the throttle lift.  But it works best on full bore redline missions at fastest shift speeds.  At all times, its pleasingly mechanical.  But if you forget about it, you can look a bit inept.  I also find it dead easy on the slow speed parking stuff - as good as the Audi DSG but with no creep.  It is completely appropriate for the personality of the car, though I can still understand why people might choose to hate it.  

 

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6 minutes ago, Ian Comerford said:

Great choice Richard, have you got anyone to maintain it?

...as if you haven't, Sean at Iridium engineering is sensationally inconvenient for you but was brilliant when I had my E36 Evo.

He wasn't that convenient for me (I lived in Jersey, he's in Southampton) but he did some general jobs and a full suspension re-build for me and I was extremely happy with the work done.

Anyway, back on topic; that looks like a lot of fun and it's wonderful to see a CSL actually being used!

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Its full BMW main dealer service history, so I think service stays in the network.  Touch wood, but if anything major crops up, I have ETA at Brands Hatch and Munich Legends at Chelwood Gate as options, though I know the health warnings around ML.  There may be an indie/race shop with ex ML guys down by Nick Moss at Hartfield as well - certainly used to be.  And I have the Car Iconic network to tap into at their dealer rates.

Having said said all that, recommendations always welcome ;) .  And Southampton is not that far for me.

I have done a bit of DD on this one, so I hope it doesn't spectacularly bite me in the arrrr5e with big bills.

Just realised I am going to need some euro number plates - can't be dealing with GB stickers.

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I have used Redish Motorsport in Bristol since buying mine two years ago.  Excellent reputation, approved BMW indie meaning access to all software and also upload of work done to BMW central records.  They are also the best in the business for E46 M3 rear subframe repairs.  They pretty much only work onM3/5s

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5 minutes ago, Ian Comerford said:

I have used Redish Motorsport in Bristol since buying mine two years ago.  Excellent reputation, approved BMW indie meaning access to all software and also upload of work done to BMW central records.  They are also the best in the business for E46 M3 rear subframe repairs.  They pretty much only work onM3/5s

I think they stopped doing the subframe repairs as they weren’t cost effective - they charged less than it actually cost.

Still a great rep though

BMR - I’ve followed them for a few years as I was looking at an e30 with a 2.8 conversion.  They get all sorts of in - Alpinas, Hartge, even a 333i from SA recently.

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M3 CSL - luverly. Hard core E46 - what's not to like. I miss the sound of the S54; the 981 BGTS is nice but doesn't have the symphony of induction, mechanical and exhaust noises of one of BMW's best straight 6s.

Very different car obviously but a friend owns the 99 E46 328i that I had from new back in the day - after 20 years and 195K miles it's still a joy to drive. Just watch the usual E46 rust traps - it's hugely disappointing that BMW dropped a few clangers on the design/build of the E46 that leaves them with rust traps in the wheel arches and under the sill covers.

I had the afore-mentioned Z4M coupe and an E61 M5; my experience with main dealer servicing on older M cars was patchy. You'll need to find one that has M certified techs on cars of that era; many will have left for independent garages or even set up on their own.

Iridium is reasonably close to me - let me know if you need a lift to the station!

There's also someone in Haslemere (names escapes me) that looked after a friend's ex-DTM E30 M3. And https://walkersautotech.co.uk  is another option.

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Big congrats, one of M’s greatest hits surely. I had a dear friend in Aberdeen that had one and loved it, chopped it in for a 997 GT3 and tragically passed away in a crash. But he spoke very highly of the CSL. I’d probably have one if they ever sold it in the States. My big regret is not picking up a 1M when those came out, probably the spiritual successor to the CSL. M2 doesn’t seem to have the same magic, and 1M prices have bore this out.

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1 hour ago, SP72 said:

I think they stopped doing the subframe repairs as they weren’t cost effective - they charged less than it actually cost.

Still a great rep though

BMR - I’ve followed them for a few years as I was looking at an e30 with a 2.8 conversion.  They get all sorts of in - Alpinas, Hartge, even a 333i from SA recently.

They were still doing them last time I was there four months ago.  They also sell a lot of repair kits but they did say the repair is very expensive due to the number of hours it takes.  The current value of the cars makes it more viable I guess

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Sweet 👍 (I know nothing about BM’s 😂)

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11 minutes ago, Busybee said:

Sweet 👍 (I know nothing about BM’s 😂)

E46 dude 😀

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1 minute ago, SP72 said:

E46 dude 😀

That was the start of my education. I remember E30. That was old school cool right SP? 

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5 minutes ago, Busybee said:

That was the start of my education. I remember E30. That was old school cool right SP? 

Correct grasshopper!

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40 minutes ago, Busybee said:

Sweet 👍 (I know nothing about BM’s 😂)

They’re a bit like kiddies sweets..all about E numbers...the higher the E number the more frantic they are 🥴

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18 minutes ago, GrahamTompkins said:

They’re a bit like kiddies sweets..all about E numbers...the higher the E number the more frantic they are 🥴

😂 I’ll remember that 

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I would question the wisdom of using main agents for this car.  They won’t have the experience and generally just process cars through without having in depth knowledge of older cars.  Hence the recommendation for a BMW approved indie, all of the records are maintained in the same place.  

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1 hour ago, Ian Comerford said:

I would question the wisdom of using main agents for this car.  They won’t have the experience and generally just process cars through without having in depth knowledge of older cars.  Hence the recommendation for a BMW approved indie, all of the records are maintained in the same place.  

Yup. A valve adjustment? Umm, do we have anyone that knows how to do that?

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You sold a turbo charged Porsche and bought an automatic BMW - well I oughta!

Look great mate, bet its a hoot to drive.

 

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