A Tesla-powered 1975 BMW ‘E9’ 3.0 CSi wearing a ‘Batmobile’ body kit is up for auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Offered through Bonhams, it should bring in big bucks, with an estimated value of $215,600 to $246,400 (£175,000 to £200,000).
To find out more about this unique build, we spoke with Richard ‘Moggy’ Morgan from Electric Classic Cars – the company that modified it to be fully-electric.
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A barn find the seller – Michael, an E9 BMW fanatic – tracked down, it was found in terrible condition.
The leaky roof of the barn had been letting water into the interior through the car’s open sunroof for decades.
“It was a complete car, but also a complete basket case,” Moggy tells SupercarBlondie.com.
However, this Batmobile-copy being a complete car was particularly important due to its unique handmade construction.
“I would say probably the easiest part of the build was the electric conversion, because the restoration on a BMW E9 is no small thing as anybody that’s undertaken one would know,” Moggy laughs.
“They’re quite complicated cars because they were coachbuilt by Karmann, not by BMW.
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“Because they’re coachbuilt, a lot of panels need a little bit of manipulation to get them to fit properly.”
Once the bodywork was completed, though, Moggy could finally fit it with the 450hp electric motor and battery from a Tesla.
Fitting it with upgraded coilover suspension as well, the way it drives has been totally transformed.
“It handles like a modern BMW, which is amazing,” Moggy proclaims.
“It goes round corners, it accelerates like a scalded cat… it’s an amazing car to drive.”
And indeed, this 3.0 CSi will now do the 0-97km/h (0-60mph) dash in under 4.0 seconds.
This fully-electric BMW ‘Batmobile’ will cross the auction block at 2pm BST on June 24.
Although few electric classics have traded hands, Moggy is confident the value of this Batmobile will have “definitely increased” thanks to the conversion.
Why convert a classic car to be electric?
Moggy has been a classic car enthusiast, racer, and modifier his whole life. However, his first EV conversion came around seven years ago.
For him, the aim was to build “a classic vehicle that was reliable and maintenance free, with the power to keep up in traffic because all the modifications I’ve ever done in the past would just make the cars faster.”
After posting his first electric build on the internet, he attracted the interest of others who wanted to convert their classic cars to be electric as well.
That’s when he established Electric Classic Cars. The first and biggest company of its kind, a three-year waiting list attests to the demand for his work.
The company completes around 10-15 cars each year, with an average conversion cost of around $74,000 (£60,000). However, some extreme builds can cost up to $148,000 (£120,000).
Moggy has found the motivating factor for his many customers is that “they want to enjoy a classic car regularly, without the strains and stresses that come with the old archaic engine.”
He tells us one of his clients started using their electric Ferrari 308 more than the Tesla they also owned for that exact reason.
Moggy also noted it makes classic vehicles more accessible for younger enthusiasts who “wouldn’t know how to maintain a classic car, but they know they want one because of it looks.”
But he’s not concerned about what naysayers may think about removing the old engine from a classic.
“I don’t want classic cars to become like steam engines, where they’re only seen in a field in Shropshire once a year,” he says.
“Classic cars are built to be driven and enjoyed by the drivers, and if they’re not being enjoyed, what’s the point of them?”
Why is the BMW 3.0 CSL called the Batmobile?
The E9 3.0 CSL earned its nickname due to its huge rear wing and many other appendages.
Together, they give it a bit of a resemblance to Batman’s famous ride.
Just 1256 real CSLs were made back in the day.
It was built for homologation so it could enter the European Touring Car Championship race series.