Decades ago, before the likes of Alpina, Schnitzer, and even BMW’s factory Works program, Willi Martini and his team stood as a staple in the world of BMW tuning and racing. As a pioneering figure in the initial efforts of Neue Klass racing, his legacy is forever cemented in BMW’s rich and diverse racing history. While some of his famed racers have withstood the test of time and racing, others have since been forgotten.
I remember the first time I saw Ron’s 1971 2800CS quite well. I was at the StanceWorks HQ, and having just finished up bolting on my newly acquired Work Meister S1s to my E38, I was feeling pretty jazzed. After pulling the car outside to admire the new wheels, we heard an M30-powered car ripping towards us.
In 1972, BMW brought about a significant change to their business plan: in replacing the New Class, which arguably saved the company, BMW sought to add a model range that departed from sportiness, and instead, took a path towards comfort. The result of the decision was the birth of the 5-series, a 4-door counterpart that fell between the featherweight fun of the 2002, and the more sizable E3 sedan known as the “Bavaria.
Ron Perry’s name is synonymous with the best in classic vintage BMWs – his work has put him amongst the top in the realm of the restored and the period correct. Concours d’Elegance winners are commonplace in his garage, and the BMW world has built a certain level of expectation towards the quality of automobiles Mr. Perry puts out. The latest car of Ron’s to hit the auction block is this 1974 BMW E9 3.0 CSL, one of only a handful made, and even fewer that still exist.