Westgate Classics BMW CSL E9

Westgate Classics

Westgate Classics are probably best known for their involvement in National Geographic’s Car S.O.S. TV series, however there is much more to this restoration company. They work tirelessly to make dreams come true in seriously short timescales.  They will regularly complete high-end restorations for customers within their Aldridge based premises.

We have been lucky enough to be involved in a number of restorations taken on by Mike and the Westgate team over the past few years. Saving them hundreds of laborious hours stripping away paint, filler and rust.


A great example of a recent restoration taken on by the Westgate Team was this 1970’s classic BMW E9 CSL. Bought to them to have a complete nut and bolt restoration, midway through 2017.  They immediately took almost everything removable from the car and sent the rolling shell and panels across to SBL HQ to strip them bare.

The 3.0 CSL was originally built to make the BMW E9 eligible for racing in Touring Car Championships.  Just 1265 were built, with only 500 sold in the UK. The ‘L’ stands for ‘leicht’ – or ‘light’ – unlike ‘lang’ – ‘long’ – the usual meaning of the L abbreviation.

The car is lightened by utilising aluminium and thinner steel than previous E9s, making it even more of a challenge to restore.

The aluminium panels and thinned steel can only be cleaned using bicarbonate of soda.  It is the only blast cleaning process that will not produce heat during use.  This means there is no risk of warping or distorting the metal.

The paintwork on this shell didn’t look too bad in most places, but it’s always best to clean it away and start again.  That way, you can tell exactly what you’re working with.  All too often, paint is hiding accident damage, poor repairs, or weakened fabrication. As we had guessed (and probably not surprisingly for a racing-stock car!) there were a number of areas of filler hidden underneath the paintwork.

After exposing the filler, we then removed it using crushed glass, to give Westgate Classics a completely bare shell to start rebuilding the iconic car.  The only exception being the door – we have left this filler in place as it is so thick.

This BMW CSL has not been primed following blasting work, as the bodywork restoration is taking place immediately.

Following work on the BMW E9 CSL, Westgate Classics’ owner, Mike, commented:

“As the owner of a prestigious restoration company, I am always keen to work with like minded businesses. Dave and James always show a keen interest in the cars we work on.  Their enthusiasm and love of classic cars is obvious from the get-go. We’ve entrusted numerous cars to the team at SBL, and always know they’ll treat them as their own – ensuring work is completed to the highest standard.

SBL have again sympathetically stripped a classic shell back to bare metal.  This gives us a great insight into the car’s history, and provides the starting point for its restoration.”

For more information on the work Westgate Classics do, you can find them at www.westgateclassicsltd.com or call 01922 458526

If you’re a restoration company, why not get in touch with SBL today to see how we can help on 0800 7747632 or contact us HERE!