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My personal icon: BMW CSi, CAR+ October 2015

Published: 16 September 2015

► BMW CSi, a personal icon
► Ben Redgrove, owner, discusses why
► We found a 1974 CSi for £24k 

> ‘I’ve wanted one of these for 22 years. I’ve been lucky enough to own some great cars, including a couple of Astons – a DB7 and a Vanquish – but one I remembered fondly was a rare Alpina 2002Ti I had, in Inca orange with the black bonnet. It was so much fun to drive – every roundabout was an opportunity to either slide it beautifully or end up facing the way I’d come. It made me want another 1970s BMW.’

> ‘I’ve always admired the CSi. I love 280SL Mercs too but I missed the boat on those. The CSi is a very handsome, very elegant car, with that amazing glasshouse and slim, stylish pillars. I’ve dreamed of owning one for years but started looking seriously about a year ago. I found this one through 4 Star Classics [4starclassics.com]. It’s a right-hand-drive 1973 car in silver with blue leather. I’d have preferred black but I liked the fact that this car is mechanically sound. It’ll need a bit of work in a few years’ time – I’d rather do that than watch it deteriorate – but it’s ready to drive and to enjoy.’

> ‘I did 250 miles in it the day I picked it up. I left 4 Star Classics, filled it with fuel and didn’t stop driving it until I needed fuel again. It’s wonderful. On that day I drove back roads, A-roads and motorways and it handled everything with an air of style and sophistication – it’s a real silver fox. The interior’s gorgeous, everybody loves the car as it drives past, it handles well and the ride’s much, much better than my daily driver, a Defender…’

> ‘There are a few things to sort out but for now I just want to enjoy it – the restoration can wait. I’d really love to drive it over to Italy, to see my daughter. It might be 42 years old but the CSi’s the perfect car for the journey.’

One we found: 1974 CSi, 96k miles, silver with dark blue leather, £23k

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three

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