I’m sure you’ve perused plenty of pixels about the glorious past and exciting future of BMWs, but on a day much closer to the bicentennial of the U.S., June 12, 1976, this BMW 3.5 CSL took on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and lost.

T​he real deal hitting the hard right after the Mulsanne Straight

T​he real deal hitting the hard right after the Mulsanne Straight

Driven by Dieter Quester, Alain Peltier and Albrecht Krebs, the Group 5 car made the grid at 16th place, but withdrew due to a fire. Of the seven BMW 3.0 and 3.5 CSLs that qualified, the best finisher was the #42 3.5, driven by Sam Posey, Hughes de Fierlant and Harald Grohs, which staggered in 50 laps behind the winner, good enough for 10th place. The #95 3.0 CSL finished 24th, 112 laps behind, but the remaining cars suffered the epitome of the BMW acronym: Bring More Wrenches.

#41 - DNF oil consumption

1​/43 version.

1​/43 version.

#43 - DNF fire

#44 - DNF head gasket

#45 - DNF fire

#46 - DNF gearbox

Regardless, this IXO is a beautiful model, complete with that long delicate single-sweep wiper blade up front.

O​kay, this didn't really happen.

O​kay, this didn't really happen.

D​one view of the Le Mans diorama.

D​one view of the Le Mans diorama.

M​ore bat-wing sweetness.

M​ore bat-wing sweetness.

A​nd more!

A​nd more!

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