Sorry, too late !
In the mid-70’s, the E26 project was initiated by BMW to reinforce their commitment in competition. For the first time, the project was entirely developed by its competition department Motorsport, and it also is the first time that BMW wanted to build a car for the competition, instead of making an evolution of a series car. This is how the very first Bavarian supercar was born, called the M1.
Esthetically, the genesis of the M1 is coming from the Turbo « Studie » presented in 1972, designed by Bracq, but Giugiaro owes the M1 design and its fiberglass body. Under its rear hood, the M1 hides the mythical straight 6-cylinder 3.5L M88 engine, developing 277 hp. Based on the 3.0 CSi block but with a 24 valves cylinder head, Motorsport gave birth to a legend by building this M88 block. The chassis was firstly planned to be made at Lamborghini but the bull company encountered financial difficulties, so the tubular chassis was finally made at the Italian Marchesi, and the final assembling was given to the coach-builder Baur. Very low and aerodynamic, the general shape of the car allowed the M1 to reach a top speed of 262 km/h.
With the M1, BMW intended to compete in Group 4 with the Porsche 911 Turbo and the Ferrari 512 BB. Presented in 1978 during Paris Motorshow, the production is firstly not sufficient to compete in Groupe 4 and 5, which the recent regulation change required a minimal production of 400 units. Waiting to reach this number, some Group 4 and 5 M1 cars were produced and Motorsport had the idea of proposing a monotype championship with M1 « Procars », in 1979 and 1980. The M1 finally was homologated in Groupe 4 in December 1980 but BMW, which initially intended to enter in Group 5, changed its mind to focus on F1.
Finally, around 450 units were produced between 1978 and 1981, including 399 road cars. Sold 310 000 Francs in 1979, more expensive than a Lamborghini Countach or a Ferrari BB 512, the BMW supercar had difficulties convincing, but today the M1 is still one of the best sports cars of its generation.
Our car is the 203 th M1 produced. The car left the Italian factory on Jan. 30th 1980 and its production ended in Germany on Mar. 31th 1980. Bought new by an English ambassador expatriated to Qatar, the car was delivered in London where it stood until 2006. The BMW dealer from Valence in France bought the car directly to the ambassador’s daughter, with English papers. Then French registered, he drove the car during two years before selling it to a fanatic car professional who restored it with passion between 2008 and 2011 from its naked chassis. Initially white, the M1 became red during its restoration. The car still has its Campagnolo wheels and its engine is matching. Today, the car is presented in an irreproachable condition, for a demanding collector. Recently entirely revised, the car will be delivered to its new owner with appraisal value and a copy of the period owner’s manual.
Chassis WBS 599100 04301203 – Only 43 900 km from new