BMW wyprodukowało wiele doskonale jeżdżących maszyn, lecz tylko jedna z nich zaliczana jest do elitarnej grupy supersamochodów – BMW M1. Koncepcja samochodu, który miał pokonać Porsche w Le Mans powstała w Niemczech, lecz realizację projektu zlecono Włochom. Za stylistykę odpowiadało studio Ital Design, za produkcję – Lamborghini. Po zmontowaniu pierwszych prototypów Niemcy zerwali współpracę, przewożąc gotowe już nadwozia do firmy Baur, a następnie na finalny montaż do nowo utworzonego działu M Motorsport. W ten sposób powstały 399 sztuki w wersji drogowej i 54 w wersji Procar, dedykowanej do wyścigów. Ta licytowana na wyspie Amelia ma najbardziej popularny biały kolor i zaledwie 7600 mil przebiegu. Spodziewana cena – powyżej półtora miliona złotych.
FEWER THAN 7,600 ORIGINAL MILES
1981 BMW M1 COUPE
US$ 400,000 – 450,000
PLN 1.5 million – 1.7 million
THE AMELIA ISLAND AUCTION
12 Mar 2015 12:00 EDT
FERNANDINA BEACH GOLF CLUB
1981 BMW M1 COUPE
3,453cc DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Kugelfischer Mechanical Fuel Injection
277bhp at 6,500rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Double Wishbone Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Vacuum Assisted Vented Disc Brakes
*Fewer than 7,600 miles on the clock
*One of only 453 M1s built
*Italian styling paired with German engineering
*A legend of the 1980s
THE BMW M1
The BMW M1’s existence originates from the need for a production based car for a proposed Group 5 'Silhouette Formula' to compete in the World Sports Car Championship. The mid-engined concept car was designed in-house by Frenchman Paul Bracq. Ex-racing driver Jochen Neerpasch was responsible for initiating this ambitious project which was intended to take on rivals Porsche and hopefully yield a victory at Le Mans.
Internally dubbed the E26, the M1’s development was a cooperative effort with top Italian specialists. Lamborghini was initially contracted to build the car but Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design ultimately took over the project. The coach assembly was performed at Ital Design featuring a fiberglass body built by composite specialist T. I. R. on a multi tubular space frame chassis supplied by chassis specialist Marchesi & C.
Assembled bodies were shipped to BMW’s German partner Baur for the mechanical assembly, the last stop then being BMW Motorsports for final preparation and distribution. The twin-overhead-cam, four-valves-per-cylinder 3.5-liter six was all BMW with tweaks by the Motorsports division. A five-speed ZF transaxle was used to transmit power to the ground. Lamborghini’s Gian Paolo Dallara was responsible for developing the suspension, which followed racing practice by using unequal-length wishbones at front and rear. The M1’s wedge-shaped coachwork proved highly efficient aerodynamically, needing very little in the way of additional spoilers and wings, even in race configuration. The M1’s interior was exceptionally well equipped for a sports car. It featured Recaro seats in leather with fabric inserts, air conditioning, electric windows, remotely operated door mirrors and heated rear screen.
First shown at the Paris Motor Show in 1978, the road-going version came with 277bhp and a top speed of 160mph. The abandonment of the Group 5 Silhouette Formula robbed the car of its raison d’être, but production nonetheless continued. An M1-only Procar Series was run at Grand Prix races in 1980 and ’81 provided BMW Motorsport with a valuable showcase by way of consolation. Some 453 M1s were built thereby fulfilling racing homologation requirement that400 be produced. Production ceased at 399 road cars and 54 Procars.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
Completed on September 23, 1980 and finished in white over black leather with black and white checker cloth inserts—the most popular color with 163 road cars similarly trimmed—, the car was delivered to the US on January 13, 1981. At the time Federal regulations required a speedometer that reads a maximum of 85mph. The 85mph speedometer is still fitted further supporting the mileage shown today.
Records show that in late 2002 long term owner of the car sold it with 3,382 miles on the odometer. Subsequently owned by 3 well known and knowledgeable collector/enthusiasts from 2003 until 2009, the car was clearly enjoyed as an additional 3,200 miles were logged. Offered at Bonhams' Quail Lodge Auction in 2009 with just under 6,600 odometer miles, it then went to a South Florida enthusiast who kept the car until recently. Regularly serviced, it has since covered an additional nearly 500 miles since 2009. 34 years after leaving the factory, the car presently shows fewer than 7,200 miles.
On inspection today the car is every bit as one would expect from such a car that has covered so few road miles. The interior shows only the slightest signs of wear, the trunk and hood compartments are both in excellent condition. Stowed in the former are the warning triangle, first aid kit, tool roll, and unused spare wheel/ tire still in the original vinyl cover. Although the bodywork is nearly three and a half decades old there are only a few unavoidable signs of age such as the odd minor paint chip or blemish. The underside of the car, straight and with no evidence of any structural damage, is consistent with the recorded mileage and proper care.
Enthusiasm for supercars for the 1980s is on a meteoric rise. There is an unprecedented demand for such memorable cars from the era as the Ferrari 512BB, Porsche 930 Turbo, and Lamborghini Countach. Significantly rarer than all of those by an order of magnitude, the M1’s styling was avant garde for its time and even today it is difficult to consider that the M1 came on stage more than three decades ago. The M1 holds a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts and will no doubt continue to rise in popularity as BMW savvy younger collectors enter the market.