RE: BMW M1 | Showpiece of the Week

RE: BMW M1 | Showpiece of the Week

Monday 18th November

BMW M1 | Showpiece of the Week

M1 values have skyrocketed in the last decade - and for very good reason



The BMW M1 is up there with the likes of the Ferrari Dino when it comes to illustrating just how mad the exotic car market can be. Only ten years ago, a decent example of BMW's legendary homologation special could be had for as little as eighty grand. Today, you'd need about Β£400,000 to warrant even beginning a search for one. Nobody in the previous decade could have predicted such an explosion in values, but now that the M1 market has stabilised, it seems the mid-engined wedge is cemented in the upper echelons of the market for all time.

That means a large proportion of the 457 two-doors are likely to live the rest of their lives wrapped in cotton wool, if they haven't done so already. Which is a shame, because BMW's 3.5 straight-six machine ranks as a superb driver's car with proper seventies supercar pace and a soundtrack that can, nay will, stand hairs on end. Born of a skunkworks motorsport project at a time when the company was high on the sales success of its 5 and 3 Series models, the M1 was the only mid-engined BMW until the launch of the i8.


Evidence of its thoroughbred status came with the setup beneath the car's Italdesign-produced glass fibre skin. BMW's Jochen Neerpasch-led racing arm designed the M1 around a tubular steel space frame chassis, utilising prototype technology for maximum lightness and stiffness. BMW lacked the capacity to actually produce the M1, so its skeleton was made in Turin by esteemed tube manufacturer Marchetti, before being mated to the BMW-sourced motor back in Germany. In contrast to the Bavarian firm's Group 5 arch rival, Porsche and its rear-engined 935, the racing-spec 3.5 six was placed midship to improve handling balance.

The engine itself, the M88/1 developed by engineering legend Paul Rosche, was naturally-aspirated and chosen over a turbocharged alternative for reliability, following the lessons learned with the M31 in the Group 2 2002 Turbo, also developed by Rosche. But as a motor created for racing using mechanical fuel injection, it was considered advanced for the day and offered an excellent blend of usability and performance. That being said, the unit was at its best when wrung out, with its peak of 277hp arriving at 6,500rpm and the maximum 243lb ft of torque only 1,500rpm earlier. Numbers that made it well-suited to the world of motorsport.


But it was never to be. Or not quite, anyway, because by the time BMW had got the M1 production up and rolling, the FIA had changed Group 5 regulations, making it ineligible for competition in any of its classes. Not wanting its project to go unused, the brand conjured up its famed but short-lived M1 Procar class, which supported Formula 1 races and actually featured F1 drivers that would essentially 'warm up' in the morning event before jumping into their single seaters. The one-make series only ran in 1979 and 1980, but it's reputation has endured, because, well, see for yourself...

Perhaps the resurgence of clips like this, as well as an ever-increasing admiration for naturally-aspirated mid-engined sports cars, partly explains the rising values of M1 road cars in recent years. Either way, it leaves cars like today's Showpiece, a 12,000-mile-old stunner on sale at Munich Legends, looking all the more special. Unlike some of the offerings on the market in recent months, this one hasn't been stripped back and restored with all new parts, but rather returned to like-new condition while retaining as much originality as possible. While it's unlikely to fetch a record price (like the Β£600k one that sold back in 2015), you're still looking at one of the finest M1s on the market - one we'd guess is probably a half a million quid car as it stands. We dare you to find out.


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Author
Discussion

Andy83n

Original Poster:

64 posts

10 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Any truth that Kim Wilde had one, back in the day

Sandpit Steve

340 posts

22 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
That looks lovely, but sadly the market woke up to their rarity a few years ago and there’s probably better places to put half a mil, unless that much is just loose change for you. So sadly they’ll be mostly sat in collections now, rather than used as BMW intended.

Great to be reminded of the Procar series though, someone should send Chase Carey that video as he’s looking for ways to improve the F1 weekend. Imagine the F1 drivers lining up on Sunday morning, all in the same car for a sprint race? Preferably in something naturally aspirated with a manual ‘box - Cayman GT4? Bonus points for a reverse grid based on the actual F1 race to come.

Sandpit Steve

340 posts

22 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Andy83n said:
Any truth that Kim Wilde had one, back in the day
Didn’t all the cool kids in America?

Leftfootwonder

57 posts

6 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Is there another car that epitomises the 70's more than this?! A decade to forget from a design perspective imo.

gigglebug

1,393 posts

70 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Cool car.

coppice

5,584 posts

92 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Single make series have become the bane of modern racing - but M1s were something else . Watching the likes of Lauda , Hunt , Stuck and Piquet at Donington was wonderful . Add in big flames and fabulous soundtrack and it was unforgettable.

As were TVR Tuscans ...

unsprung

3,818 posts

72 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all


Worth another look at the devoted stylings of this M1 video...

https://youtu.be/wqAFl2t9Np8






The Brummie

7,809 posts

135 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
An absolutely sublime car.

Lucky enough to have driven an M1 at length.

Stunningly quick. Handled like a dream. And looks fabulous.

One of my favourite road cars.

Edited by The Brummie on Monday 18th November 23:23

A1VDY

988 posts

75 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Lotus Esprit..

Dave Hedgehog

11,835 posts

152 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Another car that was dirt cheap I should have bought lol

Edited by Dave Hedgehog on Tuesday 19th November 10:36

Mark-C

3,152 posts

153 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Leftfootwonder said:
Is there another car that epitomises the 70's more than this?! A decade to forget from a design perspective imo.
"Yes" to the first and "No" to the second of those ...

For me anyway isn't it great that like different things - makes for variety smile

redroadster

1,026 posts

180 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
No ridiclious sized kidney grille ,classy looking car stood test of time .

Kawasicki

6,566 posts

183 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
I really like the looks of these. I was born in the 70‘s, so maybe it’s because of that. The proportions are great and the details are minimalistic at the first glance.

I really like the e30 too.

thegreenhell

6,288 posts

167 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Wasn't the production delay that meant they missed the homologation deadline caused by Lamborghini? They were originally contracted to build them, because of their prior experience building limited run mid-engined cars, but the finished output wasn't up to the standards expected by the Germans, so they had to find another subcontractor to do the job.

g3org3y

14,219 posts

139 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
LIKE thumbup

Mr Tidy

9,719 posts

75 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Andy83n said:
Any truth that Kim Wilde had one, back in the day
I never knew that!

Sadly the M1 seems to have aged a bit better (sorry Kim, I was a huge fan in the 80s). rolleyes

Oakman

172 posts

106 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
I used to see one regularly in the late ‘70’s parked across the road from Christie’s auction house in St James, London.

White and registered M1 111

Always thought they were rather awesome


defonsecca

57 posts

33 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
Leftfootwonder said:
Is there another car that epitomises the 70's more than this?! A decade to forget from a design perspective imo.
Whaaat..???!! The 70's was a golden era of car design. OK, it was predominantly wedge-shaped based, but where the heck to start with fantastic, interesting & (importantly) beautiful car designs in that decade:

- Ferrari BB, 308, .....400i (in my opinion at least)
- Lamborghini Countach, Espada
- Maserati Bora, Khamsin, Merak, Indy
- Lancia Stratos, Gamma Coupe, Beta Coupe
- Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV, Alfasud
- De Tomaso Pantera
- Fiat 130 Coupe, X1/9
- Aston Martin Lagonda
- Citroen SM, CX
- Lotus Esprit
- Mercedes R107 SL
- VW Golf, Scirocco
- BMW 6-Series
- Datsun 240Z
... I'll stop there with "normal" cars.....
- a whole raft of specialist manufacturers like the Monica GT, Ligier JS2, Alpine A310, Panther 6 (!!!), Monteverdi Hai & 375/C Convertible, Sbarro Stash, Dome Zero from Japan, Owen Sedanca Coupe etc etc
- and don't even get me started on the sheer volume of amazing concepts that came from Bertone, Pininifarina, Ital Design etc in the 70's. I cannot think of many more incredible, jaw-dropping & fantastic designs than the 1970 Pininfarina Modulo in the whole history of the car. Alfa BAT cars from the 50's possibly.

1970's was a brilliant & exciting decade in car design! I only wish I was born 10 years earlier to see them all at Motor Shows.


Edited by defonsecca on Monday 18th November 23:57

Funk

20,765 posts

157 months

Monday 18th November
quotequote all
With Audi having had great success with the R8 over the years, why haven't BMW had a proper sports car in a similar vein as a 'successor' of sorts to the M1?

coppice

5,584 posts

92 months

Tuesday 19th November
quotequote all
There were gems in the 70s but I think peak design was the previous decade. As evidence I'll cite E -Type. Elan , Duetto, 250 GTO , 275GTB , 330 GTC , 206 Dino , Gordon Keeble GK1, Dodge Charger , Shelby Mustang GT350 , NSU Ro 80 and Alfa 105 GTV , Oh and the Miura...

Back to the M1 - unlike the increasingly absurd looking BMW range , this one doesn't look like it is carrying a baseball bat and has anger management issues , fuelled by a steroid habit