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The BMW M1
The Start of BMW's Famed Motorsports Division
The BMW M1 was the first car developed by BMW’s famed motorsport division. The M1 is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive car with a fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) body designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign. The car is powered by a 3.5-liter inline-six producing 277 horsepower – and a reported 0 to 60 mph time of just 5.6 seconds. The M1 is equipped with numerous performance-enhancing features to include a limited-slip differential, four-wheel independent suspension, and large disc brakes.
First shown to the public at the 1978 Paris Motor Show, the M1 was intended to be a homologation special built to compete in the Group 4 and Group 5 categories of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the World Sportscar Championship (WSC). Ironically, the M1 never raced in either series due to production issues and other delays. However, it was used in the one-make Procar BMW M1 Championship – a series launched to support Formula 1 races in 1979 and 1980. The Procar M1 Championship was won by Niki Lauda in 1979 and by Nelson Piquet in 1980.
A short production run of only 453 cars makes the M1 quite rare and highly collectible. It is highly prized by collectors and considered a legend among nearly all classic car enthusiasts. Its legacy and influence can be seen in subsequent M-badged BMWs.
CROSSING THE BLOCK
This roadgoing example recently sold at auction for $651,000.00
See Petrolicious host Sam Hancock take a pristine road-going BMW M1 through the mountains in Germany.