1985 BMW 323i Baur TC

There was a period in the mid 1970s where it appeared that safety nannies like Ralph Nader were going to bring about the death of the convertible. Consider, for a moment, that in 1965 Americans bought nearly 500,000 4-seat convertibles – but by the late 1970s, Detriot had completely abandoned what had been a very successful market. Today, it’s German firms that are the leaders in convertibles sold in the U.S. – no surprise, really, when you consider the number that are available. From the Eos and Beetle to BMW’s 3,6 and Z series, along with plenty of Mercedes-Benz models and Audi’s TT, A3, A5 and R8, there’s no shortage currently of options with air above. Go back to the early 1980s, though, and there were really only two. You could pay a lot of money for a Volkswagen Rabbit Cabriolet, or you could pay a ridiculous amount of money for a Porsche 911 Cabriolet. In response, many aftermarket tuners offered to take the top off just about everything from the S-Class Mercedes to the Porsche 928. Baur was one such firm, offering a drop-top version of the 3-series before BMW did. Rare to find, there’s one that’s popped up for sale today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 323i Baur TC on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1979 BMW M1 AHG Studie

While it’s safe to say that all of the legendary BMW M1s have an interesting history, some are a bit more traveled than others. It would be simple to suggest that modifying one of the few M1s produced would be sacrilegious, but in the 1980s anything was fair game in the tuning scene, and let’s not forget that the M1 was a bit of a flop originally. In fact, until very recently the M1 was generally overlooked as a future collectable; prices were higher considering the rarity and provenance of the original M car, but like the Audi Sport Quattro they enjoyed relative obscurity in the general public. So, it’s not much of a surprise that some were modified in period, and AHG was the most famous of the tuners of the M1. Taking the base car to the next level, they customized the interiors and upped the power nearly 30%, along with fitting aero tweaks that were a reminder that the M1 was intended for the track. Looking much like a street worthy Procar, the only thing that was missing were the celebrity race drivers and crashes. Not missing was the high price tag, something that’s back today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 BMW M1 AHG Studie on Hemmings

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Tuner Tuesday: 1980 BMW M1 AHG Studie – REVISIT

After failing to sell at auction for the estimated $600,000 – $800,000 projection, the AHG Studie modified M1 is back and now on eBay. Bidding as of writing is sitting around $300,000 – a steal for even a poor condition M1 these days. While it’s not likely to remain there or meet reserve, it will be interesting to see where the pricing ends up!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 BMW M1 AHG Studie on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site July 29, 2014:

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Tuner Tuesday: 1980 BMW M1 AHG Studie

I won’t bore you with an attempt to fully recount the storied history of the M1 here. But there are some interesting developments that helped create this halo car, changed its purpose and created the car that you see here. The M1 is a legendary car that, like the 959, 190E 2.3-16V Cosworth, RS200 and some other notable historic cars was born into a world that had already passed it by. It seems that often these ultimate cars have come about when the series rules have changed, and the M1 was part of that. The 959 moved from Group B to Le Mans, running high overall both attempts that it ran. The 190E took to the race track instead of rally, creating a new motorsports legend in the process – who can forget the images of Senna in the 190E? The RS200 moved towards the popular European sport of Rallycross, where it was extremely successful. And the M1? Well, the M1 was a bit lost; BMW had to build 400 of the expensive machines in a bit of a global recession, so they decided to make a one-make race series called the Procar series. Of course, it didn’t hurt that BMW was attempting to get its foot in the door with F1 management as an engine supplier, and the promise of the spectacle of F1 drivers let loose in supercars before the real race sure sounded appealing. What it was, most of the time, was a train wreck of crashes – but it was entertaining for sure, and they ended up building enough M1s to go racing where the car was intended, in Group 5 racing. While BMWs interests and technology passed by the M1 in the early 1980s, there was nevertheless a group of individuals who wanted their M1s turned up in the style of the wild winged, wide fendered and massive wheeled Procars. The result were the 10 AHG Studie cars:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 BMW M1 AHG Studie on EBAY

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1979 BMW M1 AHG

I think I need to drive an M1 some day. Is it as fast as it looks, or were the roadgoing versions all bark and no bite? Is it sharp like a supercar, or just quick like a smushed BMW sedan? I don’t think you’ll have to ask too many questions before getting in today’s example though, as it has an extremely rare modification package from AHG. Only 10 were made this way and mostly sold to BMW factory race drivers. With fender flares that don’t quite hit Procar levels and a front spoiler that nearly overdoes it, this M1 certainly has the bark but backs it up with the bite as the M88 has been massaged to 350hp, more than enough to motivate the 2,900lb wedge to scary speeds. Painted by a famous German shop in a mental so-80s-it’s-modern ombre, this is an extremely unique M1 being sold by the shop that makes all American 959s possible.

Year: 1979
Model: M1 AHG
Engine: M88/1 tuned to 350hp
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 31,395
Price: If you have to ask…

1979 BMW M1 AHG for sale at Canepa Motors

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1979 BMW M1 AHG VIN: WBS00000094301094

This vehicle, number 94 of approximately 453 M1s produced from 1979-1981, was modified in Germany by AHG, formerly the largest BMW dealer in Europe and now owned by BMW. Only ten M1s ever received the treatment from the AHG M1 Studio, and most were only available to BMW’s factory racers.

According to quotes from then AHG/BMW Motorsports Division president Peter Gartemann the modifications included: The 3.5 Liter 277 HP was upgraded to 350 HP, racing clutch, special exhaust, front air dam with brake ducts, wider front and rear fenders, side skirts, special rear wing, adjustable height suspension, BBS wheels, Cibie lights, full leather seats and special paint.

The car was sold in stock condition to its first owner from Mainz, Germany in November of 1979. In October of 1981 it moved on to what is believed to be the first owners daughter. According to AHG it was then sold to an artist who used the car as a canvas featured in expositions and newspapers. It returned to AHG in May of 1983, who then fitted the car with their special package. The famous German paint shop of Hermann Altmiks was hired to apply the current custom paint scheme. The engine was completely rebuilt and now puts out 350hp as opposed the stock rating of 277hp. The rebuild was completed 1200km (746 miles) before it was shipped to the US in 1984. Since then the car has only covered an additional 6000km (3728 miles.)

4301094 was purchased by an American collector in November of 1983 from Automobile International in Munich, West Germany. It arrived in the US in March of 1984, and received its EPA release letter in December of that year. When imported this M1 was modified for DOT compliance, but was released as EPA exempt (not street legal in California). Full DOT/EPA documentation is included. The NHTSA released the car in 1985, and the car began to appear in shows soon after. 4301094 was very active in the BMW scene until the late 90’s, when it was put in storage as a long term collectable.

In October of 2012 the M1 was awakened once more, and over $3500 in original BMW parts were used in its resurrection. Now in the hands of Canepa the car is receiving a thorough inspection and will be given the care it requires to meet our exacting standards.

With good M1 prices around $250-$350k(!!!), the rarity and BMW-centric nature of the AHG modification makes me think this could go as high as $400k. Unfortunately, at that price this thing is probably destined for a permanent garage spot instead of letting that juiced-up 3.5l sing.

-NR