I’ve been on a bit of a yellow kick as of late, but even I was surprised when I came upon this BMW 1M. To date, I had not seen a BMW Individual painted 1M Coupe and to spy one in Dakar Yellow seemed especially amazing. Even more amazing was the price; despite only 35,000 miles on the clock, this E87 seemed priced to move at only $50,000 – some $20,000 less than other examples on the market. It was clearly worth a bit of further investigation…
Rallycross has always struck me as an interesting balance between circuit racing and rally driving, and frankly it’s completely captivating. If Formula 1 is controlled aggression and World Rally is controlled chaos, rallycross is more aggressive chaos. In the 1980s it became very popular in Europe as the dumping ground for ex-Group B cars. If you want to be captivated and feel a bit sick at the same time, go watch some British rallycross from ~1987-1989. You’ll see Audi Sport Quattros, Lancia Deltas and Peugot 205 T16s, Ford RS200s and even an occasional turbocharged, all-wheel drive Porsche. In short, it’s sort of the ultimate in rally racing that never really was, with these cars going head to head at full chat. That’s what is captivating, but watch a few seconds more than the wild start and you’ll quickly feel sick because typically in the first corner one of these legends is completely balled up. By the end of the race, if you have one or two out of the original 6-7 cars fully functioning that is considered an accomplishment. But these aren’t 24 hour grueling tests of endurance – they’re three or four laps of a short grass, dirt and tarmac surface. That’s right – generally 50% plus attrition in 3 minutes.
It’s awesome. It’s like the Outback Steakhouse of racing – no rules, just right.
I’ve featured a few collectable coupes this week – the 2013 Audi TT RS and the modified M Coupe. But as much as I love the soundtrack of the Audi and the statistics on paper, and as hot as the E36 M Coupe market is, were it my money I was plunking down for a personal coupe it would be the second generation Z4-based M Coupe that would get my attention. And for my Christmas wish, this one would do quite nicely! Interlagos Blue is certainly one of my favorite colors, and the lower miles and pristine shape of this particular example would have me overlooking the all-black leather:
BMW followed the age old recipe for the 1M and enthusiasts responded. Put a big engine in a small car, flare the arches a bit and slip on some wide rubber but keep the price in the range of mere mortals. What’s not to like about the 1M then? Well, they didn’t make many – 740 were imported, making it more rare than the previously rare E28 and E24 M models. That created an artificial demand right out of the box, and unfortunately these cars hit the market at the same point that the European collector car market really started taking off. That means that these cars have suffered effectively zero depreciation since new – rare for any car, but especially for the small sport sedan market. In fact, not only have they not depreciated, you could have bought one of these cars new in 2011, drove it moderately for the past 3 years, and you could have sold it for a profit today. The 1M, in all of its 335 horsepower twin-turbocharged goodness, hit the market at around $47,000 in 2011 – add a few options in and you were around $50,000 for most. Available in only three colors, these limited production cars have a cornered market and are piggybacking on the value increase of the 1980s M-cars – the spiritual predecessors of this car. Today, there are no less than 7 1Ms on Ebay, mostly in the $57,000 range. It seems almost like price fixing – we often see a wide spread of values even on very similar cars, but these 1Ms are all around the same price regardless of color, miles or number of owners. Which is the one you’d want?
Few cars in recent BMW history have generated as much buzz and excitement as the 1M did upon it’s launch. Journalists gushed over the great performance, the return to a smaller and less complicated package, and how this car was spiritual successor to the E30 M3. That was heady praise, and by all accounts, this car deserved it. Dropping the big brother 3.0 twin-turbocharged inline-6 into the smallest chassis available meant this was sure to be a performance machine, and while the price was high for a 1 series, overall pricing on the model wasn’t terrible. While many fans (including myself) started counting their pennies, it was all for naught; BMW only imported a limited run which quickly sold out. This created a premium for these performance specials, pushing second hand/dealer holdout pricing quickly towards and even above M3 levels. Many of the total 6000 plus that were produced have been squirreled away, awaiting their certain appreciation by speculators; and with only 740 reported to be imported to the U.S., this is certainly guaranteed to be the case. When they do come up for sale, it’s a bit of an event, so it’s neat to see a clean Alpine White 1M for sale today on Ebay:
Engine: 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 22,455 mi
Price: $58,900 Buy It Now
378 Horsepower 414 lb-ft of torque with Dinan Stage 2 Kit!
Locally owned car with clean Carfax.
The 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe seats four passengers and is available in a single trim level. Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, high-performance tires, automatic and adaptive xenon headlights, heated mirrors and windshield washer jets, cruise control, automatic wipers, automatic dual-zone climate control, 10-way manual sport seats with power-adjustable bolsters, a tilt-and-telescoping M sport steering wheel, leather upholstery, Alcantara faux-suede interior trim and a premium sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and HD radio.