Motorsport Monday: 1986 March 86G

For German car fans, Porsche so defined endurance motorsports that BMWs serious efforts in the late 1970s and early 1980s often go overlooked. But if you really wanted to go racing with the big boys in the 1980s and the premium rides from Zuffenhausen were out of your reach, you might just have looked towards March engineering for the solution. March was cutting edge then, a staple in the 1970s F1 scene with some unorthodox designs. With the new prototype categories in the 1980s, March produced a series of prototypes that were developed out of a customer BMW M1 that March modified. After some development, the March 83G and later 86G proved not particularly competitive to the much more highly developed 956/962s, but did win the 1984 Daytona 24hrs with Andial Porsche power. BMW also signed up with March for a run at IMSA GTP with a development of the 320i Turbo Group 5 and Formula 1 engine producing up to a reported 800 horsepower. In qualifying trim for Formula 1, these M12/13 motors could twist around 1,400 horsepower out of that small displacement. With Formula 1 and sports car racing legends David Hobbs and John Watson amongst the ranks of drivers, it looked like a sure bet for some wins. It was for naught, though, as Porsche and later Nissan and Toyota dominated IMSA into the 1990s. BMWs efforts are nearly forgotten, and that spells value in the used prototype market today:

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How about a March BMW GTP racer?

Not really our typical bag on this blog, but what the heck.

Buy this bad boy that needs some work now, sort it out over the winter, and you’ll be all set for next year’s vintage racing season. Or turn it into one hell of a street car, although I doubt unleashing close to 1000 horsepower through a race gearbox and suspension will result in something that could genuinely be called streetable.

It is up at $175,000, reserve not met, and it comes with a spare engine. Get yourself a piece of racing history, and then find a pit crew.

The seller’s description:

Driven by John Andretti, Davy Jones and David Hobbs This car only has two races on it therefore the chassis is perfect and not worn out. This was the test “mule” car that did much of the development work for the BMW program. This car has a new/fresh 2.1 liter turbo engine (over 900hp) and a fresh spare in one of the factory crates. Enough hard parts to rebuild at least two additional motors, MANY, many spares. This is a project that is un-assembled and is missing the two doors and part of the gearbox housing. Body needs fitting and paint. Unbelievable value for a GTP works car that represented the BMW factory.