1981 BMW M1

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I’ve written up some cool M1s, but this one may take the cake even from the Procar-widebodies if for no other reason than this is the M1 you see in the history books. Orange on black with that badass cloth/leather interior is what the E26 is all about. Add to that the fact that it’s from the badass Canepa Collection and has just 3,300 miles, and this is a frickin’ museum piece. Or it could be… I’m a much bigger fan of cars that are used. I’d construct one of those viewing rooms which the internet has seen made for E30 M3s and Ferraris; I’d soak in the glorious orange like it was a Seasonal Affective Disorder light and bust this thing out a few times a year for some fun.

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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

1980 BMW M1

The M1 was a curious car for BMW; it was unlike anything the company had ever manufactured and we haven’t seen a modern day equivalent since. To this day, it is known as one of the rarest BMW models, yet its influence throughout the lineup can be seen right up to this day. This was the car that kickstarted BMW’s Motorsport division into the mainstream, as the M88 inline six lived on in such cars as the E24 M6 and M635CSi and E28 M5. It’s uncommon to see an M1 in the wild, in fact, the only one I’ve ever seen was at the BMW Zentrum in Munich. This particular example for sale in London is originally a California car and one of the last ones off the production line.

Year: 1980
Model: M1
Engine: 3.5 liter inline six
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 30,000
Price: POA

1980 BMW M1

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1981 BMW M1, One of only 453 cars produced (399 Road Specification), Chassis No. 4301154

The M1 was the first car unveiled by the independent BMW Motorsport division; the M1 represented a radical departure for the famed German marque. Designed to do battle with Porsche in FIA’s Group 4 category, the mid-engine BMW supercar was developed in tandem with Lamborghini, designed by influential Italian stylist Giorgetto Giugiaro and constructed by Baur in Stuttgart. An extremely capable and well-rounded sports car, the BMW featured a Marchese-built tube-frame chassis, fiberglass construction, large vented disc brakes, a five-speed ZF transaxle and fully independent suspension as well as luxury amenities such as air-conditioning and power windows. At the heart of the state-of-the-art supercar was BMW’s magnificent M88 engine, which featured chain-driven camshafts, four valves- per-cylinder, dry-sump lubrication, steel tube headers and advanced Bosch Kugelfischer timed mechanical fuel injection. Boasting 0–60 times of 5.6 seconds and a top speed in excess of 160 mph, the car was one of the fastest production sports cars of its era. BMW Motorsport initially contracted Lamborghini to assemble the cars with engines produced and shipped from Germany. However, severe financial troubles at Lamborghini forced BMW to terminate their agreement with the Italian supercar maker. Thus, the production examples of the E26 M1 were partially assembled at Ital Design in Turin using fiberglass bodywork supplied by T.I.R and tubular space frames supplied by Marchesi. Final assembly was then conducted at the Baur coachworks in Stuttgart, Germany, then each M1 was then given a final inspection at the BMW Motorsport facility in Munich before handover to the new owners.

Our M1 is one of the last of 399 road specification examples to be built, supplied new by Hardy & Beck of Berkeley, California in April 1981. Having spent the vast majority of its years in the hands of two California collectors, this extremely rare and low mileage BMW supercar is one of the finest surviving examples to offered for sale in recent years. The previous owner from Chicago, Illinois, a known collector with a stable of exotic sports and racing cars, has always maintained a passion for M-series BMWs and was struck by this M1’s ideal appearance and well-preserved original condition. Over the years, the car has been kept in excellent order and, as recently as May 2012, was entrusted to an official BMW service agent, for a maintenance inspection and general check-over.

Commissioned to be built in white with black leather interior with checked fabric inserts; this M1 remains in excellent original condition throughout and, unlike many examples, shows no sign of modification or altercations. With the odometer displayed just over 30,000 miles, a figure that is commensurate with its outstanding presentation. Offered for sale with a tool roll, recent service records, our M1 are impressively presented and ready to be enjoyed by its next lucky owner.

One of the most exclusive post-war BMWs, the M1 maintains an important place in the marque’s history and has already begun to attract the attention of discerning collectors. Like the legendary Porsche 2.7 Carrera RS and BMW 3.0 CSL, the M1 was a limited-production homologation special that served as a showcase for the latest advances in sports car design and engineering. Considering its rarity, mechanical sophistication and historical importance, the M1 is a fascinating modern classic that should hold great appeal for collectors with an appreciation for ground breaking sports cars. A superb example in every respect, this exceptional BMW supercar would make an exciting addition to a collection of great classic cars.

Part of our final sales preparation the M1 will be fully serviced with new MOT completed by authorized BMW service centre.

They always say, if you have to ask how much it is, you can’t afford it, but it would have been nice if the seller would have disclosed the offer price for this rare BMW. At the moment, a good M1 can range in between $250,000 to around $350,000. There are a lot of other cars in that price range that could outperform it, but owning the only mid-engined BMW production vehicle as a certain cache about it. This was genesis for BMW Motorsport, a tuning arm that has created undoubtedly some of the most fearsome performance vehicles to emerge from Germany.

-Paul

1979 BMW M1

M. It’s perhaps one of the most powerful letters in the automotive realm. With a history dating back to 1972 to edge BMW closer to the high performance market, their first vehicle to bear the M badge was this car, the M1. Revealed at the Paris Motor Show in 1978, this car came about as the result of an agreement between BMW and Lamborghini to build a car to be homologated for racing. Equipped with the M88 inline six cylinder engine, this 3.5 liter unit with Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection produced 276 horsepower.
After the production of a few prototypes, BMW took over the project from Lamborghini due to financial difficulties with the Italian manufacturer. Only 476 of these cars were built, making them the rarest M car ever. This M1 for sale in New York was produced early on in the production run and retained for promotional purposes by BMW.

1979 BMW M1 on eBay

VIN# WBS59910004301011
Year: 1979
Color: Blue with black leather

The Motorsport division of BMW was set up in 1972 to handle the racing activities of the company. By 1978 the division had evolved to the point where they were ready to produce their own car. The M1 became the first car developed by the M division. The intended use of the M1 was to compete in the World Sportscar Championship. It was designed specifically to be a racecar but in order to qualify for the Championship series 450 M1’s would need to be built. BMW couldn’t use 450 M1 racecars so most of them were built as street cars and sold to the public.

The car came from California where it had resided from at least 1981. It was the eleventh chassis and the 16th car built. It was completed December 21, 1978 and retained by BMW for display and promotional purposes. It has just 23,723 miles. It is fitted with factory air conditioning and BBS wheels which were specially engineered to M1 specification. It looks great and runs even better. It has factory A/C and an upgraded stereo.

For only $195,000

“For only $195,000” may sound absurd, but actually, that’s about close to the average of where M1 values are today. A few M1s have traded hands at auction this year. There was a 1980 M1 offered at Mecum that hammered at $185,000 and another 1980 example that sold at Gooding & Company for $242,000.

To get a bit of a flavor for what an M1 looks and sounds like on the track, here is some footage from the 2009 Nürburgring 24 Hour Classic:

-Paul

Willy König’s 1984 BMW M6

This M6 has had some interesting treatment by Koenig Specials. It has only 40,000 miles on it and the seller is looking to get $29,000. This car is said to have been a Koenig company car where it sat in their showroom. It has been stripped down inside to reduce weight and has undergone some significant overhaul work engine-wise. The seller states:

m1 procar camshafts m1 race header special motorsport ecu program delivers 351 hp and 409 ft of torque

It also has been wrapped in matte black vinyl. The car doesn’t have any of the flamboyant wide body kit that Koenig is known for, though it does have some Koenig badges. Without that kit and with the wrap it strikes me as kind of odd. The low miles will help get some interest, but I doubt it will reach $29,000. Regardless of what you think of the matte black look, that massaged inline six mixed with the manual transmission surely makes this a fun car to drive.

~Evan

Widebody 1981 BMW M1 for sale

We listed this car almost exactly one year ago and it is still up for sale. The BMW M1 is such a magnificent anomaly.  Never before, nor since, has BMW made a mid-engined supercar (in fact, how many have come out of Germany period?), but when they did, they did it right.  Sharp and exotic, it still looks irrefutably German, especially in white like our example today.  It just sweats engineering excellence and Teutonic rightness, as though Kraftwerk is the only music the Blaupunkt is capable of playing.  And while it’s held in high regard on its own merits, perhaps the M1’s greatest legacy is the fantastic inline-6 it later passed on to the E24 M6 and first two M5s.  Today’s example is extra special with the Procar bodykit, mimicking the aggressive, flared look of the M1 race series and installed by none other than AC Schnitzer.

The clean white with black accents emphasizes the Germanness of this beefed-up M1.  With about 23k miles, it’s a beautiful car with “no known issues.”  It’s not perfect; the headers are very patina’d and the original paint doesn’t sparkle, but that’s ok.  I kind of like that this is a badass time machine that doesn’t look like it has to sit in a showroom for the rest of its life.  The $135,000 asking price is steep, but this is a rarity of a rarity and one of just 456.  German exoticar pr0n, widebody M1 is thy name.

-NR

4 BMW M1s for the 4th of July

With July 4th being this weekend, a little red, white, and blue, is in order. So my thoughts were immediately drawn to some of the great BMWs that raced under the Motorsport tri-color livery. What better way to illustrate this than with a 1979 M1 in the proper Motorsport colors.

Red, White, and Blue 1979 BMW M1 on Craigslist

1979 BMW M1

This Craigslist offering from Munich Evolution, in Seattle seems to fit the bill perfectly. The seller says this vehicle has unique history, and if you are going to spend $175,000 a little unique history would be nice. The Procar body, this was a single make race series M1s raced under, on this M1 and the great color scheme enhance the value. If you really want BMW’s arguably first and only true supercar they can be had for less (see below), but this seems a fair ask price. The seller mentions that more info will be added about the car soon.

1981 White M1 Procar Widebody on eBay.

1981 BMW M1 A11981 BMW M1 A21981 BMW M1 A31981 BMW M1 A41981 BMW M1 A51981 BMW M1 A61981 BMW M1 A71981 BMW M1 A81981 BMW M1 A91981 BMW M1 A101981 BMW M1 A11

If the patriotic paint scheme is not your thing, than why not start with a blank slate in this all white 1981 M1 widebody currently offered on eBay. $150,000 gets you a AC Schnitzer installed Procar bodied M1 with 22k on the clock. It looks pretty clean and check out that vintage Blaupunkt equalizer.

Lastly, two non-Procar M1s are available through Motorcar Gallery Inc in Fort Lauderdale Florida. Perhaps an homage to Michael Jackson we have a black 1980 model and a white 1981 model. They have the white one listed on Hemmings for $173,500.

1980 BMW M1

1981 BMW M1 B

All else being the same the Motorsport colors look the best to me and the black looks better than the white. Ah decisions.

Only 456 M1s hit the market. The rear mounted 3.5 liter 273 horse power engine makes the thrumming sound that comes from a big inline six. It is a bit more raucous sounding than the deep cabin cruiser yacht sound you hear from the 1st gen M5. This nice clip shows an M1 at Nürburgring with no silly music or voice over to wreck the exhaust note.

In race tune, where up to 850 horse power could be had, the sound is powerful, as witnessed by this M1 at Lime Rock Park.

Do you have examples of some patriotic U.S./German automotive collaborations to help us celebrate the 4th?

Happy BBQing.
~Evan