Here’s your chance to buy an incredible-looking version of BMW’s first M road car.
A gorgeous 1980 M1 is currently up for grabs on Bring a Trailer. Not only is the muscular speed machine rare, it also appears to have been kept in tip-top shape since leaving the factory more than four decades ago.
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During the 1970s, the Bavarians’ motorsports division, BMW M, was tired of rival Porsche’s dominance on the track. Its solution was to build a mid-engine car designed specifically for racing (unlike the original 3.0 CSL which was modified for competition). Initially, the automaker partnered with Lamborghini on the project, but the Italians were eventually forced to drop out because of financial difficulties that would continue for much of the next two decades. Despite this, the finished M1 would have some serious flair thanks in no small part to a stunning wedge-shaped design that came from the pen of Italdesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro. The defining wedge is the Lamborghini Countach, but the M1 isn’t far behind. The car would be in production from 1978 to 1981, during which time 453 examples rolled off the line.
You’d be hard-pressed to find an M1 that looks as good as the example currently up for bid on Bring a Trailer. That’s due in no small part to a livery that tops white with BMW M’s trademark blue, purple, and red stripes (there’s a reason the anniversary BMW 3.0 CSL sports a similar color scheme). Other attractive details include a two-seat cabin covered in black leather, black louvers over the rear window, and a set of white 16-inch Campagnolo alloy wheels.
The M1 did more than just look good, though. M division chief Jochen Neerpasch insisted that it have a mid-engine layout to give it a leg up on the competition. Situated just in front of the rear axle was a 3.5-liter M88 inline-six with mechanical fuel injection. The potent mill was mated to a five-speed manual transmission and can churn out up to 273 horses and 243 ft lbs of twist, which was enough to allow it to reach a top speed of 165 mph when it was brand new. This example also would seem to be in impeccable shape. In addition to having just 13,000 miles on the odometer, it was also treated to a full mechanical and cosmetic refresh in 2017 by the current owner.
Already picturing how the M1 will look in your garage? Well, prepare to spend big. With four days left to go in the auction, bidding has already reached $278,000. We’d be shocked if that number doesn’t climb higher between now and Monday.
Click here for more photos of the 1980 BMW M1.
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