First built in 1978, the M1 is one of BMW’s finest vehicles to date. It was the first and only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced. It was powered by a twin-cam M88/1 3.5 liter 6-cylinder gasoline engine with Kugelfischer injection.
A version of this motor was later used in the South African version of the BMW 745i, of which 209 examples were built between 1984 and 1986, as well as the E24 BMW M6/M635CSi and E28 BMW M5. The engine had six separate throttle butterflies, four valves per cylinder and produced 273 hp. The production model reached a top speed of 260 km/h (162 mph).
The M1 Procar version was Modified into the M88/1 by a team led by Paul Rosche and it was capable of producing 470 horsepower at 9000 rpm.
The M1 coupe was hand-built between 1978 and 1981 under the Motorsport division of BMW as a homologation special for sports car racing. The body was designed by Giugiaro, taking inspiration from the 1972 BMW Turbo show car.
Only 456 production M1s were built, making it one of BMW’s rarest models, so I wasn’t surprised when we saw the M1 being priced at $140,000 in a recent auction.
The BMW M1 in the photos below was delivered in 1980 by Styling Garage Spezialkarosserien of Hamburg with numerous cosmetic modifications reminiscent of the all-out racing M1s. At this time the car would enter the collection of the Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani. It eventually “moved” to the U.S and it is shown in an unrestored condition and original to the age of customization.