1978 BMW M1 spotted with camouflage. But why?

Spy Photos | November 28th, 2009 by 30

Simon, one of our long time readers, spotted earlier today a 1978 BMW M1 fully covered with the now famous funky camouflage seen on all …

Simon, one of our long time readers, spotted earlier today a 1978 BMW M1 fully covered with the now famous funky camouflage seen on all the recent test mules. The car was parked on the Munich streets and all the interior design elements were fully covered as well.

We have no indication that BMW is preparing another M1 Hommage car or simply a showcase of the older M1 supercar, but we find it extremely intriguing to see a covered up model out in the open.

The M1 was unveiled 30 years ago as the first car created independently by the then BMW Motorsport GmbH. It was a racing car which BMW customers could also drive on the road, a unique project which had to overcome some tricky administrative hurdles before getting off the ground.

The M1 coupe was hand-built between 1978 and 1981 as a homologation special for sports car racing. The body was designed by Giugiaro, taking inspiration from the 1972 BMW Turbo show car. Originally, BMW commissioned Lamborghini to work out the details of the car’s chassis, assemble prototypes and manufacture the vehicles, but Lamborghini’s financial position meant that BMW re-assumed control over the project in April 1978, after seven prototypes were built. Only 456 production M1s were built, making it one of BMW’s rarest models. The spirit of the M1 lived on in the first-generation M5, as both models shared the same (though slightly modified) engines.

That’s all we have for now, but we’re hoping to find out more. Any thoughts?

  • wazon8

    I think that BMW gonna made supercar and this is the very begining part of their advertising campaign. I doubt that they are testing new platform or engine using old M1 body, because wheels are original and exhaust is only one pipe. Something however is at stake

  • Bryce

    This is hilarious. I think BMW is showing the world that it has a sense of humor! Somewhat at a BMW board meeting said, “hey, let’s put our famous camouflage on one of our old 1978 M1’s and let the people over at BMWBlog.com overanalyze it!”

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    overanalyze it? Not really, just intrigued…and you might be right and we would still report this as fun news.

  • xcpac

    Even if I would love to see THE sportscar that BMW’s lineup has for long missed, I think it is just an original M1 whose owner probably wanted to play us a little prank. Sad but true. Do you remember that Pshop of a BMW supercar that “apperead” at an hangar in Spain about two years ago? Well, that’s the idea. And I would absolutely love to be wrong…

  • auday

    someone (not BMW) did that for fun? but it’s hard to belive someone would cover his vintage M1 with sticky camo and ruin his paint. the car looks like a pure e26 M1 with all it’s details. the roof looks black but the mirrors are red?

    • xcpac

      Well, who knows? It’s hard to believe someone inside BMW did it either. But well, wouldn’t it be great to see a new M1? But then we would be seeing something like a ‘tamed’ version design of the Hommage… And what if it is the very beginning of a very clever advertisement campaign? Because if it’s not… BMW, listen carefully what your clients have to say…

  • Giom

    Well, what ever it is, I don’t think it’s from BMW at all. Maybe an owner with a sence of attention seeking. I don’t think this camo is too hard to come by – Audi now use it too. This must be someones prank. We’ll probably see some candit footage on youtube about ppl photographing the car.

  • Bryce

    Horatiu, I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I’m glad this was reported and I think it should be reported because it’s fun to try and figure out what BMW was trying to do. And I don’t think overanalyzing it is a bad thing, I love dreaming about a BMW super-car. Also, I can’t imagine this would be anyone other than BMW’s doing because I can’t think of anyone else that would put camouflage over such a beautiful and rare vehicle.

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.


      no worries, I didn’t take it the wrong way. It could be BMW’s way of creating some buzz, who knows anymore :)

      That’s why we didn’t go ahead and try to speculate on this since we really have no other information.

      I have a feeling we’ll get some real info in the next days after the video gets more popular.

  • Beamer

    I don’t think it’s a real M1 at all…
    The weels don’t look real to me and somehow the body looks out of proportion too.
    But is’s a good job they did.

    • xcpac

      Now that you mentioned it, I remember M1s are somehow wider. And longer, perhaps? But maybe it’s the qualityof the video.

    • auday

      Yep, it’s the video aspect ratio… the video was taken in 16:9 and displayed in 4:3 probably, you could notice that people walking by look tall and skinny too, also the wheels are no round even on a pur profile angle.

  • Beamer

    In my opinion it seems that the frontwindow is mounted to steep and the small windows on on both sides are not the right shape either…..although I coud be awfully wrong…..

  • http://www.themainstreetsalonmantua.com Shane Giumarello

    Run the plates… Who’s it owned by?

  • T.

    Keep an eye on BMWWebTV.

    It is not a prelude to a Supercar Concept , There are far more engaging projects @ BMW than reviving the corpse of a “Supercar” concept.

    • xcpac

      Like the M1 Hommage perhaps? Or the GINA Concept? What a waste of precious time, talent and money, don’t you think? As I read once in a BMW Magazine ‘Tradition is not venerating the ashes, but maintining the flame alive’. What would happen if BMW stops ‘reviving corpses’ as you say? It should better start manufacturing minivans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584867244 Matt Stokes

    The aspect ratio of the video is wrong, so the car looks dis-proportionate… all thed etails however, seem to be there.

    I don’t think this means anything. I had the idea a little while ago of getting my old E28 wrapped like this (to hide the rust and the brown colour!), just as a gimmick, this guy might have done the same?

  • Andrew

    I think this is an early message from BMW – an M1 successor is coming.

  • Roy

    I find it highly unlikely that someone who owns 1 of 456 M1s would do this as a prank.

  • http://www.autocritical.com/blog AutoCritical

    Its actually just the new paint scheme they have. Also ‘being covered up’ is a new interior theme in design…. it’ll be all the rage, you know, protecting the interior of a car from the UV light.

    What a selfish owner, not letting anyone else be able to appreciate their car!

  • viper

    should we all laugh or something?…..

  • X5SoB

    It’s an Art Car! BMW is playing with the automotive press. I like it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1293096462 Ramon Juarez

    I think they ARE preparing an M1 and this must be a platform testing.