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BMW M1 at Franschhoek Motor Museum Concours & Time Trial

Interesting | March 7th, 2010 by 10
fmm-concours-day-2-bmw-m1-1

With so much talk around a potential new BMW M1, we thought it would be appropriate to bring back the ….old M1, the original supercar …

With so much talk around a potential new BMW M1, we thought it would be appropriate to bring back the ….old M1, the original supercar that caught everyone’s attention in the late 70s.

The  BMW M1, along with other supercars such as a 2003 Ferrari Enzo, a Ferrari F50, the McLaren F1, the Mercedes-Benz Gullwing or the Ford Model T, took the center stage at the Franschhoek Motor Museum Concours & Time Trial, a celebration event of classic cars which changed the automotive world in one way or another.

The museum boasts over 200 cars in its collection, however, only 80 will be displayed at once.

BMW M1 at Franschhoek Motor Museum Concours & Time Trial

Digging into BMW’s history, we learned that the M1 supercar was produced by BMW from 1978 to 1981.

In the late 1970s, Italian manufacturer Lamborghini entered into an agreement with BMW to build a production racing car in sufficient quantity for homologation. The result was sold to the public, from 1978 to 1981, as the BMW M1. It was the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced. It employed a twin-cam M88/1 3.5 L 6-cylinder gasoline engine with Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection. A version of this motor was later used in the South African version of the BMW 735i, 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 277 PS (204 kW; 273 hp) in the street version, giving a top speed of 260 km/h (160 mph). Turbocharged racing versions were capable of producing around 850 hp (634 kW).

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. 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 reassumed 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.

The M1 had various successes in motorsports, including winning the Group B championship in 1984. In 2004, Sports Car International named the car number ten on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s.

[Photos by EasyCarBlog | Wikipedia ]

  • Giom

    Great to see some news coming from South Africa! Franchhoek plays host to a few motor related events through out the year. It’s a really beautifull little town a few kilometres outside Cape Town and is surrounded by the most breathtaking mountain passes in our country.

    I remember back in 1981, my mother got to ride in an M1. It was white also… wonder if it could be the exact same one? Chances are good, there can not be too many of them in this country.

    PS. She wasn’t too impressed by it. Complained that the ride was too hard… women!

  • Rick

    @license plate…

    BMW M1-WP

    Now I get the BMW M1 part. I even get the WP part. But given this is in South Africa and it’s a car from the late ’70′s early ’80′s it’s hard, in the best of circumstances, not to get offended…

    Other than that, ’till this day it’s still a beautiful car. Never saw this one in all white though. Looks great.

  • Jeremy

    It was the South African 745i.

  • Auday

    what a beauty!

  • Bryce

    I hope we get a BMW M1 Supercar… Either an M1 or 850 would be fantastic. I wonder how hype gets generated. Would it be possible for me to start some ‘hype’ of the 8-series. A new M1 supercar would be awesome, but I would love to see a new 8-series even more.

    • Bryce

      I’d like to clarify… I see very similar design elements between the old 8-series and the old M1. So if they’re going to make a two-door supercar, then using the 8-series name would avoid any confusion caused by having an M1 supercar and the rest of the 1-series lineup.

      If you put an M1 and an 850 side-by-side, I think you’ll see the resemblance.

  • plaxico

    uglyuglyuglyuglyuglyugly…..mercs are cars from the 70s represent timeless beauty ,sorry but this is just hideous…….

  • Daniel H

    Plax, I aready said this like a dozen times, BMW and Benz design there cars to meet diffrent expectations. BMW made there cars small and sporty while Benz made big and bold.

  • m power

    i love this car.The procar is the most beautiful racecar ever. i also love the 8 series. BMW will make these cars again. they have too. Bmw has to get this car in a film or a tv series. If i had the money i would buy one and put the e46 m3 csl mechanics into it in, dark blue procar wide body minus wing

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