BMW’s i8 is its current supercar, but it isn’t its first. Back in the late 1970s, BMW developed the M1 supercar. A BMW Motorsport development, the M1 was a mid-engined supercar, housing a 3.5 liter inline-six, producing 277 hp, between its axles. The body was originally supposed to be designed by Lamborghini, as BMW was strapped for time.
But the Italian exotic automaker was apparently strapped for money, and had all but gone bust. So the design for the M1 went to Italian design firm, Giugiaro. Giorgetto Giugiaro designed many beautiful cars in his time and the M1 is one of the best.
Only 456 M1s were ever made, making it one of the more rare collector’s care on the market. A mint M1 can easily fetch half of a million dollars at auction, due to the rarity and desirability of the car. It’s one of the most highly sought after classic cars in the world. Which makes this particular one quite interesting.
This 1980 model was in a crash in 1985, demolishing the front end and severely bending both A pillars. The M1 was apparently left to rot away, as no one bothered repairing it in the 30 years since the crash. The wrecked M1 went up for sale recently and fetched an eye-watering price tag for such a severely damaged car. The original asking price was $125,000 and the car was sold, but for exactly how much is unknown.
That’s the cost of a brand new BMW i8, for a car that needs extensive repairs probably costing almost as much as the car. The M1 is an extraordinarily desirable car, but is this one worth buying for that price tag and spending almost as much on repairing it? The amount of repairs needed for this mangled M1 would mean that the finished project wouldn’t be anything close to original. At that point, it’s almost a kit car, because the entire front end would need to be fabricated. It’s not like there are BMW M1 fenders, bumpers and suspension parts lying around anywhere.
I guess a very wealthy collector deemed this project worthy of his/her time and money, but it’s hard to imagine the value. But beauty, and I guess value in this case, is in the eye of the beholder and those Giugiaro-designed body lines must have been beautiful enough to seduce a collector into taking the project on.
Good on them, because with only 456 ever made, no M1 should be left to rot. I’m just glad it’s not my wallet which needs to die in order for this M1 to live.[Source: BringATrailer]