Few, if any, BMWs are more iconic than the M1. Despite its troubled history due to Italian connections, the E26 ultimately became a legend. Nearly half a century since its inception, it remains the company’s one and only supercar. Some would argue it’s also the only bespoke M car ever, considering the hugely controversial XM is rooted in the CLAR platform.
Now is your chance to own a piece of history, but be prepared to pay a not-so-small fortune. Bring A Trailer has a mint-condition example with just 20,235 kilometers (12,573 miles) on the clock. The M1 is a rare breed, considering the wedge-shaped homologation special was hand-made in 460 units from 1978 until 1981. This particular example was finished in June 1980 and originally delivered to a European customer.
It was imported to the United States in 1987 and the current owner has had it since 2016. Currently located in Emeryville, California, the mid-engined machine was thoroughly refreshed cosmetically and mechanically before attending the 2017 Hillsborough Concours d‘Elegance in California.
It has been resprayed in white with retro-flavored M graphics and a front air dam reminiscent of the M1 Procar. Inside the predominantly blue cabin, there are adjustable leather seats, power windows, air conditioning, and a Becker Europa cassette player. All cars came with a five-speed manual, a ZF-sourced transmission routing power to the rear wheels with a limited-slip differential.
Penned by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign, the M1 used a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter inline-six, codenamed M88. It produced 277 horsepower and 244 pound-feet (330 Newton-meters) of torque. A variation of that engine (M88/3) would go on to power the E24 M635 CSi, E28 M5, and South Africa’s E23 745i.
With five days to go until the bidding ends, the 1980 BMW M1 is listed on Bring A Trailer for the princely sum of $278,000. For your money’s worth, the rare supercar comes bundled with service records, the original tools, and a first-aid kit, not to mention a fire extinguisher and period-correct literature. To sweeten the pot, the seller also throws in a replica of the owner’s manual.
Source: Bring A Trailer