They say you should never meet your heroes, especially when discussing old cars. The M1 wasn’t perfect, especially compared to a better-executed modern BMW. Despite its flaws, it’ll forever hold a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts. A new video review from Car Throttle shows the legendary E26 is worth the hype, even though the cabin felt cramped.

The positioning of the pedals was less than ideal, and even the steering wheel was offset compared to the center of the seats. That’s to be expected considering ergonomics in the late 1970s weren’t what they are today. The M1 was a thoroughbred supercar, meaning owners had to get used to its downsides. All these issues are instantly forgotten once the M88 engine stretches its proverbial legs on the open road.

Image by BMW USA

Supplied by BMW UK, this 1-of-460 M1 looks like a time capsule as an automaker’s historic press cars tend to. We’re being reminded the original M car had a dogleg transmission akin to race cars. Shifting into first gear by pulling the lever downward takes time to get used to. This M1 has only about 26,000 kilometers on the clock, which works out to slightly over 16,000 miles.

With poor outward visibility and no power steering, maneuvering the inaugural BMW M car in a tight parking lot is not for the faint-hearted. That’s especially true given how valuable M1s have become in recent years. We’d honestly be intimated to drive what is arguably the most special M car ever built.

Sadly, there hasn’t been a direct successor since the E26 was discontinued in 1981. Sure, there was the M1 Hommage in 2008 but it remained a one-off. The German automaker did come close in 2019 to making another bespoke M car. The M Vision Next was supposed to be a mid-engine sports car but the project was aborted a year after the concept. The subsequent 2020 I16 was unearthed earlier this year as the supercar that never was.

Source: Car Throttle / YouTube