BMW – M1 (1980)
- Vehicle Type:
- Coach Builder:
- T.I.R./Italdesign / Bauer
- Engine CC:
- Neal Heffron (US)
Class EGRAN TURISMO: EXPERIMENTING WITH THE POST-WAR EUROPEAN GT
This coupé is rare, powerful and lightning fast. Then there’s also its historic status. As the first model produced independently, the BMW M1 harks back to the glory days when BMW Motorsport GmbH started out on its journey. The E29 – as it was designated within the company – was originally developed at Lamborghini to specifications provided by BMW AG. In fact, the production process was also planned there. However, the bankruptcy at Lamborghini meant that this didn’t happen and production was taken over by Italdesign. The chassis of the BMW M1 was based on a tubular spaceframe delivered by Marchesi. This was bolted and bonded with the body to the frame at Italdesign and completed with the exception of the technical components. A second stage saw final assembly with the installation of the drivetrain and assemblies supplied by BMW at Baur.
The one-of-a-kind character of the M1 also engendered an enthusiastic following in the USA.
This example is one of two ordered by American super-smooth soft rocker Christopher Cross after he had won five Grammys at the same time in 1981. Cross provided the sound track to the early 1980s with Sailing and Ride Like the Wind. Later on in 2008, the current owner came across his M1 liveried in henna red with hardly any mileage on the clock. The consummate BMW fan corrected damage arising from lack of use and returned the technology to European specifications. This is the 216th unit out of a total of just 453 M1 sports cars ever built – and this unique automobile is now being seen for the first time in Europe.