The BMW M1: a Race Car That Couldn't Go Racing | Revelations — Ep. 29 - Hagerty Media

The E26-chassis BMW M1 — the first car ever from a new subsidiary of BMW, creatively called “BMW Motorsport” — is one of few cars ever produced that started out as a race car and then was developed into a road car solely for homologation purposes.

Cars developed this way are in ultra-exclusive rarified air, but the M1’s development was so fraught with problems that it was never allowed to go racing.

However, the car’s fundamentals were spectacular, from its beautiful Giugiaro design to its powerful BMW M88 straight-six to its Lamborghini-Dallara racing chassis. It received nearly universal acclaim — as quick as the 12-cylinder Ferrari 512 BB and the Lamborghini Countach, but civilized and docile to drive.

The difficulties in getting production ramped up mainly were the fault of Lamborghini, which went bankrupt during the development after misappropriating funds received both from BMW for the M1 and from the U.S. government to develop an off-road military vehicle and then being sued for copying another company’s work.

BMW was able to break into the factory overnight and retrieve its parts and tooling and move production elsewhere. But the car was never produced in enough numbers to participate in FIA Group 4 and FIA Group 5 racing — the classes for which it was conceived.

As a race car first and foremost, it is the purest expression of any car created by BMW Motorsport GmbH — and its impact has trickled down into every car M puts its badge on today, which is, to say, the majority of cars that BMW produces.

Its backstory was a disaster, but the M1 itself is one of the most incredible cars of its time.

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    Ok, a few weeks ago I received an invitation from Hagerty to attend a webinar on 16 March for a discussion regarding valuations of BMW M cars. The link to that program is nowhere to be found on any of the multitude of uncoordinated sites promulgated by Hagerty. Instead, I find supposedly cute drivel like this apparently dissing the M1. No thanks.

    Thank you so much for the fun and informative video . . . it shows how even the methodical Germans can mis-read the market. More please!

    Yesterday’s (8 May) issue of Hagerty Media Watchlist featured a link to a video entitled “Tesla of the 80’s”. But when I clicked on it it to a story about BMW. Bad link?

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