Lot 110


1981 BMW M1


€342,500 EUR | Sold

Monaco | Monaco, Monaco



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Dutch Kentekenbewijs
  • The genesis of the BMW M division’s long-lasting road car legacy
  • One of only 399 examples of the road-going BMW M1
  • Retains its matching-numbers 3.5-litre inline-six engine
  • Originally finished in Blau over a Schwarz interior, now presented in the attractive shade of Brillantrot

The famous BMW roundel has led the field in many disciplines of motorsport, and the Munich marque’s motivation to build the M1 was born out of its competitive endeavours. By the end of the 1970s, its CSL cars were losing an edge against Porsche’s new 935, and BMW needed a mid-engined chassis to fit its twin-cam 3.5-litre six-cylinder engine. BMW’s Motorsport division first contacted Lamborghini for help needed but by April 1978 the project had been taken in house. The wedge design was styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro and built in Italy along with the chassis, prior to final assembly taking place at Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart. The resulting product—badged as the BMW M1, and sold from 1978 to 1981—is widely coveted to this day as a rare piece of BMW history.

The example offered here was completed by the factory on 9 October 1980 and delivered to BMW France S.A. four days later. Originally finished in Blau over a Schwarz interior, the M1 now presents in Brillantrot with a black leather interior. The BMW is understood to have been exported to the United States at an unknown point, where it is likely to have been fitted with an odometer displaying in miles, which is currently fitted. After returning to Europe, the BMW was exported to Singapore in March 2011, where it has remained until returning to Europe to be offered at auction. According to factory data, this M1 retains its matching-numbers engine. Bidders should note that at the time of cataloguing, the speedometer was not working so the odometer reading cannot be verified. In April 2024, the BMW was serviced by Real Art on Wheels in Burgerveen, the Netherlands, with the invoice totalling €6,253 (available to view on file).

A legend of BMW design and performance, enthusiasts of the marque need look no further than RM Sotheby’s auction in Munich—the home of BMW—for the opportunity to acquire this attractively presented M1.