Amelia Island | Lot 180
1980 BMW M1
$417,500 USD | Sold
| Amelia Island, Florida
22 May 2021
- The 348th of 399 roadgoing examples produced
- Imported the US in 1984; acquired by the consignor in 1987
- Retains numbers-matching engine per accompanying BMW Classic certificate
- Wears its factory-correct colors of White over a Black interior
Like all good things in life, BMW’s motivation to build the M1 came from motorsport: The marque’s aging CSLs were no match for Porsche’s new 935, and BMW needed a mid-engined chassis to fit its twin-cam 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine. BMW’s Motorsport division contacted Lamborghini for help in homologating the proposed car, as 400 examples were needed. The wedge design was provided by Giorgetto Giugiaro’s ItalDesign firm, and final assembly took place at Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart.
Completed on 27 May 1980 and finished in White with a Black leather and cloth interior, this M1 was delivered to a Frankfurt, Germany BMW dealer for retail. A copy of the car’s original registration indicates it was purchased by its first owner of record on 16 September 1980 and registered to their electronics company.
By November 1984, the car had been imported to the United States, with federalization and emissions modifications completed by South Coast Compliance of Santa Ana, California. The car’s gauge cluster is believed to have been converted at this time. In 1987, this M1 was acquired by the consignor from a Los Angeles, California enthusiast and has remained fastidiously cared for and seldom driven. It is now offered for the first time in over 35 years, wearing its factory-correct colors and having covered fewer than 3,075 additional miles while within the consignor’s collection.
Since 2018, the consignor has lavished over $50,000 USD on the vehicle; notable work completed by Korman Autoworks in Greensboro, North Carolina includes an overhaul of the car’s fuel injection system, highlighted by the removal and refurbishment of the car’s original fuel tanks. Additional servicing included a similar level of care provided to the car’s brakes and electrical system. After a complete fluid flush and filter replacement, this M1’s interior was fitted with new cabin speakers and meticulously reconditioned.
In October of 2019, Korman returned the car to its factory-correct White exterior, refinished its distinctive Giugiaro-designed wheels, and shod them in a fresh set of Michelin Sport tires. This M1 is now accompanied by a matching spare wheel, service invoices, historic documentation, and a BMW Classic certificate confirming the presence of its numbers-matching engine.
Only 455 M1s were produced between 1978 and 1981, a number comprising 399 road and 56 race cars. Relatively few were imported into the United States, and as such, they remain somewhat elusive on these shores—furthering the desire held for them in the hearts of BMW enthusiasts.