Meticulous 3,000-hour multi-year restoration BMW M1 @ Worldwide Auctioneers

Meticulous 3,000-hour multi-year restoration BMW M1 @ Worldwide Auctioneers

1980 BMW M1
With rebuilt original engine and tubing system
Restored using NOS parts exclusively from BMW
1 of only 453 examples produced
Just over 11,000 original miles
Matching numbers, one of the finest restored M1 examples available

M1 is a snapshot of BMW at its absolute pinnacle. It captures the ferocious, angular styling cues of its generation and it represents the inauguration of the premium BMW M “Motorsport” division, which still keeps us coming back for more, yet nothing has rivaled it since. It is BMW’s one and only supercar. Only 453 were ever produced and 53 of those were built for the racetrack. With just over 11,000 original miles and over 3,000 hours in loving restoration, this incredible example is easily one of the finest restored BMW M1's available.

Jochen Neerpasch, director of BMW’s newly created Motorsports factory racing program in the 1970s, had dreamed of a mid-engine racecar that would outclass the competition, but he needed 400 production cars to make this vision a reality due to regulations. With increasing demand to manufacture road cars for the world market, BMW lacked the capacity to meet that magic number. So, Neerpasch looked to Italy. Chassis production and development were undertaken by mid-engine guru Lamborghini while Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign firm, fresh off the Maserati Bora and Lotus Esprit, were charged with styling. BMW delivered a 3.5-litre, straight-six powertrain, inspired by its successful competition CSL. 

The result mounted longitudinally into a tubular space frame and boasted 274 horsepower through its upside-down five-speed gearbox. Equipped with a 3,454cc dual-overhead-cam, straight-six Kugelfischer-Bosch mechanical fuel injection engine with 274 horsepower and 6500 rpm that shifts through a rear-wheel drive, five-speed manual gearbox, it brakes with vented discs and boasts control arms with coil springs for suspension and is outfitted with anti-roll bars in the front and rear.

Meanwhile, Lamborghini landed in a financial quagmire during development and a few of their engineers jumped ship to form Italengineering where the chassis was finally completed. The fiberglass bodies were fitted to the frame by Italdesign and Baur completed the final assembly by hand in Stuttgart. After U.S. federalization requirements were completed, the BMW M1 would fetch a whopping $115,000. With less than 400 manufactured for the open road, the M1 disappeared from the market with the speed to match its performance. Dennis Collins had always been enamored with the M1 and when the opportunity came knocking, he leapt at the chance to procure this low 18,621 original kilometres (11,570 miles), accident-free example.

Featured on his popular YouTube Channel, Coffee Walk, Dennis chronicled the restoration of this rare supercar, which included over 3,000 hours of restoration that this already pristine car benefited from. The result is a fantasticlly restored M1. Although the car had never seen so much as a scratch, the previous owner had kept the prized M1 under cover, which had adhered to a few spots of paint. With a mission of restoring the finest BMW M1 in existence, Collins opted to strip the car to its body and repaint it entirely in the original color. The captivating black beltline, trim and rivets were refinished to obsessively exacting standards. The pristine original interior is present and has undergone a full detail. 

The original mid-engine and powertrain was also given the ultimate treatment and were restored with a high level of detail that included a new tubing system and replacement of all necessary components that were sourced as new old stock directly from BMW in Germany. Anything that was unavailable from the rare supercar was manufactured to exact specifications by BMW. Every restored component has been accurately cadmium- or zinc-plated to original specifications. The powertrain alone is worthy of a world-class showroom. While this low-mileage M1 was not in need of a ground-up restoration, every possible detail and function it needed was conducted with absolutely meticulous care on this rare supercar.

It is BMW’s one true supercar and is about as rare as it gets for the marque. The restoration has been a true labor of love and the finished product resulted in one of the finest restored BMW M1s available.


Worldwide Auctioneers Auburn Auction - August 31 - September 2

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