One of the most under reported and interesting races are the historic car races still happening around the world. Most recently at the Nürburgring 24h, the Classics undertook a classic 3h endurance race on the Nordschleife in Germany.

One car stood out from the impressive line-up and it is good to see that the Nelson Piquet 1980 car was on show at the 2010 ADAC Zurich 24h Classic race with a respectable best laptime on the Nordschleife and the GP circuit of 9:28.

This line of historic BMW M1s were produced by German automaker BMW from 1978 to 1981 and were the only mid-engined BMWs to be mass produced.

In the late 1970s, Italian manufacturer Lamborghini entered into a contract with BMW to build a production racing car in sufficient quantity for homologation into Group 4.

The result was the hand-builtM1 coupe that was sold to the public from 1978 to 1981 under the Motorsport division of BMW.

The engine had six separate throttle butterflies, four valves per cylinder, and produced 277 PS (204 kW; 273 hp) in the street version, providing a top speed of 260 km/h (160 mph).

Turbocharged racing versions (this being one of them) were capable of producing around 850 hp (634 kW). The picture above is the same car Nelson Piquet drove with BMW M1 in 1980 at the Nürburgring, and the best reported time for the Nordschleife was an amazing 7:24. This was good compared to the current lap times of the Gumpert Apollo which is 7:11.

Only 456 production M1s were built, making it one of BMW’s rarest models. The spirit of the M1 lived on in the first ever M5, as both models shared the same, albeit slightly modified, engine.

Tony Dewhurst
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (577) posted on 05.24.2011

First thing, racing car are not meant to be beautiful but when talking about the speed performance of this car. I would say that it has an amazing speed.

  (938) posted on 08.12.2010

the m1 is really a great super car, it’s sharp looking front end really generates less drag and it can easily cut through air.

  (1332) posted on 05.31.2010

The m1 is one of the best sports car. Specially when running on full throttle. You can even hear the piston banging on the valves.

  (257) posted on 05.30.2010

I’ve heard that the M1 won various successes in motorsports. InSports Car International named the car number ten on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s.

  (797) posted on 05.30.2010

The m1 is really a great super car, it’s sharp looking front end really generates less drag and it can easily cut through air.

  (815) posted on 05.27.2010

Cool, isn’t it? With an old sport car has joined the 24h race. I hope all it’s compartments and parts can still perform well.

  (406) posted on 05.26.2010

I’m pretty sure this m1 perform well on the 24 Hr race as the m3 perform.

Car Finder: