This 1980 BMW M1 Is a Firm Reminder of the Good Ol’ Days - story fullscreen Fullscreen

This 1980 BMW M1 Is a Firm Reminder of the Good Ol’ Days

Even with 30,000 miles on the odometer, this M1 is in pristine condition

Being the only mid-engined Bimmer ever produced for the road, the M1 is not only unique but also extremely rare, since it was limited to just 453 examples. Built between 1978-1981, the M1 is an articulation of Italian and German technology. While Dallara developed the chassis, the fiberglass body was designed by Giugiaro. The heart of the matter, the M88 engine, was developed by Paul Rosche, the then technical head of the Motorsport division. As the homologation model of the FIA Group 5 race car, the M1 was wicked fast on the road but did not receive the attention it needed at the time. Today, however, the M1 can go for crazy money, and the one you see here is a perfect example.

BMW’s first mid-engined supercar still is a beauty

This 1980 BMW M1 Is a Firm Reminder of the Good Ol' Days
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This 1980 model of the M1 is painted in black, and the design speaks its Italian roots. The exterior features pop-up headlights, a front splitter, good-old tiny kidney grilles, quarter panels vents, and dual exhaust tips. The Campagnolo wheels measure 16 inches and are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 rubber. For a 42-year-old supercar, the M1 looks pretty neat with no paint blemishes and rusting. Peter Gleeson, a BMW collector, imported it before the seller acquired the M1 in 2022.

This 1980 BMW M1 Is a Firm Reminder of the Good Ol' Days
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Inside this 1980 M1 are black leather upholstered seats with checkered cloth trim in the center. Both the door panels and headliner have similar embellishments for a more streamlined appearance. The leather dashboard holds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Becker Mexico cassette stereo, and AC vents. Other notable cabin features include power windows and air conditioning.

BMW’s race-bred engine for the road-going supercar

This 1980 BMW M1 Is a Firm Reminder of the Good Ol' Days
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This M1 is powered by a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated straight-six engine, code-named M88. This mid-mounted engine cranks 277 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, through the rear wheels, via a five-speed manual gearbox. The engine features 24 valves in total, a DOHC setup, Kugelfischer-Bosch fuel injectors, dry-sump lubrication, and six individual throttle bodies. However, the engine is not in perfect condition as an oil leak from the right output shaft has been noted, along with the battery tray corrosion. In addition, the odometer reads a mere 30,000 miles, which is pretty low mileage for a car over four decades old.

What makes the BMW M1 unique?

This 1980 BMW M1 Is a Firm Reminder of the Good Ol' Days
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The M1 was BMW M division’s first M-exclusive car and was produced between 1978-1981. BMW partnered with Lamborghini to give the M1 an Italian flare, but the Italian carmaker fell flat on its face due to its financial struggles, which led to the breakage of the contract. So the Dallara-designed chassis was later built by Marchesi, and Transformazione Italiana Resina continued the Giugiaro-designed bodywork. All 453 examples of the M1 were handmade and sent to the Munich plant for assembly and final inspections. Only 399 specimens of the M1 were sold as road-going cars, and the remaining 53 were made for motorsport.

Source: Bring a Trailer

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Automotive Journalist
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 23 years old.  Read full bio
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