1977 was a memorable year for the automotive world when car manufacturers BMW and Lamborghini joined forces, which subsequently led to the creation of the 1980 BMW M1. Since its production in the 80s to the present day, the historic vehicle has seen many distinguished owners.
No one could have foreseen two of the greatest automobile companies, BMW and Lamborghini partnering up to build a much sought after car. The M1 was designed to be a mid-engined supercar in the ‘Group 5’ Sportscar segment and came supporting a 3.5 litre, 24 valve straight-six engine. Lamborghini’s designer Gianpaolo Dallara gave the chassis its unique design and a total of 400 road cars along with 7 prototypes were built to approve M1’s usage. Taking into consideration Lamborghini’s risky finances of 1978, BMW decided to hand-build the car in its Motorsport Division in Munich. Paul Rosche, first head of BMW’s Motorsport, developed its classic engine by combining it with a mechanical fuel injection by Kugelfischer Bosch and an ignition system by Magneti-Marelli. Offering a spell-binding 277 bhp, it utilized its 5-speed ZF transmission in boosting the car to a velocity of 162 mph.
A total of 453 models were produced and hand-built by Baur. 53 of these were meant solely for motorsport while the remaining 400 were left-hand drive cars for regular ownership. The specific BMW M1 model in discussion has its own unique history. During the month of February in the year 1980, this car came into the ownership of a Franz Reuther of Berlin. Famously known as ‘Frank Farian’, he was best recognised as a German producer who founded the pop band Boney M. Gaining inspiration from the wide set and sporty looking BMW Procar M1, he decided to have BMW Motorsport modify the car accordingly and change its previous more conventional and slender body into a more appealing broader body. The customized body still remains as it is and this modification has made it even more collectible and sought after. After Frank Farian, the lucky individual to own the car was Edwin Schwedka from Friedrichsdorf, who retained its possession till November 2008. The third owner was Frank Jenner from Belgium who later relinquished the owning rights to BMW’s German vendor. It still looks very much like the original form, except for the customizations, and remains in good shape.
Boasting the 17” split-rim period wheels and its original Becker Mexico audio system with a Clarion graphic equaliser, it still plays all of the Boney M hit tracks as an ode to its first owner. Amid its exhibition at Salon Privé’s Concours event, the legendary 1980 BMW M1 claimed two awards. It was awarded the ‘Owner’s Choice Award’ for best in show and a second position in the 1970s group. The car comes with its own extensive file documenting its history, the Fahrzeugbrief. The NOVA is used to make sure that its taxes are all paid and is registered in the United Kingdom. The car still delivers its high-performance as it did in its early days and is scheduled to next be exhibited at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, from Friday, 30th October to Thursday, 12th November. Viewers can expect to see the 1980 M1 model in top-notch condition, painted in an appealing red and priced at £385,000 (INR 3.69 crore) – £435,000 (INR 4.17 crore).
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