1979 BMW M1 E26
In the mid 1970’s Jochen Neerpasch, head of BMW’s Motorsports division, had the idea to build an all new mid-engine, low production sports car. BMW AG approved this E26 M1 design in 1976 and the project was underway. The idea was to show that BMW could build a true sports car that could compete with Porsche and Ferrari on the road and a purpose built competition car for racing in Group 4 and Group 5 on the track. 450 M1s were built between 1979 and 1981; 400 road cars and 50 competition Pro cars. BMW initially contracted Lamborghini to assemble the cars with the engines shipped from BMW in Munich. Unfortunately, Lamborghini was suffering from financial trouble and could not preform, therefore, BMW switched production to Ital Design in Turin, Italy. Final assembly was done by Bauer Coachworks in Stuttgart, then delivered to BMW Motorsports Division in Munich, Germany.
As a support race for Formula One, The Pro Car Series had Grand Prix Drivers at the wheel which brought BMW recognition as a true sports car manufacturer. The M1 was also the first of its “M” series cars. A true icon in the super car world.
The M1 is a mid-engine, tube frame and special build sports car. It was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design Firm. The body is made with lightweight fiberglass and the tube frame of steel construction. Total weight is 2860 lbs. The M88 Series, inline 6 cylinder, 24 valve, 3.5 Liter engine, has a Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection and a dry sump system. It produces 277 BHP. It is known for its lightweight, good power, nimble responsive handling and blending of Italian design and BMW engineering.
Restored at a cost of $200,000—by BMW specialist The Werk Shop in Libertyville, Illinois completed in 2015. To include engine rebuild, transmission rebuild, body and paint, interior and more, for client Bobby Rahal. All receipts and photographs available for review.
Has BMW Factory Certificate showing build on April 25, 1979. Delivered to BMW Motorsport on June 29, 1979.
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