1979 BMW M1

Now here is something you just don't see everyday.

This thing easily ranks as one of the coolest cars of all time.

The M1 was originally intended to be a racecar, but in order to qualify for the World Championship, BMW made a limited production run of just 456 units between 1978 and 1981.

The body was styled by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro and is absolutely awesome looking. Giugiaro was among the first to embrace the now-classic "wedge" shape for supercars, and the M1 stands as a fine example of that trend. The wedge is perhaps the ultimate expression of the dominating form over function design philosophy of the 20th century, as the rear-engine design requires large tail ends which taper to slim front noses that hold just spare tires or luggage. For the M1, Giugiaro followed this formula exactly, but used BMW design language. The results are stunning. I also like the apparent thrift with the reuse of E24 6-series taillights.

This example looks appropriately moody in dark blue over black. The BBS wheels look fine, but I prefer the stock alloys which mimic the louvers and air vents on the body and keep with the ultra-mod-deco vibe of the overall car. In one photo, they appear to be in the trunk, but the seller makes no mention of them.

Underneath the metal lay a rear-mid positioned twin-cam M88 3.5-liter inline 6-cylinder engine producing around 274 horsepower, with a top speed of 160 mph. Handling and performance must have been incredible.

The seller of this example says this was 11th chassis and 16th car built, making it an even more rare early example. They say it was completed in December of 1978 and was retained by BMW for promotional purposes, before it ended up in California by at least 1981. They state the odometer reads a mere 23,723 miles, but they say it runs great. They also say the car has factory air conditioning, a nice feature if you live in warmer climates.

Interestingly, one could consider the M1 a flash in the pan for BMW. As influential and iconic as it has become, it's so far their only mass-produced rear-engine car.

This is a special opportunity to buy an extremely rare, desirable, and beautiful automobile that performed as good as it looks. The seller is asking $195,000 but has the auction starting at around $50k with reserve. Hemmings CPI Value Guide estimates a 1979-1980 M1 Coupe to be worth $71,175 in fair shape, $115,000 in good shape and $191,500 in excellent shape.

Find it here on ebay in Astoria, New York.

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