Auctions and Brokerage
A World Auction Record for a BMW M1 at $440,000
The first car unveiled by the independent BMW Motorsport division, the M1 represented a radical departure for the famed German marque. Designed to do battle with Porsche in the FIA’s Group 4 category, the mid-engine BMW supercar was developed in tandem with Lamborghini, designed by influential Italian stylist Giorgetto Giugiaro and constructed by Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart.
At the heart of the state of the art supercar was BMW’s magnificent M88 engine. With chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, dry-sump lubrication, steel tube headers, and advanced Bosch Kugelfischer fuel injection, the M88 engine developed some 270 bhp in street trim – a healthy figure for a car weighing less than 2,900 lbs. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and boasting a top speed in excess of 160 mph, the M1 was one of the fastest production sports cars of its era.
Constructed in June 1980, this BMW M1 is one of only 98 examples finished in the desirable color combination of Inka Orange with black leather and Pepita cloth upholstery. As with all 399 road-going M1s, this car was factory equipped with air-conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, and a Becker Mexico stereo. Soon after completion, the M1 was exported to the US and, by August, it was sold to Rosner Motors Inc. of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
In 1989, the BMW was shipped back to Germany for its then-owner Mr. Davila, who maintained a residence in Kaiserslautern and owned a second M1, finished in white. During his ownership, the white M1 was driven regularly, while the low-mileage Inka Orange car was used sparingly and carefully preserved in as-delivered condition. When Mr. Davila passed away in 1994, the Inka Orange M1 was willed to his son Jean Paul, but remained in Germany with his brother-in-law, Dieter Badsteen, until 2008.
In fall 2008, Mr. Davila had the M1 imported to the US and subsequently registered in California. When the M1 passed the California emissions inspection in January 2009, it had amazingly covered just 4,346 km (2,700 miles) from new.
In 2011, the well-preserved BMW captured the attention of the current caretaker, a Texas collector who has owned several M1s over the past three decades. Hugely impressed by t he car’s exceptional original condition and long-term family ownership, he immediately negotiated a purchase.
Before taking delivery, the consignor sent the car to renowned BMW specialist Dinan in Mountain View, California, for a complete mechanical check over, service, and detailing. During this process, Palo Alto Speedometer converted the odometer from kilometers to miles per hour, and no expense was spared regarding the car’s preparation.
Since this work was carried out, the M1 has continued to benefit from meticulous maintenance and, as a result, remains in immaculate condition throughout, displaying almost no evidence of wear or age. Quite simply, this is as close to a showroom stock BMW M1 as one is likely to find, and it is surely one of the finest original examples in existence.
At the time of cataloguing the odometer displayed just over 2,700 miles and, consistent with its minimal use, this M1 is accompanied by its factory tool kit, a collection of NOS spare components, importation and ownership documents, Dinan service records, and a CARFAXreport. Due to its limited production and exclusivity in the US market, the M1 carries tremendous cache among collectors and, for many, is the highly sought-after missing piece in an otherwise comprehensive gathering of important supercars.
Without question, this is the finest BMW M1 Gooding & Company has ever offered for sale. With its many superlative qualities, this Inka Orange M1 is a standout example of this groundbreaking German supercar and a prize for forward-thinking collectors.