Lot 15

2014   |   Amelia Island Auction 2014

1980 BMW M1

SOLD $379,500


$325,000 - $375,000


(VIN) WBS59910004301385

Car Highlights

The Original BMW “M” Car
One of Only 399 Road Cars Built
Impressively Maintained and Documented Example
Single-Family Ownership for Three Decades
Approximately 25,000 Miles from New
Offered with Tool Kit, Service Records, and CARFAX Report
An Important Piece of BMW History

Technical Specs

3,453 CC DOHC M88/1 Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Kugelfischer Mechanical Fuel Injection
277 BHP at 6,500 RPM
5-Speed Manual ZF Transaxle
4-Wheel Vented Disc Brakes
4-Wheel Independent Coil-Spring Suspension
Register to Bid

Offered for public sale for the first time in over three decades, this M1 is a very special example of BMW’s original supercar.

One of 163 road-going examples finished in white, this M1 was originally imported to the US by Brian Cartier and converted to US specifications by Albert Mardikian of Trend Imports in Santa Ana, California. A well-known automotive engineer and businessman, Mardikian was an innovator in the importation and federalization of many high-end European exotics and even campaigned a race-prepared M1 in the IMSA sports car racing series.

As evidenced by a state of California Trip Permit dated December 20, 1983, the M1 was eventually sold to a noted BMW enthusiast living in Colorado. Over the next three decades, the white M1 remained a centerpiece of an ever-evolving single-marque collection and was thoroughly enjoyed by its enthusiastic owner.

Throughout this time, the M1 was regularly driven and meticulously maintained by authorized BMW dealer Winslow Motors and Colorado Springs-area specialists Concours Cars, Import Auto Technicians, and Mondino Imports Inc. An extensive file of service receipts dating back to March 1986 accompany the sale of the M1 and testify to the impressive attention to detail this car has received in the hands of its long-term caretaker.

Thanks to three decades of attentive stewardship, this M1remains in very good original condition throughout and, unlike many examples, shows no significant signs of mechanical or cosmetic modification.

At the time of cataloguing, the M1 has covered approximately 25,000 miles and, consistent with its sparing use and continuous maintenance, it is accompanied by its factory tool kit, various ownership and registration documents, a selection of BMW M1 Club e.V. literature, a selection of period road tests, and a CARFAX vehicle history report.

One of the most exclusive postwar BMWs, the M1 maintains an important place in the marque’s history and has already begun to attract the attention of discerning collectors. Like the legendary Porsche 911 Carrera RS and BMW 3.0 CSL, the M1 was a limited-production homologation special that served as a showcase for the latest advances in sports car design and offered enthusiastic drivers race car performance for the road.

Considering its inherent rarity, mechanical sophistication, and historic import, the M1 is a fascinating modern classic that should hold great appeal for forward-thinking collectors. A superb example in every respect, this exceptional BMW supercar warrants a closer look.

The M1

The first car unveiled by the independent BMW Motorsport division, the M1 represented a radical departure for the famed Bavarian marque. Designed to do battle with Porsche at the height of international endurance racing, the mid-engine BMW supercar was developed in cooperation with Lamborghini, designed by influential Italian stylist Giorgetto Giugiaro and constructed by Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart.

The M1 was an extremely capable and well- rounded sports car that featured a Marchese-built tube-frame chassis, lightweight GRP bodywork, large vented disc brakes, Campagnolo wheels, a five-speed ZF transaxle, and fully independent suspension as well as luxury amenities, such as air-conditioning and power windows.

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- timed mechanical fuel injection, the M88 engine developed 277 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.