A rare BMW M1 prototype crossed the auction block over the weekend with a very unique story behind it.
While any M1 is rare, as just 453 units were ever built, this version in question is particularly special as it has been extensively modified and on October 17, 1981, apparently broke the 300 km/h (186 mph) barrier during a campaign to promote BP’s Autogas product.
Italdesign was tasked with working its magic on the original M1’s exterior but this example features a plethora of custom body panels, including huge NACA ducts on both sides. The car’s rear also looks drastically different than any other M1 and supports a large wing stretching between the rear wheel arches. Wing mirrors have also been smoothly incorporated into the bodywork and there are also distinct wheels and tires.
Rarity doesn’t cheap
The car started out life as a regular 1979 BMW M1 before it underwent any comprehensive modifications.
On the engine front, the 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine was fitted with a pair of KKK turbochargers which boosted power from 273 hp up to a potent 410 hp. This impressive grunt made the car an absolute animal and far faster than the standard car.
Coys Auction says that the car was unearthed from a garage in East London after being lost for approximately 25 years.
The mid-engine model was penciled in to be auctioned off on Saturday but at the time of writing, the auction house had yet to say if the car was sold and how much it may have sold for. Pre-auction estimates indicated it could sell for as much as £250,000 (327,000).