$500,000 BMW M1 unearthed from Italian shed

By: Andy Enright, Unique Cars magazine

BMW M1 1702 That's no way to treat an M1! BMW M1 1702
BMW M1 front 1702 Some air in the tyres and a quick hose-down and it looks ready to go. BMW M1 front 1702

Low miler is one of just 435

GERMAN BMW dealer and specialist Mint Classics has unearthed a 1981 BMW M1 that has been gathering dust in an Italian garage for more than three decades.

The new owners claim that the M1 was parked and hasn’t turned a wheel since 1982. With the original tyres still fitted, the car’s odometer shows a youthful 7392 km on the clock.

As the pictures show, the M1, worth in excess of $500,000, was liberally buried in boxes and other household junk, yet a thick layer of dust and a sturdy glassfibre body appears to have protected it from the worst environmental excesses. In fact, after just a cursory clean and refresh, the car emerged looking surprisingly presentable.

Despite the recent fad for survivor condition cars, Mint Classics intends to bring the M1 back to showroom condition, which doesn’t appear too difficult.

Although production of the M1 ended 35 years ago, its reputation as one of the finest driver’s cars of its era remains undimmed and auction prices of good examples have skyrocketed in recent years.

Just 435 units were ever built, BMW having to rescue the tooling when the originally commissioned builder, Lamborghini, suddenly fell into bankruptcy.

Although for some years the M1’s twin-cam 3.5-litre six-cylinder engine was viewed by investors as an impediment to it being bracketed in the top drawer of 70s/80s supercar royalty, BMW’s only mid-engined road car is now very much perceived as the real deal. Chancing upon one in a suburban lock up? Well, that’s priceless.

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