1980 BMW M1 Procar
The BMW M1 Procar
BMW introduced the M1 at the 1978 Paris Motor Show and it was the German manufacturers latest and greats GT weapon. The M1 road car was built from 1978 to 1981 with a tubular steel space frame designed by the automotive genius, Gianpaolo Dallara, and a fibreglass body that was penned by the great Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign.
The M1 was the first car powered by an engine developed by BMW Motorsport, with a 3,453 cc M88 inline six-cylinder engine. Fuel was supplied by a Kugelfischer-Bosch mechanical pump with a Magneti-Marelli ignition system. With its six individual throttle bodies, twin-cams and four valves per cylinder, the M88 engine in road specification produced 273 bhp. Power was delivered to the rear wheels though a five-speed manual gearbox by ZF with a 40% locking limited slip rear differential.
BMW Motorsport boss, Jochen Neerpasch, and Max Mosely shared a great friendship, and after three gin and tonics in a then-popular bar in Munich, the pair spawned the idea of putting the five fastest Formula One drivers from practise in a race against a selection of the very best sports and touring car drivers in identical BMW M1 Procars during the a Grand Prix weekend. Having convinced Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula 1 world of the idea, the BMW board signed off on the budget to have 25 M1 Procars built for the first race at Zolder in 1979.
Paul Rosche, BMW’s head of engine development, set to work enhancing the M1’s engine, now given the engine code M88/1. Thanks to experience with the M49 four-valve cylinder head of the CSL racing coupe and the four-valve Formula 2 engine, the team focussed improvement on the cylinder head development. Engine power increased drastically from the standard 273 bhp to over 470 bhp, with the engine pulling more than 9,000 rpm!
The bodywork saw larger, flared and more aggressive wheel arches, and deeper front splitter and a large rear wing for downforce.
This BMW M1 Procar
The fabulous BMW M1 being offered here, chassis no 1195, is the thirty-sixth Procar built and was sold new to American race driver, Joe Crevier. Having started racing competitively in 1979 at the Riverside 6 Hours with a Daytona 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’, Crevier was looking for something faster and more competitive for the 1982 IMSA GTO Championship, and this M1 Procar was the perfect tool for the job.
The first race he entered with this BMW was the Riverside Six Hours in April 1981, sharing driving responsibilities with Al Unser Jnr. Born in April 1962, Unser Jr was an up and coming talented racing driver, and would go on to win the Indianapolis 500 twice, in 1992 and 1994. In 1984, Unser Jr was crowned Can-Am champion and in 1990 and 1994 also claimed the CART Indy Car World Series title.
In its debut event, and finished in the same maroon colour with blue and white stripes as it is presented today, this BMW M1 finished third in class in the IMSA GTO Championship and over the remainder of the 1981 championship, would claim a further four podium results with second place finishes at the Monterey Triple Crown at Laguna Seca, and the Red Roof Inns GT 200-Mile Mid-Ohio race in May. Throughout the 1981 season, this M1 Procar entered, eleven rounds of the fiercely competitive IMSA GTO Championship.
After such strong and consistent results throughout the 1981 season, Crevier chose to enter the 1982 IMSA GTO Championship with this M1 Procar. The first round of the Championship was the gruelling 24 Hours of Daytona International Speedway where this M1 Procar was assigned its 1982 season race number, 21. After being classified 19th, the next race for Crevier with this M1 Procar was the 12 Hours of Sebring, where he shared driving duties with Fassler and Zeigler. After an intense 12 hours of battling, this BMW M1 Procar crossed the line a respectable eight in class.
In April 1982, another endurance race beckoned, the 6 Hour Toyota Grand Prix of Endurance at the Riverside International Raceway in California, before this M1 Procar returned to the podium in May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway 500 with a second place finish, and a third place finish at the Red Roof Inns Camel GT Sprint at Mid-Ohio. The final race for this BMW M1 Procar was the 1982 Coca-Cola 400 at Lime Rock where Joe Crevier finished fourth in class, again wearing race number 21.
The following year, Crevier sold this M1 Procar to Don Walker of Dallas Motorsport who also competed in several rounds of the IMSA GTO Championship before the car returned to Europe with a Swiss collector in 1987. In 2000 this M1 Procar was sold to a Norwegian Ferrari and Alfa Romeo specialist, before being bought by the renowned competition car specialist, Graber Sportgarage in Switzerland in 2006.
Under the ownership of competition car restorers and race car specialists Graber Sportgarage, this BMW M1 Procar was full restored from the ground up. This restoration is documented with many images showing the painstaking lengths Graber Sportgarage went to, ensuring that this BMW was the very best once complete. The works are documented over eleven pages, outlining every task undertaken, with the invoice totalling CHF 171,603. The result was, and still is, exceptional.
Having changed hands to anther Swiss collector, this M1 Procar returned to competition in the Peter Auto organised CER 2 (Classic Endurance Racing) Championship between 2009 and 2011, including racing at the 2010 Le Mans Classic, wearing race no. 70, always being maintained and serviced by Graber Sportgarage.
In 2012, this M1 Procar was purchased by its current owner, a connoisseur of competition cars, sharing a garage with a Sauber C9 Group C, Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Comeptizione and Ferrari 512 BB LM, to name a few. During this ownership, Graber Sportgarage have remained responsible for the maintenance and track preparation of this BMW, competing regularly in the CER 2 series across Europe with FIA papers renewed in January 2017. Invoices for works carried out by Graber Sportgarage are on file and show considerable and unquestioned investment in the maintenance and preparation of this M1 Procar.
Today, this BMW M1 Procar is offered with valid FIA papers, and in race-ready condition. With only fifty-four M1 Procars produced, this example with period IMSA competition history represents a rare opportunity to obtain one of the most eligible and iconic competition cars. You don’t have to imagine what it would be like to race this car around the famed Le Mans circuit, this is your opportunity to race a BMW M1 Procar at the Le Mans Classic this year! But perhaps you prefer the banking of Daytona, or North America’s oldest sports car racing facility, Sebring? Not to worry, this M1 Procar is your ticket to race at those events also!
An opportunity not to be missed.
Price Upon Request
Price Upon Request