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The M1 Is BMW’s Solitary Supercar

The M1 was originally conceived as a joint Lamborghini-BMW project that would produce a race car with enough street units to meet homologation rules for Group 4 racing. Trouble was, Lamborghini found itself in financial straits and the fellows up in Munich were thus left to finish the M1 on their own. What resulted was a Giugiaro-designed, mid-engined marvel that ended up being the fastest production car of its time. 

Alas, by the time the M1 was ready to run, Group 4 rules had changed and BMW found itself with a car but without a race. And so, in 1979, the head of BMW Motorsport conjured up a single-make championship that would use nothing but M1s. The BMW M1 ProCar Championship, which folded in 1980, may have been short-lived, but its flared-fendered M1s—driven by Formula One legends like Emerson Fittipaldi, Niki Lauda, Mario Andretti, Hans-Joachim Stuck, and Nelson Piquet—have become racing icons.