After much success in racing during the 70’s, BMW needed a car to replace the aging 3.0 CSL. BMW decided to scrap their previous front-engine, rear-wheel drive platforms and instead use the more sophisticated mid-engine layout.
The M1 was a costly project that was set to put BMW on top of the supercar world. They did this by employing the best people the industry. The design was handed over to Giorgio Giugiaro of Ital Design while construction and manufacturing was headed by Lamborghini.
Racing of the M1 was hindered due to the massive amounts of cars required for homologation (400). To solve this problem, BMW started their own Procar league in which F1 drivers completed in races which followed the F1 schedule. The Procar league was the answer to BMW’s slumping sales and race history.
The car featured above is one that received a custom paint job from Andy Warhal. When creating the car, Warhol wanted to paint his idea of speed in motion. This very car was raced at the 1979 Lemans to take sixth position overall. The car resides in BMW’s collection, even with huge offers, BMW refuses to sell it.
Frank Stella 1979 BMW M1 Pro-car 9430-1053 – sold for $854,000 More than 35 years after the instigation of the BMW ‘Art Car’ project, a time during which the BMW brand has gone from strength to strength, there is still only one ‘Art Car’ that was completed by a BMW ‘factory’ artist that exists outside the company’s own collection. This car, the Stella designed Peter Gregg M1 Procar. The paintwork is still original to the car, and while the white on which it is based has gained the tinge of primrose that gives it a warmer tone than it might have once been, the artwork on top remains vivid as evidenced from the recently taken overhead view of the car in preparation for the auction. The nose spoiler and lower sill panels of the car have accrued minor road rash over the course of the last 30 years, but not excessively and not detracting from the artwork. The interior complete with those Black Watch tartan seats have apparent age, but little wear.