Meet The Man Who Builds BMW M1 Procars From Spare Parts

The BMW M1 Procar took the German brand’s wedge-shaped supercar and modified it for a short-lived, yet exciting racing series. The top Formula One drivers competed in the one-make championship for the 1979 and 1980 seasons. Fritz Wagner was among the mechanics wrenching on those race cars. Using spare parts, he has managed to rebuild several of them.

Like all race cars, there came a point where the M1 was no longer competitive. Wagner still had a passion for these machines, though. When parts broke on them, he started purchasing the pieces.

Gallery: 1978 BMW M1








He now has a workshop with a huge collection of M1 parts. The components run the gamut from nuts and bolts to engine blocks and even whole bodies.

He eventually had enough pieces to reconstruct entire M1 Procars. The video doesn’t specify, but it looks like he has at least three of them. Plus, the Jägermeister-sponsored example looks mostly complete. The collection includes Nelson Piquet’s race car, and Wagner says he’s willing to sell the vehicle to the former F1 champion.

In addition to the Procars, Wagner owns the M1 prototype that Lamborghini built. In the video he mentions a desire to convert it to run on hydrogen.

The M1 started as a collaboration with Lamborghini. When the Italian automaker dropped out, BMW continued with the project. The design was among the wedge shapes that Giorgetto Giugiaro created during his time at Italdesign. A mid-mounted 3.5-liter inline-six pumped out 273 horsepower (204 kilowatts).

Compared to the road-going version, the Procar pushed the engine output to 470 hp (351 kW). The body was wider to fit broader wheels, and an adjustable wing attached to the rear deck. A revised suspension and upgraded brakes were also part of the package.

Niki Lauda won the 1979 season of the M1 Procar series. Nelson Piquet was the champion in 1980.

Production of the road cars and racers totaled just 453 units. Assembly ran from 1978 to 1981.

In 2008, BMW revived the hypercar’s name for the model’s 30th anniversary by creating the one-off M1 Hommage concept. It featured a design evoking the original but with a more exaggerated appearance. The pop-up headlights were gone, too.

Source: BMW Group Classic

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