Already in the 1970s, the BMW racers sported eye-catching paint finishes that delighted the public. Probably the best-known Art Cars were the BMW 320i, designed by artist Roy Lichtenstein in 1977, and the BMW M1 from 1979 with an unmistakably colorful design by Andy Warhol.
Le Mans veteran Marcel Mignot was behind the wheel of these strikingly painted racing cars on both occasions. In 1980, the Frenchman again took a seat in an Art Car – this time in the M1 presented by BMW France with a “Carte de France” paint finish. From the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the largest roads and BMW branches in the country and of course Le Mans as a highlight on the public's favorite could be admired.
Mignot and his teammates Didier Pironi from Italy and Dieter Quester from Austria managed to drive the conspicuous car in 14th place overall and fourth place in the IMSA class. As the fastest BMW in this category, they were even able to beat the works team from Munich.
After another strong performance by six BMW M1s in 1981, the manufacturers largely withdrew from the famous endurance race in the following year. The new regulations had to be established first. As a result, BMW sent fewer vehicles into the race. In the end, only the group 5-M1 of the French team Total, piloted by the French Roland Ennequi and Michel Gabriel and Franco Gasparetti from Italy, made it across the finish line in last place.
In 1983, the Swiss BMW team Brun Motorsport entered the field of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in class B with the only BMW M1. Leopold Prince of Bavaria, the Swiss Angelo Pallavicini and the Dane Jens Winther took their places in the golden racing car with the starting number 90. With the fastest vehicle in the class, the team prevailed in qualifying against the seemingly superior Porsche-Turbos of the competition.
The team around the well-known golden M1 with the Warsteiner advertisement, which started the race as the favourite, was slowed down by several setbacks. After an interruption of more than two hours for body repairs and the replacement of the gearbox bolts, the race was finally over for the lone wolves from Switzerland due to gearbox damage in the early hours of the morning.
For real M1 fans, there are the two popular models in scale 1:18, true to detail, with opening doors and steerable front wheels from WERK83.
BMW M1 Procar #83 24h LeMans 1980 Quester, Pironi, Mignot 1:18 WERK83, RRP €69,95, item-no.: W1803009
BMW M1 Procar #90 24h LeMans 1983 Prince of Bavaria, Pallavicini, Winther 1:18 WERK83, RRP €69,95, item-no.: W1803013
|BMW M1 Procar #83 24h LeMans 1980 Quester, Pironi, Mignot 1:18 WERK83||39,95 €|
|BMW M1 Procar #90 24h LeMans 1983 Prinz v. Bayern, Pallavicini, Winther 1:18 WERK83||39,95 €|