UPDATE, 8 February 2021: The ex-Paul Walker BMW M1 has sold for a neat US$500,000 (AU$651,310).
1 February: A rare 1980 BMW M1 once owned by Fast & Furious star Paul Walker is going under the hammer in California this week, with bidding for the low-kilometre example currently sitting at US$445,000 (AU$583,000).
BMW produced just 400 road-going examples of its now iconic mid-engined supercar and this particular example, which formed part of Walker’s and Roger Rodas’s AE Performance Collection, was delivered new in 1979 to BMW Schneider in Bielefeld, Germany.
German BMW dealer AHG modified the car in the early 1980s with its ‘Studie’ package that added a Procar-style body kit, BMW Motorsport livery, three-piece BBS wheels, a custom exhaust system and leather upholstery. The ‘Studie’ package also increased outputs of the 3.5-litre (3453cc) inline six-cylinder engine (internal code M88) which was rated at 204kW and 330Nm in standard road-going trim. Although unconfirmed, the AHG Studie package reportedly upped power outputs to around 260kW.
Standard equipment included a ZF-sourced five-speed dogleg manual gearbox, adjustable suspension, air conditioning and power windows.
This particular M1 has a long documented history. Imported into the US, it formed part of a private collection in Georgia until 1995. In 2011, a Texas collector bought the car before making its way into the AE Performance collection co-owned by Walker and Rodas. The current owner acquired the car in 2014.
Developed as a homologation special to comply with the FIA’s Group 5 – and subsequently Group 4 – sports car racing rules, the BMW M1 has since become a genuine and highly sought after classic. BMW built around 450 cars in total, of which 400 were road-going versions to comply with homologation requirements.
The development of the M1 enjoyed a chequered history. It started life as a joint venture between BMW and Lamborghini, but when the partnership ended in divorce, Italengineering was tasked with taking over the project for BMW. The Italian firm was responsible for designing and building the tubular spaceframe chassis while famed designer Giorgetto Giugiaro designed the now iconic wedge-shaped body.
Paul Walker rose to fame and fortune on the back of his starring roles in the Fast & Furious movie franchise. He was killed in a road accident in December, 2013 when a Porsche Carrera GT he was a passenger in crashed at high speed before bursting into flames. The driver, Walker’s business partner Roger Rodas, was also killed.
The ex-Walker/Rodas BMW M1 is currently under the hammer at Bring A Trailer. Bidding closes tomorrow.