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Tim's Forza History Class

1979 BMW M1

By Tim DeLong - 04-29-2015



The BMW M1 was the only mid-engine BMW mass produced. The M1 came to live after a deal between BMW and Lamborghini, to build a mid-engine sports car, fell through and the BMW engineers decided to build one on their own. The M1 used a 3.5 liter six cylinder that produced 273 hp in stock trim. The most unusual aspect of the engine was the fact that each cylinder had its own, separate throttle body rather than one large throttle body feeding the entire bank of cylinders.

The M1 gained fame in racing through the one make Procar series. The Procar series was run as an invitation only challenge to champions from all forms of motorsports. Much like the IROC series here in the states, but with fewer ovals and much more class. The Procar M1’s had impressive and functional flaring, air damns, and spoiler that I wish were available in the Forza games. The Engine in the Procar M1’s was a heavily modified and turbo charged version of the 3.5 liter 6 cylinder. In race trim the engines produced around 850 HP.

Probably the most recognizable M1 was the Art Car painted by American artist Andy Warhol. The Art Car project was started by race driver and auctioneer Herve Poulain in 1975. Poulain would work with the artists and then race the cars in competition. The M1 was the forth in the Art Car series.

Unlike the first three artists, who painted designs on a 1/5th scale mock up, Warhol insisted on painting the actual car. Warhol said “I tried to portray a sense of speed. When a car is going really fast all the lines and colors become a blur”. He accomplished this effect by smearing large patches of color on the car and then running his fingers through the paint.

Warhol finished the paint job in only 23 minutes. The car was driven in the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours by Herve Poulain, fellow Frenchman Marcel Mignot, and German Manfred Winkelhock. The team managed to take second place, in class, with the 470 HP canvas.

 

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