In the late 70’s BMW wanted to get more involved with motorsports, so the Procar series was created. Based on the M1, it featured 40 identical cars along with the best drivers in the world. The M1 is a very capable machine, with a high-revving straight six mounted behind the cockpit. Only 453 cars were built between 1979 and 1981, making them an essential part of any BMW collection. Procar was much like the International Race of Champions. Taking street legal cars down to their chassis and building identical engines, it made the driver the only variable. Naturally, only the world’s best driver proved to dominate the first year, and Nikki Lauda took home the trophy for the ’79 season.
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Nelson Piquet got the win for 1980, but the series was dissolved because BMW had accomplished the goal of homologating the M1 for racing on the world stage. So the M1 Procars went on to success around the world, but car number 31 was retired. Hidden away for years, it found its way to the US, and was taken down to the chassis by our friend Bruce Canepa. His team at Canepa Design specialize in restoring the world’s rarest cars, so they set out to make history. Restoring anything older than a decade is hard, especially when less than 500 were built. Scouring the world for vintage parts, the end result is the world’s only street legal M1 Procar. It has vintage 17″ center lock wheels, dual fuel fillers in the quarter windows, and an all-new interior. The engine is so clean you could eat off of it, and the giant exhaust was coated for heat protection. According to Motor1.com, it will be on display this Sunday on the field at Pebble Beach. If you want to build your own example, we always seem to have a few BMW M1s for sale, so stay with us for more stunning builds from Canepa Design.