This BMW supercar is a thing of Bavarian legend.

If you’re like most people, you’ve only seen BMW M1s in pictures. Now is a rare opportunity to buy one, because this 1981 BMW M1 is on the open market. Recently imported from Canada, this vehicle has a documented, excellent service history. It also went through a significant mechanical refurbishment, so you can buy with confidence.

Gallery: Own A 1981 BMW M1

Expect to raise plenty of eyebrows while riding around town and especially when you go to any automotive gathering. The very appearance of this mid-engine, two-seater Bimmer is quite amazing, since it looks more like a Ferrari than the coupes and sedans normally associated with the Bavarians. Because the body is made of fiberglass it’s lightweight, helping with performance. The design is also quite aerodynamic. Underneath is a multi-tubular space frame, which was incredibly advanced for its time.

Wedged behind the seats is a 3.5-liter inline six-cylinder with twin overhead cams and 24 valves. Sending power to the rear wheels is a five-speed ZF transaxle. Wishbone suspension with unequal lengths at both the front and rear help provide the tight, responsive ride quality.

While not awash in comforts, the interior is more luxurious than you would expect in a supercar from the early 1980s. For example, the Recaro seats are wrapped in leather with fabric inserts. Power windows, power-adjustable side mirrors, rear defroster, and air conditioning are also included.

The origin of the BMW M1 is pretty interesting. It was first revealed in 1978 at the Paris Motor Show to much fanfare. Developed by the Germans for the proposed Group 5 “Silhouette Formula” series for the World Sports Car Championship, French designer Paul Bracq decided to give it a clean and exhilarating appearance. While Lamborghini originally was tapped to build the M1, it was Ital Design ultimately did it. Despite the Group 5 Silhouette Formula never taking off, BMW forged ahead with M1 production, ultimately founding a Procar Series that only used the BMW.

For homologation purposes, BMW made 453 M1s. The name has been so revered within the company that BMW made the 1 Series model upgraded by M Sport the 1M. Now is your chance to experience firsthand this legendary vehicle, and own something few ever see. Contact Classic Motorcars for details.