Wednesday, 29 August 2012

BMW NA Vintage: M1 Procar

The BMW M1 Procar Championship was a one-make series that ran between 1979-80. It took champion drivers from such diverse fields as F1 and ETCC and pitted them against one another in the relentless and alluring thrust of the BMW PR machine. Procar ran largely as an F1 support race, being killed off in 1980 as BMW were to enter Formula One in 1981, but while it lasted it was thunderous and spectacular.
The cars themselves were Group 4 M1s, actually not sharing that much with the M1 road car. The exterior was treated to a raft of aerodynamic addenda, while the arches had to be significantly extended to house the colossal race wheels - 11" wide at the front, 12.5" at the rear. The engine was based on the road car's 3.5-litre M88 straight-six, but stretched from the standard 270bhp to over 490. Of course, the usual race car fare was in attendance: centre-lock wheels, rollcage, fully adjustable suspension, plastic windows, massive brakes, air jacks. Dependent on gear ratios, they could break 60mph in 4.3s and go on to almost 200mph.
This Procar lives in BMW North America's Vintage Collection - you can see more pictures and a comprehensive history here at Stanceworks.

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