For most drivers, even seeing a BMW M1 on the road would be a highlight of their week, if not their month. But one lucky collector has gone one step beyond even buying himself a driving M1, and has mounted one in his garage as a piece of wall art. The story comes via online auction house BringaTrailer, where user PKI posted a series of photos and a video revealing the long process of creating an art piece that is also one of the world's most desirable cars.
The whole project began when BringaTrailer featured a story about a wrecked M1 for sale at Gullwing Motorcars of Astoria, NY. Even in its borderline demolished state, they were asking $125,000 dollars—which gives some context as to just how valuable an intact M1 might be. However, eagle-eyed BaT reader PKI was wise enough to realize that the majority of the car's damage looked to be limited to the front end and the cabin, which meant that the M1's mid-mounted engine could very well remain intact, or as intact as an engine can be after more than 30 years of storage following the accident.
PKI himself owned two road-worthy M1 examples at the time, and figured he'd be able to source some parts from the wrecked car, at the very least. He reached a deal with Gullwing Motorsports that "stipulated that the sale would be null and void if the engine block was cracked or otherwise unusable. The engine bay (as many of the comments on the original BaT post pointed out) looked like an ashtray but the parts that were hiding under all the leaves and dirt were in decent, restorable shape."
Next, he brought the engine back to full form, and set it up as a display piece, with limited hopes of his wife allowing it to be in view in their living room. But the engine on its stand remained in his garage nearby, but separate from, a parts heap and there it sat until almost one year later, PKI went out and bought a second wrecked M1. Critically, the second hunk of junk retained a mostly-intact front end, with its rear end receiving much of the damage.
The rest of the story involves melding the two wrecks into one (non-running) shell with an aluminum frame underneath. The exterior was brought to a showroom finish in bright red, and then PKI hired a group of (highly talented) contractors to mount the M1 on his wall. The entire project may seem excessive to some, but for automotive enthusiasts, at least the question of why someone would buy a "much maligned, ridiculously expensive, you-have-to-be-insane-to-buy-it, crashed BMW M1." has been answered.