One of the coolest car guys to ever walk this Earth, a pop culture icon, and celebrity crush of women all over the world. Today, we’re once again talking about our boy Paul Walker, whose BMW M1 just sold for a ridiculous sum of $500,000!
But before your head gasket explodes from that astronomical number, you might want to do some Googling, because M1s are trading hands for some serious cash these days. Or, you could just keep reading this article, because we’re going to get into everything you need to know about the M1, why they’re valued so highly these days, and what’s so special about the Paul Walker-owned one that just sold at auction!
This article’s all about Paul Walker’s magnificent M1! Let’s go!
BMW M1 History
Before we go into our breaking news about how Paul Walker’s M1 sold for about as much as a 2021 Rolls-Royce Phantom, I think we should cover the history of the BMW M1 for those of you who don’t have a BMW badge tattooed on your chest.
Pretty much everything you need to know about the M1 is right there in the name. “M” essentially signifies every automotive project of importance that BMW’s ever undertaken, and “1” is because, well, it was the first proper M car to ever hit the streets!
The M1 concept was first built in 1975 to compete in the Manufacturers Championship based on cars with production silhouettes, but, after a bunch of changes to the design, the first M1 racecar actually hit the tarmac in 1979, known as the Procar series, and homologation models came flying out of the factory.
It was pretty clear that the first M1 Procars had been sloppily thrown together, though, as the Group 4 cars that competed at Watkins Glen and Le Mans in that year both failed and didn’t finish. Apparently, the problem was that none of the turbos could handle the M88 engine. And by 1980, Jochen Neerpasch, the man at the helm of BMW Motorsports at the time, came under serious fire.
The BMW Motorsport division got its budget slashed by 75%, and production of the M1 came to a grinding halt, racecars and street cars alike. The Procar’s two main flaws? They cost too damn much to produce, and they just couldn’t keep up with the changing world of racing regulations.
However, years later, the M1 street car seems to have become a cult classic, probably because it’s everything that Jochen Neerpasch intended it to be, “a normal car, but normal at a higher speed than other cars.” The M1 is almost magically easy to drive for a car that was designed for the race track.
Today, the M1 has become the stuff of legends among gearheads, and they’re sure to drop jaws if you drive one down the street. Their entire production run was only 430 units, and they were never officially exported to the United States.
So, because they’re one of the best-ever attempts at converting racecar to street car, and because they’re so rare, M1s are now fetching colossal prices on the auction block. As you know, Paul Walker’s just sold for $500,000, and that’s not even the highest price paid for one.
Back in 2016, a 1981 M1 fetched over $577,000 at Sotheby’s Monterey! Bananas! Or “das bananas” as they’d say in Germany. That’s not what we’re here to talk about, though, let’s take a minute to pay homage to our boy Paul Walker and his burning passion for M cars!
Paul Walker and His M Cars
The late and great Paul Walker, star of the Fast & Furious series and absolute gearhead legend, unfortunately passed away in a crash with his friend and business partner Roger Rodas back in 2013, but not before amassing one seriously impressive car collection.
While Paul is probably most well known for his Bayside Blue Skyline R34, he’s also had some pretty sick M-badged Bimmers in the stable. He had two mint E30 M3s, and five super-rare E36 M3 Lightweights, all of which sold for a combined total of $1.3 million.
It’s pretty easy to see why Paul would’ve been so in love with the Lightweights, it was an E36 M3, which already had perfect weight distribution, respectable horsepower, and a lightweight build, and the Lightweight model shaved even more poundage off, to make it a certified German drift missile right off the factory floor!
Paul Walker also famously raced an E92 M3 back in 2010 at the Redline Time Attack event in Southern California, and if I had to guess, he might’ve had something to do with the E39 M5 appearing in the first Fast & Furious movie.
But, let’s move on to what we’re really here to talk about, that M1, the most expensive BMW sold from Paul Walker’s collection thus far. This wasn’t just any M1, and you might better understand why it sold for so much after you see what makes it so special.
In January 2021, Paul Walker’s M1 sold on Bring A Trailer for $500,000. However, while their username on the website is “cmack10”, the identity of the buyer is currently unknown, which seems unexpected for some reason. It sort of sounds like something a high school freshman would call their football teammates. Sorry, sorry, I don’t mean to hate. Well done, C-Mack!
Anyway, certainly part of the reason that this car fetched such a high price was because it was owned by the late Paul Walker, who was a legend while he was alive, and has become even more so since he died.
But, this specific M1 also has some pretty ridiculous specs that definitely tacked a couple dollars onto that price tag.
Beyond being owned by a deceased superstar, Paul Walker’s M1 was also one of only ten models ever modified by BMW dealer AHG. It came with the AHG Studie package, which includes a bodykit meant to emulate the looks of the Procar racecar from the 70s. I think all I really need to do is show you a picture of this car, and you’ll get exactly why it’s so sick, but let’s get into the specs anyway.
The kit came with flared fenders, three-piece BBS wheels, a custom BMW Motorsport livery, a new exhaust, and they replaced the half-leather half-fabric with all leather everywhere, baby!
But Walker’s M1 isn’t just a pretty face because, as we know, he liked to actually drive his cars. While the mid-engine street car came with a 3.5-liter inline-six putting out 277 horsepower, those crazy Germans at AHG decided to boost that up another 75 ponies!
There’s almost definitely some wear and tear on this majestic M1, since it’s over 40 years old and has 42,000 miles on it and, well, Paul Walker notoriously liked to drive the hell out of his cars. Walker bought the car bar in 2011 as part of his AE Performance collection, giving him almost two years to rip this M1 around the PCH.
Let’s just hope that whoever the new owner is doesn’t keep this beast locked away in a garage, and takes it to the twisties where it belongs. Actually, though, if this C-Mack-10 fellow happens to live in California, he might have a problem.
Can’t Drive in Cali
There is a bit of irony that runs through this whole story, and that’s the fact that this car isn’t actually street legal in the state of California. Apparently, the AHG Studie M1 doesn’t meet the super strict emissions standards in Cali, so you can’t legally drive it on the road.
Not to mention, California is requiring all cars and light trucks sold in California to get more than 50 miles per gallon after 2025, so it doesn’t look like CMack’s M1 is becoming street legal anytime soon.
The BMW i8, on the other hand, the hybrid sports car that’s a direct descendent of the M1, is looking like it’ll probably be fully electric in the next few years, to the delight of those California lawmakers, but the dismay of us car guys.
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