The greatest longtails… in the world
Le Mans is almost upon us. Time to pay tribute to some of the maddest-looking racers to take on the 24 hours…
Posted: 14 Jun 2013
1979 Group 5 BMW/March M1
Beautiful, brilliant and rare, the M1 remains (until production of the i8 starts) the only mid-engined car BMW has made. It was imagined as a racecar, and designed to take the battle to the Group 4 and Group 5 Porsche 934s and 934s that dominated sports car racing in the 1970s. However it never really recovered from a plan for Lamborghini to build it and was always behind the curve.
Nonetheless BMW pressed ahead with a racing programme with now-defunct UK F1 racers March. March immediately recognised that M1 didn’t really have the aero for Le Mans so set about modifying the car. And modifying, and modifying. Every time the rear got longer, so did the nose and every time the nose got longer… you get the picture. Possibly the worst looking Le Mans special ever, considering the sublime donor material, it didn’t even qualify for the 1979 race (the model pictured above is from 1981).
The Sauber team, now F1 racers of course, however took on their own M1 project with considerably more success.