Home ARTICLES 77MM: Procars On Parade - Speedhunters

77MM: Procars On Parade – Speedhunters

1

1979. It was a simpler time.

Optimism was abundant in droves, excess was the norm, money talked, louder was better. Even by the standard of the time, and in recipe form, the BMW M1 Procar Championship was a mouth-watering proposition.

Convert enough BMW M1s into fire-breathing naturally-aspirated 470hp inline-six-powered race cars to fill a championship, plonk some of the world’s best Formula One, World Sportscar Championship, European Touring Car Championship, and other noted drivers in the seats, and pit them against one another at racetracks around Europe.

BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-3541

It sounds like a magnificent idea, and it was.

The championship was held during Formula One events around Europe, and with all of the M1s built to the same specification, along with a dream roster of top-tier drivers, the racing was close and fierce – Lauda, Piquet, Andretti, Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lafitte were just some of the names emblazoned across the M1’s sunstrips.

BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-1693

In its road-going form, the BMW M1 was interesting enough, certainly for a BMW. It was developed between BMW and Lamborghini (and later Italengineering), and features a mid-mounted 3.5-litre M88/1 with independent throttle bodies, nestled amidst a tubular space-frame chassis. Of course the Procars bared little resemblance to the road-going M1 by the time they reached the circuit.

They were wider, with extravagant wheel arches covering monster-width centre-lock wheels and tyres. Deeper front valances scooped up the air at the front, whilst an adjustable rear wing provided downforce behind the engine.

2019 77MM - M1 Procar Speedhunters by PMcG-11

Where the road-going M1 boasted 277hp, the Procars spat out 470hp at 9,000rpm. They were wide, wild, loud and spat flames upon request. Procar was a huge hit with motorsport fans around Europe.

2019 77MM - M1 Procar Speedhunters by PMcG-12

In my opinion the M1 Procars, complete with their very-much-of-the-time liveries and sponsors graphics, remain one of the best-looking (and sounding) sports cars of all time.

BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-3591

Sadly, the Procar championship was short lived, lasting just two seasons, from 1979-1980. BMW Motorsport’s resources were piled into Formula One, and the M1 Procars were sold off – many ended up in the Championship for Makes as well as other national series’.

This year’s Goodwood Members’ Meeting saw five original M1 Procars take to the circuit in procession. If you were there, then I don’t need to tell you how incredible it looked or sounded. Now imagine that, but in Monaco, at race pace and a packed grid of some of the best drivers in the world.

Take me back to 1979, please?

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters
jordan@speedhunters.com

Additional photography by Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
paddy@speedhunters.com

The 77th Goodwood Members’ Meeting on Speedhunters

Cutting Room Floor

2019 77MM - M1 Procar Speedhunters by PMcG-9
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-0236
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-1675
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-1654
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-3529
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-1664
2019 77MM - M1 Procar Speedhunters by PMcG-2
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-3561
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-1672
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-3612
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-1679
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-1691
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-1681
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-3555
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-3568
BMW M1 PROCAR 77MM SPEEDHUNTERS ©JORDAN BUTTERS-1665

Source link

Must Read

2020 Lincoln Corsair Pricing Starts in High 30s, Can Speed Past $60K | News

We were wowed by the 2020 Lincoln Corsair with its classy styling and interior that bring to a compact SUV the design flourishes of...

All segments production, sales skid to negative, Auto News, ET Auto

New Delhi: The cautious attitude of customers, political uncertainty and negative shadow of tightened liquidity and higher insurance cost dragged down the new vehicle...

Aluminum F-150 proves less costly to repair

Bob Tomes was among the Ford Motor Co. dealers who sank tens of thousands of dollars into new equipment and training to repair the...

Mercedes taps Russia chief for China in wider shuffle

FRANKFURT -- Mercedes-Benz has named Jan Madeja, formerly the brand's head of Russia, as its new sales boss in China.Madeja is succeeded in Russia...

India’s oil import dependence jumps to 84 per cent, Auto News, ET Auto

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have set a target to cut India's oil import dependence by 10 per cent but the country's reliance on...