BMW M1

In 1979 the head of BMW Motorsport, Jochen Neerpasch, devised a one-make championship using racing modified M1s. The series was created to aid BMW in building enough cars to enter the group 4 classification in the World Championship for Makes. The new series, known as the "Procar BMW M1 Championship", served as a support series for Formula One, and included many Formula One drivers in identical cars. The series ran for two years, with Niki Lauda winning the 1979 season, and Nelson Piquet the 1980 season. After BMW met the standards for group 4, the Procars were used by various teams in the world championship as well as other national series. The M1 was also campaigned at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1981 to 1986 where it proved competitive. The car was classified as a Group B car for Le Mans purposes, as Group B was also planned for GT class for road races, but were instead eclipsed by Group C prototypes.

Corgi Toys released the M1 twice during the Mettoy period, in 1981 and in 1982. Both were cars from the Procar Chempionship series. The 1982 cars were the first made by Corgi using the tampo printing process rather than stickers or transfers and enabled a much more complex design. There were some further releases in the post-Mettoy era, mostly Procar with at least one Le Mans car.

I was able to obtain the original hand-carved wooden blank used to produce the dies for this car from an ex-employee of the Corgi factory. It has now been sold on.

308 April 1981 Release

This release was yellow with racing number 25, I've not been able to identify this one in terms of race and driver, I suspect it was just a made up one. It has paper stickers for the detail. It was deleted in 1982. Van Cleemput mentions that it was later re-released in vacuum plated gold.

380 December 1982 Release

This is the car which was first to use tampo printing, it is identifiable as the car raced in the 1980 Procar series by Hans Stuck, it remained in production until the Mettoy bankruptcy.

1981 & 1982 Mettoy Releases      
Corgi Toys; BMW M1; Hand Carved Wooden Blank Corgi Toys 308; BMW M1; Procar Series; RN25 Corgi Toys 380; BMW M1; 1980 Procar GS Sport; HJ Stuck; RN80    

Corgi Toys; BMW M1; Hand Carved Wooden Blank

Corgi Toys 308; BMW M1; Procar Series; RN25 Corgi Toys 380; BMW M1; 1980 Procar GS Sport; HJ Stuck; RN80    
Post Mettoy        
Corgi 402; BMW M1; 1984 24h Le Mans DNF; Winther, Mercer, Jensen; RN101 Corgi 420; BMW M1; Procar Series; RN17; Esso      
Corgi 402; BMW M1; 1984 24h Le Mans DNF; Winther, Mercer, Jensen; RN101 Corgi 420; BMW M1; Procar Series; RN17; Esso      

 


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Last Edit: 31/07/2022   Page Added 31/07/2022