If you haven’t seen BMW Classic’s recent video “Our Brands. Our Stories–The man behind the legend of the BMW M1 Procar!”, it’s worth checking out.
The man behind the legend that BMW Classic is referring to is none other than Fritz Wagner. Wagner was a mechanic in the BMW M1 Procar Championship–a series that ran in 1979 and 1980 that included drivers from a number of international racing series, including Formula One, all competing in uniformly race-prepped M1s.
Due to how the M1 Procars were insured, when they were crashed they usually weren’t repaired–they were replaced. As such, BMW Motorsport was manufacturing plenty of spare parts to keep up with the M1 Procar teams’ demand. Wagner was and still is very passionate about the M1 as it truly was and still is his dream car. In an interview with Classic Motorsports, Wagner says, “I was the only one to show any interest in the old parts.” He admits to amassing a large sum of used M1 Procar parts at “just a fraction of what these parts cost.”
How many M1 Procar parts did Wagner procure? Enough to build at least three M1 Procars completely out of original components down to every last nut and bolt. Shells, engines, gearboxes, suspension, brakes–you name it, Wagner has it. What does he do with these reassembled pieces of history? In BMW Classic’s video, Wagner says, “Having built up a collection of cars made with all these old parts, I started to drive them again.” In addition to the M1 Procars that Wagner has built, he also has the only known Lamborghini-built M1 prototype that remains.–Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW Classic.]