BMW M Motorsport’s used car lot isn’t known for its throughput. Like diamonds, they control the release of their precious resources, making purchasing and owning one a special and exciting opportunity. BMW USA Classic Manager Thomas Plucinsky noted, “I only need the fingers on one hand to count the few factory race cars that have left the ownership of BMW in recent years.”
It just so happens that the rare opportunity to own one of these race cars is upon us. As part of its continuing 50th birthday celebration, BMW M Motorsport will be selling the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona GTLM class-winning #24 BMW M8 GTE (Chassis Number 1809). This piece of recent racing history will be on display in the BMW USA Classic garage during Monterey Car Week, August 17th – 20th.
Aside from rarity, what makes owning one of BMW M Motorsport’s race cars so special? Plucinsky commented, “The BMW M8 GTE represented a money-is-no-object factory GT race car. It is truly an engineering masterpiece. The new owner of BMW M8 GTE No. 1809 will be the steward of a very important piece of BMW history in America and can count on support from BMW in the years to come to ensure its condition and value are maintained at the highest level.” If I’m hearing this correctly, BMW M Motorsport is including an extended warranty for whoever purchases this particular M8 GTE.
Even with an extended warranty, it’s understandable to have concerns about buying a used car. To put your concerns at ease, BMW M Motorsport had none other than Bill Auberlen, the driver with the most races in a BMW and most victories in IMSA history, test the M8 GTE at Palm Beach International Raceway. By “test”, they mean it passed a multi-point inspection–just like at Carmax! I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling more confident about this purchase now.
Victor Leleu, Experiential Marketing Manager and former BMW NA Motorsport Manager, said, “Chassis number 1809 has an exceptional provenance having been built in preparation for the 2020 season and owns the distinction of winning its very first race – the Rolex 24 At Daytona – with drivers John Edwards, Augusto Farfus, Jesse Krohn, and Chas Mostert. From that auspicious start, it went onto scoring an additional five podium finishes, to help BMW and BMW M Team RLL earn the Michelin Endurance Cup and finish second in the GTLM class Driver, Team and Manufacturer points standings. 1809 also raced the Rolex 24 again at the start of the 2021 season, finishing third.”
To go along with that provenance, BMW M Motorsport will include “engineering notes, press and marketing materials and, of course, the 2020 Rolex 24 trophy.” I always find it exciting when the seller has a binder of receipts and the original window sticker–it really shows they care. In addition, “ it will be delivered with a vehicle running kit containing special tools needed to operate the car plus a spares package which includes an extra set of wheels and the typical consumables.”
It’s rare, it’s well engineered, it passed a Carmax-style, Aulberlen multi-point inspection, it comes with the original window sticker, and it comes with an extended warranty. What else could you ask for? I suppose if you ask nicely, BMW M Motorsport may be able to talk to their manager to see if they can throw in some all-weather mats to sweeten the deal. —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW.]