A Record-Breaking Twin-Turbo BMW M1 Is Up for Grabs

With F1 driver Harald Ertl behind the wheel, this M1 hit nearly 190 mph running on liquid petroleum gas.

image
Coys

Nearly 190 miles per hour on liquid petroleum gas. That's how good this M1 is.

1 of 12
image
Getty Images

Harald Ertl is mostly remembered for being one of the four drivers who helped pull Niki Lauda from his burning Ferrari in 1976. But the Austrian had a successful racing career long before his five less-than-glamorous seasons in Formula One. And we can't forget to mention his world-speed record set in 1981.

2 of 12
image
Coys

Twin-turbo BMW M1s were nothing new by the late seventies, but Harald Ertl and Gerhard Freudenberg created something much more futuristic, fueled by the marketing budget of British Petroleum.

3 of 12
image
Coys

With a pair of K26 turbos from KKK and BMW's inline-six updated to run on liquid petroleum gas, Ertl's M1 was apparently good for beyond 410 horsepower.

4 of 12
image
Coys

Rumor has it that a total of three BP M1s were built, but this battered example is the genuine record car.

5 of 12
image
Coys

Part Lamborghini, part BMW, part LPG test bed.

6 of 12
image
Coys

At VW's proving ground Ehra-Lessien, Ertl brought his modified M1 to a recorded speed of 301.4km/h (187.3mph).

7 of 12
image
Coys

Additional sponsors like Goodyear, , VDO, Fichtel & Sachs and KKK were all very happy with BP's record.

8 of 12
image
Coys

What happened to the car afterwards is detailed in Alex Sobran's excellent story .

9 of 12
image
Coys

Moving from one owner to another and street parked for years, this unique M1 had a rough life.

10 of 12
image
Coys

But it's also a unique piece of BMW's history, and the genuine 186--mph article.

11 of 12
image
Coys

With the , now is that can put a Koenig Ferrari to shame.

12 of 12
image
Coys

But sure is not for the faint-hearted.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Vintage