der Bayerische September/October 2020 - 32

E82
M3
(He Made His Own)

By James Chew

"There Is No Such Thing As a Sure Thing"

T

hat sign should be posted in EVERY auto executive's office.
The landscape of the auto business is characterized by valleys of the
failed "can't-miss" products and the peaks of the blazingly successful
products. And the reason for both is the same - there is none.
The riskiest of these products are the limited editions. Conventional auto
business thinking is that offering a small number of exclusively packaged
products should generate positive publicity, interest in both product and
brand, and a spike in dealer profits. History has shown that most of them are
sales failures (Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird, Dodge Charger Daytona,
Shelby-Dodge products, BMW M4 GTS) with dealers having to sell these
products at a near loss.
Despite that history, there are two reasons why auto executives keep
falling in to the "limited edition" trap. The first is that rarity results in these
products commanding a premium in the collector market. Auto executives see
these premiums, then work to make their own new "classic", usually with the
same dismal new vehicle sales. The second is the occasional success.
And when they are a success, they are a roaring success with slightly USED
versions selling for more than the original sticker price.
Such is the case with the BMW 1M. Considered by some as a "parts bin"
car, the 1M coupled the fine E82 chassis with the Z4 turbocharged six-cylinder
engine, M3 rear differential, M3 rear suspension, M3 brakes, M3 tires, and a
six-speed manual transmission. The resulting "minimalist" rear-wheel-drive
car had 50/50 weight distribution, flared wheel wells that covered the
245/35ZR19 93Y and 265/35ZR19 98Y Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires, and the

32

famous BMW MECHANICAL steering which made the vehicle simply a blast
to drive. Coupled with a $47,000 MSRP, the 1M was sanely priced. Deemed
the second coming of the 2002 tii by trusted auto reviewers, all 6,309 1Ms
(only 740 were built to U.S. specifications) were quickly snapped up by the
BMW faithful. Pre-owned versions quickly sold for more than their original
sticker price. Instructors at the BMW Performance Centers who thought they
would be given the opportunity to purchase the retired Performance Center
1Ms at a bargain price were surprised when these vehicles were retained by
BMW, to be fully reconditioned, and then sold for more than the sticker price.
The 2011 1M is one of those few cars that for those who owned it, then
sold it, resulted in the seller regretting that decision. Alaa Al-Mashat is one of
those people. Having owned and sold a 1M, he yearned for another. But it was
clear than he didn't just want a replacement. He wanted one that was
exclusively his own. So he built one.
However, he decided that if he was to go through the effort to build one,
he would build one to suit his taste. And that he did.
It should be no surprise that when it was launched in 2011, all the "buff
books" clamored to get their hands on a 1M. But what drove all the press car
providers crazy was that all the "buff books" also requested a 2011 M3 during
the same evaluation period for comparison purposes. (As an aside, having
seen many an M vehicle returned after a "buff-book" evaluation, the lack of
respect the "me like car, me drive fast" reviewers have for evaluation vehicles
is disgusting. I have no doubt that upon their return, tire replacement costs and
vehicle reconditioning time, assuming that the former "car jockeys" kept the
vehicles ON THE ROAD, easily tripled normal prep costs. But I digress.)
Surprisingly, the "buff book" evaluations came to the same conclusion:

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der Bayerische September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of der Bayerische September/October 2020

Contents
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - Intro
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - Cover1
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - Cover2
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - Contents
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - 2
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - 3
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - 4
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - 5
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der Bayerische September/October 2020 - 36
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - Cover3
der Bayerische September/October 2020 - Cover4
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