On paper, everything was perfect. Owning and driving a BMW 1 Series M, was a privilege.
But as an enthusiast, ticking boxes and using logic doesn’t apply when it comes to our passion for driving or riding and sometimes life stages will force your hand, resulting in something you didn’t think you would do: sell what is a perfect future classic.
My history with riding superbikes was once again at play. I never went in with my eyes closed but as fast as the 1M is, the acceleration and ‘holy crap moments’ just didn’t compare to a 200hp 1000cc superbike. That may appear an obvious outcome but I didn’t end up buying the 1M purely for acceleration, it was much more than that.
When roads got twisty, the 1M came to life and was quite brutal in the way it dispatched corners. The fun of changing gears, heal and toeing, and getting a rhythm on was very rewarding. The problem was, to get the car up on its toes and moving around required increasingly higher speeds by which time things were moving along far too quickly.
Having to travel 100 kms to get to roads which were well out of the way of the suburbs, it felt unnecessary to put those sorts of kms on the car. If I was going to keep it forever, I wouldn’t have worried, but I could already sense my master plan wasn’t working out as I’d hoped. This was a car that could fulfil every requirement life threw at me but it didn’t feel right to treat it as such.
Where I really needed to be was on the circuit, but then that only shows up any car’s inadequacies forcing you to modify it beyond recognition. Had I kept the 1M for longer I would’ve definitely upgraded the brakes as I found this part of the car to be the weakest link. Some might say the handling needs to settle down but that’s just part of the challenge and what would keep the car interesting for years to come.
In the end, the 1M just ended up being too fast for the road (in corners) and too slow for the track. That of course, depends on your view of the world and had I been 20 years younger I wouldn’t have thought twice about exploiting its potential on the road. Was I happy to pay for the cost of ownership and consign myself to cruising around town from cafe to cafe? No thanks, what a waste of money and car.
I‘ll never forget picking the car up in Melbourne with my cousin and driving it back to Sydney, all 1000kms. I’ll never forget looking down at that BMW badge and being reminded of the history of the marque, the knowledge and engineering that preceded it. I’ll never forget the flashes of ///M colours and stitching, nor will I forget walking up to it giggling at its proportions. A part of me will forever now be inexorably linked to BMW.
In the future, I will invest in something older, probably something slower, and something with even more design distinction.
Until then, I’ll be fulfilling my two-wheeled desires, with one potentially making an appearance on PG.
The 1M has gone to a new owner with a similar regard an appreciation for taking care of things, which is all I could ask for.