bmw m1 main 1Enlarge Photo
If you can’t afford a multi-million dollar classic sports car, like a Ferrari P4 or Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing, you can purchase a turn-key replica, or just build it yourself. Most of the time the price tags for these fiberglass-bodied cars are expensive, but will come at a fraction of the cost of an original. You could get an original Shelby Cobra by mortgaging your home, or build a kit car for as little as $30,000.
The cars that get replicated most seem to be those that either used a ladder frame or tubular space-frame chassis. But there are some cars that should be built closer true to their original counterparts.
Gordon-Keeble GT- With a limited production run of only 99 from 1964 to 1967, finding one for sale is a difficult task. The gorgeous fiberglass body was penned by then 21 year old Giorgetto Guigiaro, giving the British built car a very Italian look. The engine was the reliable and powerful Chevrolet 327 from the Corvette. Brakes were all around discs, something that even back then was exotic. The car had everything going for it, but the people running the business forgot to put production costs into the price, and the company closed.
Thanks to the fiberglass-body and tubular chassis, there shouldn’t be any problem trying to make it into a replica. Like some replicas out there, a donor car supplying things like a drivetrain, suspension, and brakes are normally required, so the possibility of using an old Corvette to give-up needed parts would be a feasibly idea, and keep the drive train true to the original.
BMW M1-Surprisingly, another car designed by Guigiaro, the hand-built BMW M1 is what many consider to be one of the first supercars that could be driven every day. It used a 3.5L twin-cam inline six producing a 273hp that could later be found in the first M5s and M6s. The mid-engine configuration also gave it amazing handling. Performance was good too: 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and a top speed over 160 mph. There are almost always several available examples for sale at any given time.
There has been a replica of the BMW M1 before, but it was more or less a rebodied version of a French sports car called the Matra Murena. A true replica using the same proportions and chassis design shouldn’t be too difficult. BMW has kept making straight-six engines for decades, and sourcing a wrecked one couldn’t be too hard. Design the kit to use a donor of the now-cheap E36 generation 3-series, and you could have some fun.
There would be an issue of getting licensing to build these cars, but the world would be a much more beautiful place with more of these cars running around.