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  • Barney

1M in the mood for Love

Many of us more senior hardcore motoring enthusiasts wanted to hate the 1M at its launch in 2011. I was lent the Valencia Orange press car by BMW and instantly fell in love. Although clearly a car from the modern digital age, M had managed to capture an old school motoring, analogue feel that harked back to the E30 M3 compactness and balance that we all fell in love with.

This true driving experience was helped by a proper limited slip differential, rear wheel drive, front engined, proper gear stick and clutch pedal, and 335 BHP with incredibly impressive torque. This compact coupe was capable of 0 – 60 in 4.8 seconds and the usual limited 155 MPH. A true driver’s car for those of us that remember how to waggle a gear-lever.

One of the reason cars rust, apart from the obvious design flaws and the tonnes of salt slung on UK roads during the winter, is the fact that they are tied in to the main dealer network for the first few years of life due to extended warranties. By the time these cars come out of the dealer network and in to the hands of enthusiast owners who want enthusiast, specialist care, the damage is already done. They will have already seen 3 – 4 winters worth of salt and covered the first 30 - 50,000 miles and the damage has already started. If all cars were properly rust protected when new the corrosion would be delayed by decades and possibly avoiding very big restoration bills later in the car's life.

This 11,000 mile 1M was in the workshop and owned by a fellow enthusiast with a similar outlook to ourselves. A person that believes in proper long term preventive maintenance. With such low mileage he realised if the bodywork preventive maintenance was carried out now, his car would never look like many of the very corroded E46 M3s we are having to put right.

The car is like new underneath. We removed all the undertrays and wheel arch liners and carefully washed the underside and all suspension components. The car was then treated with clear cavity protection wax to all the normal Achilles heel areas.

This is one, 1M that will now survive the test of time and the dreaded sodium.

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