This week, Jalops and Jalop-ettes, I want you to tell us about cars whose reputations are overblown in your book.
I'll nominate this guy: the 1978 to 1981 BMW M1. Now, before you go gathering up a Bimmer-driving lynch mob to camp out on my front lawn, hear me out. The M1 was an ambitious and interesting sports car for its time. But it's not the über-BMW that some people make it out to be. Not by a longshot.
See, the M1 is considered this iconic, legendary supercar, especially among BMW aficionados, but I don't think you can even call it a proper supercar. This ain't no Countach, boys and girls. The M1 was supposed to have been built by Lamborghini, who did the engineering behind it, but then they weenied out due to their financial problems. Had it been made by the boys in Sant'Agata Bolognese, it probably would have been much more impressive.
Only about 450 M1s were ever made. Originally, it was built to race in Group 5 sports car racing, but by the time it entered production it no longer met that series' requirements, according to Automobile. So BMW gave it its own dedicated racing series, the the M1 Procar Championship, which was taken seriously by no one and folded after two seasons. Womp womp, BMW.
And the thing is, for reasons I can't possibly understand, the number "1" is now, like, so effing sacred to BMW that they can't ever use it again with an M prefix. You know the 1 Series M Coupe? That car was fantastic, and it deserved to be called an M1 like its big brothers the M3 and M5. Instead, misguided love for the obscure mid-engined car caused it to end up with a ridiculously awkward name. Maybe that's not too surprising when you consider it came from a company with the gall to sell something called a "Z4 sDrive 35is."
I'm not saying the M1 is not a cool car. It looks amazing. But is it the ultimate driving machine among Ultimate Driving Machines? Absolutely not. The E30 M3, E28 M5 and a whole host of others are far more deserving of that honor.
So what car has a reputation you think is undeserved? Sound off in the comments below.
Photo credit Estoril