In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall


I’m currently watching Lie to Me on Netflix1. In the episode “Exposed,” one of the guest characters has a killer automobile.

It’s clearly a BMW, and the front end looks just like an M1, which exceedingly unlikely. The M1 was produced from 1978 to 1981 and it’s a two-seater mid-engined sports car. Only 453 were built. In fact, the only reason the car was offered for sale was because they wanted to race it, and the rules require that a certain number are offered for sale to the public as a homologation special.

It’s both rare and old, and if I may say, beautiful, so it doesn’t come cheap. Values I’ve seen hover around the $500 000 range. It’s certainly not a real M1. Maybe it’s a kit?

But then later in the episode, we see it from a different angle.

As a bonus, it’s a night scene, so we see the pop-up headlights in operation. But clearly, that’s not a mid-engine two-seater! It looks like they took a 5‑series and grafted an M1 front-end on it.

I know what you’re thinking…but it took some time for my brain to come up with the truth of the matter. It is actually a BMW 8‑series:

Isn’t she a beauty?

The 8‑series was available from 1989 to 1999 and came equipped with either a 5‑speed automatic or a 6‑speed manual transmission, and a V8 or V12 engine. In fact, it was the first car available with the combination of a 6‑speed manual and a V12. It was an upscale GT but it seemed not to have worked out as production ended after just ten years, and to date, I’ve never seen one in person. The base price of about $70 000 was a lot of money in the early ’90s! Total production was 31 000 and only 7 200 of those were sold in North America.

The first two photos are from the Lie to Me episode, “Exposed,” ©2010 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Third photo by The Car Spy and used pursuant to the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

  1. Thanks for the suggestion, Claire!


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  1. Michael Dolenga

    I’ve seen a few in person years ago, it was an awesome car.

    • Rick

      I feel like I’ve missed out! I’d prefer a four-door though. They’re just so much more convenient.

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