1978 BMW M1 - dead-on view, red

When we think of the BMW M division, the 1978 M1 comes instantly to mind, followed by the E30 M3 and then the 2001-2002 M Coupe. But the company's in-house hot rod shop actually dates back to 1972, when it was formed as a subsidiary to manage the company's racing operations, dubbed BMW Motorsport.

It was this month 40 years ago that what is known today as BMW M GmbH was launched. So to celebrate its anniversary, BMW has offloaded some 50 lustworthy images celebrating that performance history. See them all in our gallery.
Related Gallery40 Years of BMW M
BMW M1 (1978-1981)BMW M1 (1978-1981)BMW M1 (1978-1981)BMW M3 (E 30)BMW M3 E30 Evo1 1988BMW M3 Sport EvolutionBMW M3 E36 Coupé 1992BMW M3 E36 GT 1994