The 2023 Le Mans Classic: BMW Group Classic Features a BMW M1 Group 4 in the Iconic “Wirtshaus” Design

Original driver team from 1981 reconvenes for the race. The journey begins amidst the charming setting of Munich's Spatenhaus an der Oper restaurant. Celebrations include 100 years of Le Mans, 50 years of BMW France, and HRH Prince Leopold of Bavaria's 80th birthday.


After an eight-year hiatus since 2014, BMW Group Classic is making a comeback to the Le Mans Classic, showcasing the legendary BMW M1 Group 4 cloaked in the iconic “Münchener Wirtshaus” design. The vehicle will be manned by its original 1981 Le Mans 24-hour race drivers: HRH Prince Leopold of Bavaria (DE), Christian Danner (DE), and Peter Oberndorfer (DE).

The team assembled at the Spatenhaus an der Oper restaurant in Munich on 15 June 2023, setting the stage for the impending event. The drivers recreated the public photo call from 1981 in the company of fans and media representatives, an occasion originally designed to highlight the company’s participation in the forthcoming 24-hour race. History repeats itself in 2023 – same location, same car, same drivers.

“After 42 years, I’m truly excited to drive the BMW M1 Group 4 in the “Münchener Wirtshaus” design again at Le Mans,” declared HRH Prince Leopold of Bavaria. “It fills me with immense pride that my friends Christian Danner and Peter Oberndorfer are here with me, allowing us to relive the past in an exceptional way.”

2023 is a year of several commemorations: BMW Group Classic, in collaboration with BMW Motorsport and BMW France, decided to participate in the Le Mans Classic to celebrate the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans’ centenary. In addition, BMW’s sales company in France marks its 50th anniversary this year, and His Royal Highness Prince Leopold of Bavaria celebrates his 80th birthday on 21 June.

In addition to featuring the BMW M1 Group 4 in the Plateau 6 category, BMW Group Classic will host an exhibition of Le Mans racing icons at the Musée des 24 Heures du Mans: The 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans’ overall winner, the BMW V12 LMR, will be displayed next to the first-ever BMW Art Car, the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL designed by Alexander Calder. The 2010 BMW M3 GT2 Art Car, a creation of Jeff Koons, will also be available for visitors to appreciate.

Roughly 20 privately registered historic BMW racers will also participate in the Le Mans Classic.