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1966 BMW 1800 Ti

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  • 1966 BMW 1800 Ti for sale
  • Built to full racing specification in the early 1990s
  • Raced around Europe in the U2TC series
  • Offered for sale from the Dave Saunders collection


After being bought by Dave Saunders in 2006, this BMW 1800 Ti was prepared for him and run in historic racing by the well-respected marque specialist Laranca Motorsport. It was campaigned extensively by Saunders in the popular U2TC series and has raced across Europe at venues such as Silverstone, Monza, Dijon, Donington Park and Portimao.

Originally built in 1966 as an 1800 Ti road car, chassis number 1417801 remained like that until the early 1990s, when it was rebuilt into race-ready TiSA specification by Frick Motorsport GmBH. The bodyshell was completely stripped down and reinforced for racing before being sprayed in the factory BMW colour of Bristol Grey.

The four-cylinder engine was rebuilt with Mahle racing pistons, a 328/336 camshaft, bigger valves and a lightened flywheel. Twin Weber carburettors were fitted, and drive is transmitted through a five-speed Getrag gearbox and a twin-plate clutch. The BMW also features a ZF limited-slip differential, a braking system of front discs and rear drums, a fire-extinguisher system and a full bolt-in roll cage. It also currently has a Recaro race seat and Luke harness. 

After being completed in 1994, the BMW was used in Historic Touring Car Class F racing by its German owner and won its class at that year’s Spa Six Hours. It also raced at Zandvoort and Hockenheim, and in the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring it came second in class behind a BMW driven by former works racers Dieter Quester and Rauno Aaltonen. 

During the ownership of Dave Saunders, this BMW 1800 Ti was maintained to the highest standards and a new engine was built up around a replacement block. Although it hasn’t raced since 2012, it is now being offered for sale as a highly eligible and competitive choice of historic racing car.


The first model in BMW’s hugely successful Neue Klasse range was the Type 115 1500 saloon, which was introduced at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show. It featured all-independent suspension, monocoque construction and the all-new, overhead-camshaft, four-cylinder M10 engine. 

The M10 would end up being developed until well into the 1980s and its cylinder block formed the basis for BMW’s immensely powerful turbocharged Formula 1 engines. 

In 1963, the 1500 was followed by the 1800 model, which benefitted from an enlarged 1773cc version of the M10 engine and formed the basis for the high-performance Ti. The ‘Turismo Internazionale’ featured twin carburettors and a higher compression ratio in order to give a power output of 110bhp. 

In 1965, BMW built a run of 200 TiSA ‘homologation specials’ for use in saloon car racing. With a 10:5 compression ratio, larger valves and twin Weber carburettors, they produced 130bhp. The running gear was uprated to cope, with bigger brakes and a stiffer anti-roll bar being specified, while a five-speed gearbox was also fitted. 

The factory manual opened by saying that owners were ‘well equipped to enjoy all the pleasures of driving and for any motorsport competition held under fair conditions… we wish you unlimited luck and success!’

The BMW 1800 Ti and TiSA models certainly had a lot of success, most notably when the Belgian duo of Pascal Ickx and Gérald Langlois van Ophem won the 1965 Spa 24 Hours. The cars chalked up victories throughout Europe and were raced by notable names such as Dieter Glemser, Rauno Aaltonen and Hubert Hahne – who won the 1966 European Touring Car Championship in a 2000 Ti.

The Neue Klasse road cars were replaced by the E12 5-series in 1972, but over their decade-long production run they had helped to set the template for BMW’s enduring range of sports saloons. 

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