Check out that booty! Not all that bad right? That’s because the post LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) E65 7 Series was far better looking than the early “Bangle Butt” models. The ’05-’08 cars had larger more rounded grills, completely re-styled headlights and they got rid of the god awful light strip on the trunk as well. Inside the changes were not as apparent, most of them addressed quality concerns, though they still didn’t fix the much maligned iDrive system. In addition to featuring an outdated, clunky navigation unit, this final year E65 750Li features a 4.8L V8 that gets sub par fuel economy. The motor produced 360hp/360 lb-ft of torque which would be fine if the thing didn’t weigh in at 4,905 lbs. At this point you might be asking yourself why I’m writing this car up given all these negative aspects. Well despite it being a gas guzzling beast with archaic tech, I still think these cars, this one in particular, represent a great value in the used luxury market.
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BMW’s recent advertisement campaign for the 3-series has notably featured the E21; interesting, since it’s the first time that I can remember BMW actually acknowledging the first 3. It’s not that the E21 didn’t have the right recipe; Paul Bracq’s design was lovely and of course coupled to the traditional front-engined, rear-drive platform with a manual gearbox, but I think that a large part of the E21’s problem was the perceived lack of sport for the 320 model that came here. If you were in the rest of the world, you could get a hotter and better looking option than what Americans would enjoy – the 323i. With the fuel injected M20 motor under the hood, the 323i enjoyed a healthy 20 horsepower bump over the standard 320i, and since it was a Euro car it had better looking….well, it goes without saying. The slimmed down and beefed up 323i made it here through the grey market, with this particular example having the added interesting bit of history of having been imported by notable BMW specialists Hardy and Beck:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 BMW 323i on eBay
Even though it was my first car, I’ve lost a bit of interest in the BMW E30 3 series over the years. I’m not sure whether its the fact that other cars have grabbed my attention or I’ve just grown bored with them. But there are still two E30s that still fascinate me. One is the Touring model, of which examples are just starting to trickle over to these shores. The other is the 325ix. The all-wheel drive E30 was somewhat rare, with just under 30,000 produced and a little over 2,600 examples sold in the US market. This particular 325ix for sale in Virginia has been restored and is equipped with a manual gearbox. In Alpine White in four-door trim, this is quite the desirable, eye catching combination.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325ix on eBay
In my ongoing quest to get into a newer BMW, one car that keeps popping up is the 1 series E82 Coupe. The reason why is pretty simple; value. I love cars with the M badge, but it’s sometimes hard to justify the premium, and looking through the E46 market is a bit like one of those Sarah McLachlin-soundtracked mistreated animal commercials. Too many have suffered heavy modifications, mistreatment, and the number of salvage titles must exceed any other specific model – it’s simply amazing. In contrast, many of the 135is are just leaving their first owners as they begin to head into the used car market, meaning there are plenty of examples in good shape, with good owner history and with lower miles. Still, the E82 doesn’t really get me warm and fuzzy; I once described it as a E46 M3 that was in the middle of a 3-car pileup and then repaired by a high-school autobody shop as a project. It just doesn’t look quite right to my eyes, with the bending rocker accentuating the short wheelbase, while the “I’m somewhat surprised” look of the too-large and too-upright headlights begs for some internet meme action. However, once in a while one catches my eye and strikes me as a compelling alternative to a M3. With the twin-turbocharged N54 under the hood coupled to a manual transmission, you got the same feel as the E46 M. Couple that with some attractive visual changes from BMW specialist Hartge along with a bump in power, and suddenly you have a much neater package:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW 135i Hartge on eBay
The 1978 BMW 530i that Carter featured last September has reappeared, once again with a reserve. It’s not everyday you see an E12 in survivor condition, so let’s appreciate this car for what it is and reflect upon the first in a series of what would be some of the world’s favorite sport sedans.