1994 BMW 740i

The E32 7-series is a rare sight on today’s roads. And that’s a shame. These big-body behemoths from Bavaria exemplify a design language that’s now firmly in BMW’s past: menacing yet restrained, large but well proportioned, mixing brawny lines with classic cues like round headlights, angular kidneys and the Hoffmeister kink. On Friday, Carter wrote up a 735i. It was, he admitted, a bit sad, with oversized wheels and a tired look. While the 5-speed manual transmission made it tempting, I’m not sure it was enough to redeem the car, especially given the asking price. A neat alternative would be a clean, late model, bone stock V8 740i, if you can find one. The 4.0 liter M60 engine is relatively stout (apart from the Nikasil problem, which by now is unlikely to be an issue) and, putting out about 282 hp, sufficient to propel the car quite nicely to cruising speeds. While it may not give you the bragging rights associated with the V12 in the 750, it’s generally less of a headache to maintain.

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2001 BMW 740i Sport 6-speed manual

What’s better than an E38 740i? A 740i with the Sport package, which adds 18″ M-Parallel wheels, shadowline trim, sport suspension and seats. And what’s better than a 740i Sport? A 740i Sport with a manual 6-speed gearbox. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. While these cars were only available from the factory with an automatic, a brave soul with a healthy supply of time, money and genius has converted this 740 to a stick shift by swapping in a transmission from an E39 540i. That should turn this luxo-barge into a bit of a canyon carver.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 740i Sport on eBay

2000 BMW 740i Sport

Taut, restrained and handsome. These words come to mind when describing the E38 platform 7-series, perhaps one of the most successful BMW designs in recent memory. In short wheelbase form with the M-Sport package, which adds sport seats, firmer suspension, shorter final drive, M-Parallel wheels, sport steering wheel and Shadowline trim, the conservatively styled executive express takes on a slightly more menacing look and feel. Owing to the marvel of depreciation, these cars can be had for a fraction of their original cost. While bargain-basement examples are tempting, they probably hide gremlins that will cost the asking price again to put right. Best to pay up front for a nice one, like this lovely looking example for sale in California.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW 740i M-Sport on eBay

2001 BMW 740i Sport

1I don’t think BMW has produced an attractive 7-series since the E38, offered between 1994 and 2001. Sure, later versions of BMW’s flagship sedan are more impressive in other ways: larger, more powerful and more technologically advanced. But they aren’t what I would call classically beautiful. The E38 on the other hand, with its conservative, angular styling, graceful proportions and purposeful stance, is an extraordinarily handsome car. Because of depreciation, you can pick one up for relative pennies these days. For example, I wrote up an early model 740iL a few months ago advertised for just $3,800. But a car that cheap is bound to have expensive repair needs lurking beneath the surface. In truth, if you want a nice E38 that is mechanically sound, you have to spend a bit of money up front to save on potentially exorbitant costs further down the road.

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2001 BMW 740i M-Sport

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Bright red isn’t a color you would typically paint an executive sedan, but, in the case of the E38 BMW 7 series, somehow it worked. Imola Red was, however, offered as an option on the E38 and was a popular choice with those opting for the M-Sport package. It can be a bit tricky to identify a true M-Sport, as the real defining features are the high stall speed torque converter and lower ratio differential. However, the visual clues are fairly easy to spot, such as the Shadowline trim, M-Parallel alloys, M Steering wheel and the countour/sport seats. This 740i M-Sport for sale in South Carolina is described as a one owner car that is showing just over 112k miles on the odometer. These late model E38s have turned into a bit of a cult classic, given the styling direction of the 7er that followed.

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2001 BMW 740i M Sport

The year 2001 would mark a watershed moment for BMW in the executive segment. This was the final year the E38 7 series would be produced. Usually, the arrival of a new model would be received with much anticipation, but sales for the venerable 7 series would increase in its final months of production as people caught wind of what was coming down the pike with the E65 7 series. Customers seemed put off by the radical new styling and new technology such as iDrive. They longed for the classic BMW shape, a car which didn’t necessarily define a certain class of car but always stood out as the alternative choice for someone who wanted just a little bit more when it came to a large luxury sedan. This 2001 740i M Sport for sale in New York is ordered up the way I would want my E38. Looking mean in black with the Style 37 M Parallel wheels, this is the perfect blend of luxury and sport.

Click for details: 2001 BMW 740i on Hemmings Motor News

2001 BMW 740i M-Sport

Earlier this week, our reader Craig altered us to a great condition, nice color and eye-catching 2001 740i M-Sport. Unfortunately, that example sold but I was able to source a replacement to remind us of why the E38 BMW is so great. Truth be told, in 2001 BMW faced some pretty stiff competition from Audi’s new kid on the block, as the 360 horsepower all-wheel drive S8 finally was delivered to the U.S. market. Low, mean, luxurious, capable and quick, the S8 is a package which few large sedans are able to match in terms of desirability. In fact, in my mind there’s only one potential match; the E38 BMW 7 series. A good looking sedan to start with, the rakish profile is accented by the fender bulges, but the thing I’ve always really loved is the headlight treatment. The continuation of the body lines past the intersection of the headlights leaves partially eclipsed beams reminiscent of the E28 European headlight treatment. Equipped with the M-Sport package, the E38 gets even more down to business with blacked out detail work and the awesome M-Parallel wheels really filling out the package:

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2001 BMW 740i Sport with 8k miles

Even though it was a large car for its day and offered supreme levels of luxury, the BMW E38 7 series stayed true to its roots of “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” You could instantly recognize that this car was derived from sport sedans of yore, with it’s double kidney grille and four headlamp profile. In markets outside the US, this was to be the last 7 series available with a manual gearbox. In addition, BMW offered a Sport Package on the E38, as we see here with what is possibly one of the lowest mileage examples left in existence.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 740i Sport on eBay

2001 BMW 740i Sport

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The E38 is one of my favorite sedans of all time. The E39 gets a lot of love as “best ever” thanks to its monumental M5, but the contemporary 7er is the perfect blend of the simple, sharp lines descending from the 80s classics with modern features and aggression. The Sport package, introduced in 1999, backed up its Shadowline trim and M-Parallels with a new transmission and suspension and is absolutely the way to go with E38s. Some came with 6-speed manuals, but this is one of the few instances where I find a 5-speed auto to be perfectly suitable. Today’s example looks fantastic in black on black, but suffered a front end collision – apparently just requiring a front bumper and headlight – that caused the insurance company to total it. It’s all repaired now and looks great, but title issues are always a little sketchy. Clearly the seller was not worried about resale value, and if you don’t care either this no-reserve auction could be an amazing deal for one of the best full-sized sports sedans ever.

Click for details: 2001 BMW 740i Sport on eBay