The 850CSi holds a special fascination for me; for some folks, the M cars like the E28, E34 and E30 models are the real draw, but the 850CSi is to me a siren of the 1990s BMW lineup. Granted, I’m fairly certain that it’s a car I’ll never have the luxury of owning – and likely, I’ll never get to drive one either. They’re not common to come by and because of their nature as a limited production halo model still command a serious premium over “normal” 8 series. Beyond that, there are many cars that you could get into that easily outperform the 850CSi for less money. Despite that, every time I see one of these cars my heart melts just that little bit. It didn’t make much fiscal sense for the E31 to be made by BMW, and you can raise many logical arguments as to why it’s not the best car to buy, but at the end of the day it’s the one I still think about. And if by some miracle I won the lottery and had not a worry in the world, an 850CSi would be on my “must have” list. While it might be tempting to get into one with lower miles, I might actually sport for one with such a dedicated owner as this example:
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A few months’ ago, I got wind of E24 Alpina rotting in a salvage yard in northern New England. Despite trekking across broken roads and through desolate towns, my excitement was tempered by the words, “We crushed that years ago.” Damn near crushed my soul, those words. This 1989 Alpina B10 is a far happier case of preservation and meticulous ownership, right down to the original floor mats and a rear seat that appears unused. Some pundits call it “…one of the best turbocharged engines ever”, and with 360 b.h.p. on tap, there’s plenty of power to go around. Despite a projected cost to develop of $3.2 million (in 1980s dollars), the B10 established the E34 chassis as one of Alpina’s greatest successes in its history, and this car is an impeccable specimen with only 41,000 miles. If you have to own one, it’s hard to go wrong with the one up for grabs at 4Star Classics.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo For Sale at 4Star Classics
I’ve seen this car making the rounds as of late, and I have to admit that even as a lover of OEM styling, this ’86 ES is actually pretty fresh. CATuned, the shop that did the bulk of the work, has been earning high praise on most BMW forums, helping solidify one of the car’s key selling points – it’s overall completeness and flexibility in a variety of environments. I love the newly-recovered seats, the option of two wheel designs to accompany the lucky buyer, and heck, even the cleverly-branded gauge cluster. Obviously, euro bumpers work well in almost any application, and this time is no different – but they look particularly killer against Alpine White paint.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 325es on eBay
I have a bit of a mixed bag for you this week – from period Tuner wheels to some that are more meant for dreams and Christmas wishes. The Rial cross-spoke wheels aren’t normally what you’d think of when you think of basket weaves, but they’re period correct for your mid-1980s Audi or early 924. The Momo wheels aren’t everyone’s bag, but they were a period wheel that was a very expensive option – as were the 17″ Style 10 wheels if you’re looking for something a bit more OEM. Those Porsche Speedline Ruf wheels are some of the best looking every made, and I’ve always loved the wheels on the McLaren SLR – even if they’re solidly out of reach of even my entire car budget. What’s your favorite?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Rial Cross-Spoke Audi 80/90 15×7 4×108 Wheels on eBay
Time for another roll call of some neat accessories I spotted for sale this week. The Votex items are extremely rare to find, even if their styling is somewhat polarizing. For a factory look, the W124 AMG rear spoiler needs refinishing but is an original piece. The Nürburgring brake package was a factory option that Dinan used as a “Big Brake” package for many BMWs, but originally came on either the M5, 540i M-Sport or 850CSi. Finally, there’s a set of Ruf pedals for your 911/964/993 just to finish things off. What’s your favorite?