Feature Listing: 1991 BMW 850i MK-Motorsports

They didn’t get many headlines, but this past weekend was a significant one for BMW. At Le Mans, BMW’s M8 GTE didn’t fair all that well – but the company did make a splash by parking a production-ready 8-series outside. Will the new 8-series be impressive on paper and in person? No doubt, but it’s nowhere near as significant a leap as the E31 was from the E24.

The E31 was BMW’s first real attempt at integrating lots of computer designs and controls into one of their road cars. The clean-sheet design resulted in a 2-door grand tourer that shared some visual similarities with the great M1, but stood apart as a more practical cruiser. Unlike the E24, the windows could fully drop, revealing a graceful pillarless design to match the sweeping greenhouse. The sharp nose amazingly hid an even larger motor than its predecessor; in fact, it was basically two conjoined M30s. That configuration certainly has some drawbacks, but there was no denying that the 850i had serious presence and credentials with the M70 V12 kicking out 300 horsepower.

However, BMW softened the character of what potentially could have been a screamer. Many were outfit with 16″ wheels for a better ride and tied to an automatic transmission. This was truly a GT car, and not the supercar slayer that BMW teased with its M8 Concept. You had a few options to remedy this. You could wait and get a later 850CSi, or you could turn to the aftermarket to harden and sharpen your 8. And one of the best places to turn was MK-Motorsport.

Though not as well-known as Alpina or Hartge, MK-Motorsport developed alongside its countrymen and raced them, too. They also created a long list of improvements for various BMW models, including the E31. Without doubt, though, their biggest impact was made with the perfectly styled and sized signature 6-spoke wheel. Outfit on this beautiful Mauritius Blue Metallic 1991, they measure a jaw-dropping 18″ x 11″ wide in the rear – and boy do they fit perfectly. But this 8 is more than just a pretty set of wheels:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 850i on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1991 BMW 850i

Yesterday, Craig took a look at a very nice and quite affordable E32 750iL. These cars have traditionally been one of the most affordable ways to get into a V12 sedan, and consequently coming across a generally well sorted one that doesn’t require an extensive amount of service is difficult.

But the M70B50 also found its way into the replacement for aging E24. The revolutionary E31 signaled a leap forward in sophistication, refinement and styling from other period BMWs. Minus small details, it still looks reasonably fresh today; something that can’t be said of many 1980s-era designs. The three-quarter view above, for example, is mimicked closely by BMW’s own current 4-series today and the Audi A5. Yet as with the E32, the E31 has been the gateway into V12 Grand Tourers for many with aspirations loftier than their bank accounts. Finding a pristine, early 850i isn’t an everyday occurrence, so this one was certainly worth a look. It didn’t hurt that it’s been breathed on by Dinan, either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 850i on eBay

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1994 BMW 840Ci

1The E31 8-series (1989-1999) was available in 840Ci, 850Ci and 850CSi guises. The 840 came with a 4.0 liter V8 (later upgraded to 4.4 liters), while the 850 was powered by a 5.0 liter V12 motor. This engine was bored out to 5.6 liters for the range-topping CSi version. (The cousin of an abandoned project to build an M8, the CSi also came with a 6-speed manual gearbox, stiffer steering and suspension, and a model-specific bodykit.) Low slung and sleek, with pop up headlights, no B-pillars and a wedge-shaped profile, the 8-series was undeniably gorgeous. It was also incredibly expensive, both to buy and to repair, and a little underwhelming, particularly in entry level form, where the car’s performance never really matched the highly exotic exterior. That last criticism now seems a little unfair, since these cars were sold as grand tourers, not out-and-out sports cars. Still, the 8-series has remained somewhat under appreciated. As a result, entry level models can be found for a fraction of their original cost. This car is indeed a base model 840Ci, but it’s definitely not cheap. That’s because it carries a number of desirable features and upgrades, including some more usually found on the CSi model.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 840Ci on Bimmerforums

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1994 BMW 850CSi

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Following on to the Mercedes-Benz SL600 Silver Arrow that Andy featured yesterday, here’s an equally rare German flagship from the 1990s: the BMW 850CSI. While a BMW M8 was never officially produced, if you wanted your 8 series coupe with a bit of M flavor this was as close as you were going to get. The E31 8 series wasn’t as popular as its predecessor, the E24 6 series. A little over 30,000 E31s were manufactured in comparison to the longer production run of the E24, which saw over 86,000 examples produced. Out of those 30,000 8 series, only 1,510 were the model you see here. With an increase in capacity to 5.6 liters, the 850CSi cranked out 375 horsepower and was mated exclusively to a 6-speed manual gearbox. With uprated brakes, suspension and Style 21 throwing star alloys, this was a fetching package. This example for sale in North Carolina has yet to cross the 30,000 mile mark, good for those seeking a collector piece.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 850CSi on eBay

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1995 BMW 840ci with 28,000 Miles – REVISIT

A few days ago driving through traffic, a lean, low and angular shape drifted in between cars ahead of me. It stood out mostly because it was so different than the pool of SUVs it swam through. Like a shark parting a school of mackerel, it was a beautiful 840ci with M-System II wheels fit, and it was positively beautiful to see. What really struck me was the size though, more than anything else. I’ve never really thought of the 8-series as a small car – but there it was, dwarfed by the modern automobiles that surrounded it. Most other drivers ignored the door-wedge profile, but I sat transfixed remembering how revolutionary this car was when it was launched. When I happened across this 1995 840ci in my searches, a car which Paul featured back in January, I couldn’t help but want to write it up:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 840ci on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site January 10, 2015:

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1993 BMW 850CSi

A long while back in 2011, I took a look at one of those rare BMWs from the 1990s, the 850CSi. But the car I featured wasn’t any normal 850CSi, if you could even consider this super coupe “normal.” This was one of the few painted in Daytona Violet. It also had a lovely contrasting Lotus White/Violet leather interior. I did a double take when I saw this almost identical 850CSi for sale near Freiburg, Germany. The interior is a bit more purple than the one we saw here for sale in the US, but if you want to be bold, there are few better ways to do it than with a purple V12 powered pillarless coupe.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW 850CSi on Classic Trader

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Friday Fail: Laguna Seca Blue BMW 840Ci

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Welcome back to Friday Fail, our opportunity to provide your Friday with a little more levity as you obsessively refresh your blog roll and count the minutes until the weekend is here. My favorite target for FF is misleading or misinformed sellers, but today we’ll just focus on what looks to be a pretty serious basket case of an E31.

This Friday Fail is quite a head turner due to its repaint in the E46 fan-boy favorite Laguna Seca Blue, a color whose only claim to fame is being obnoxiously bright and having the aforementioned ALL CAPS INTERNET DEVOTEES. Bright colors certainly have their place, but I’ll take Estoril over LSB ten times out of ten. A bright-ass exterior and reasonably low 117k miles appear to be the only high points here. Despite reportedly being “babied and well taken care of,” this 840Ci looks pretty piggy once you get past the lipstick. The interior is beat save the brand new suede headliner(!?), yet the seller gives it 8/10. It should automatically lose an extra 3 points due to that ugly sliding gear selector. The engine bay looks like someone scrubbed it with dirt and shot it with a bb gun. Apparently it has new front suspension and a RACING RADIATOR FAN because Laguna Seca is a race track.

I like the E31 and I don’t actually hate Laguna Seca Blue, but I can’t think of any situation in which I would buy this LSB E31.

Click for details: 1995 BMW 840Ci on eBay

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1996 BMW 840Ci

I’ve always been one that enjoys the road less traveled when it comes to cars. Having inhabited fairly wealthy, urban areas my entire life, I’ve grown tired of the ubiquitous luxury vehicles that seem to multiply on their own, such as the Mercedes-Benz C-class and the BMW 3 series, with the occasional small Audi mixed into the lot. For those who want a bit more speed, you can up the ante up to an AMG, M or S car, but even still, I’m left wanting for more. Something a bit more exclusive. Something, then, like this 840Ci for sale in California. You really don’t see too many of these E31s wandering about these days, especially late model versions like this V8 engined 1996 example. While the 850CSi is the E31 to have, I’d be perfectly happy with the adequate power and lower running costs of this M62 engined variant. Like their contemporary, the Porsche 928GTS, these are super coupes that are beginning to get their due respect amongst the collector market.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 BMW 840Ci on eBay

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1993 BMW 850Ci

The BMW 8 series is one of those rare instances where low production doesn’t necessarily mean high cost, discounting the 850CSi, of course. This was the second BMW to receive the V12 engine, debuting in 1990 with the option of a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual gearbox. It combined a wedge shape with a pillarless profile and sleek, low-rise concealed headlamps. While E31s like this 850Ci for sale in Minnesota are fairly affordable when it comes to big German coupes, everyone knows you have to be committed to endure the high running costs. Someone has to save these twelve cylinder wonders, though.

Click for details: 1993 BMW 850Ci on eBay

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1995 BMW 850CSi – REVISIT

The 1995 BMW 850CSi we featured two summers ago is back up for sale on Bimmer Forums. The car has covered just under 1,000 miles in that time, but besides that fact, this has to be one of the best higher mileage E31s I’ve seen in some time. Along with its contemporary, the Porsche 928GTS, these big cruisers are bringing strong money these days. Will this one meet the ask this time around?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 850CSi on Bimmer Forums

The below post originally appeared on our site July 31, 2014:

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