2001 BMW 740iL Highline

Want a special, great looking 7-series but don’t want to drop new car money? There are plenty of options outside of the Alpina we saw yesterday. Take for example today’s 2001 Highline model.

The E38 was already pretty special, but on the 740iL you could opt for the Highline package for an additional $3,000 over the $66,400 base price. The package came in two colors; Orinoco (Green) Metallic or Midnight Blue Metallic. Each came with a special interiors: Nappa leather in Ecru with either English Green or Marine Blue piping with matching doors and seat backs, as well as special colored carpets and dashboard to match the exterior. Dynamically there were no differences; under the hood was the normal M62/TU found in other 740s, but boy was the color combination pretty – and like most 7s of this generation, they’ve become quite affordable:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 740iL Highline on eBay

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2001 BMW 740iL


The E38 7-series is a firm favorite around these parts, a throwback to the pre-Bangle era in BMW styling’s department, before things got all fussy and bloated. With its angular lines and restrained, good looks, the E38 is a bit like a bouncer in a bespoke suit: brawny but sophisticated looking. Given that many of them were pressed into service as executive transportation, it’s not surprising they mostly appear in subdued colors like black, silver or gray. But every now and again a more adventurously colored car pops up, like this low-mileage example for sale in California.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 740iL on eBay

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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

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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

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2001 BMW 740i Sport

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The E38 7-series is perhaps the last classically handsome BMW. Its conservative, purposeful design has aged well and serves as poignant reminder of how things used to be, before the advent of Chris Bangle’s fussy futurism. Plutocratically expensive when new, today you can buy an early, high mileage, rough-around-the-edges example for a mere couple of grand. But the question is – would you want to? A $2k car that cost nearly $100k new is bound to be a ticking time bomb of wallet-rending catastrophe. To get a nice one you have to spend a little (but not too much) to get a lot (quite a lot, in fact). Around $10k will buy you a nicely sorted example – still not a lot of money, when you think about it – and just a smidge more will put you into a Sport model, like this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 740i Sport on eBay

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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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 740i Sport on Bimmerforums

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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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 740i M-Sport on eBay

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1995 BMW 740iL

3What is your tolerance for risk? That’s the question you need to ask yourself if you’re thinking about buying a cheap, high mileage German executive sedan. The used car market is littered with them: cars whose values have fallen so far off a cliff that they can now be had for a fraction of their original price. This E38 740iL is one such car, on sale for just $3,800. Let that sink in for a moment: a mere thirty eight hundred dollars (EDIT: it’s listed even cheaper on their website at $3,100). The yuppie bike store a few blocks from my house sells bicycles that are more expensive than that. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Sure, the asking price might simply turn out to be the cost of entry into money-pit hell. But on the other hand, if you go in with your eyes open, and especially if you can turn a wrench yourself, this could be a great deal on a cool car that lets you live out your Transporter fantasies on a shoestring budget.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 740iL on eBay

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2001 BMW 750iL with 12k miles

I’ve featured quite a number of BMWs over the past week, but none of which are quite as impressive and imposing as this 2001 750iL with an incredibly low 12,000 miles on the odometer. This final year V12 powered E38 is, for the, the stuff dreams are made of. BMW nailed it with the styling on this executive express, made even more attractive with the Style 37 M Parallel wheels. This car also has a bit of celebrity status attached to it, having been owned by the singer Steve Perry since new. Still lamenting the direction 7 series styling has gone in the last 15 years? Here’s another chance to own an almost new E38.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 750iL on eBay

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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

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