1992 BMW 850i 6 speed

There are certain sports and luxury vehicles that take off in terms of appreciation over the years. The 8 series BMW, well, isn’t one of them. I’ve always admired the looks of BMW’s über coupe of the 1990s and even clean, lower mileage examples have come down in value to a point where they can be an affordable proposition if bought wisely. Here is a slightly modified 1992 850i with the less common 6 speed manual option and just shy of 60,000 miles.

The seller states:

A beautiful pampered low milage 8 series with smooth V-12 power mated to the rare 6 speed ZF manual transmission. Slightly modified with twin conforti chips increasing HP to 340. The BBS wheels (8″front-10″rear) along with H&R performance lowering springs give the car the aggressive stance it was meant to have. Just about a Csi without the price tag! Included in the sale are the stock rims/tires and springs should you wish to return the car to stock. Recent new brakes, rotors, alignment, new belts and K&N air filters.

Performance modifications notwithstanding, this particular 8 series looks fairly unmolested and I haven’t seen on in this particular shade of green in a while. I think the color combination suits it well. This is a lot of car for $13,500. It’s been said that every enthusiast should either drive or own a V12 in their lifetime, and well, even with rising petrol prices, this E31 is still plenty attractive.

-Paul

1997 Mercedes-Benz SL600

While the AMG lineup has taken Mercedes-Benz by storm over the past decade, lost in the cracks are the more pedestrian, yet equally special non-AMG V12 models. Fancy an SL with V12 power for Honda Civic money? Well, here’s your chance, although beware, because obviously a car like this won’t come with Civic-esque servicing costs.

The seller states:

1997 Mercedes-Benz 600SL Roadster. This is a sale by a private individual with the assistance of an agent. I will present (without bias) all realistic and reasonable offers to the seller.

Serial number: WDBFA76F8UF146015

36,721 original miles

Smoke Silver exterior (702 factory paint code)

Parchment Leather (565 factory interior color code)

Please see detailed photo below for list of options with factory codes

100% original paint

Perfect paint, no scratches or dings anywhere

100% original interior ~ no redye or aftermarket anything

Perfect interior ~ zero blemishes, zero.

Perfect leather, perfect carpet.

Serviced by Mercedes-Benz Dealership…not anywhere else

Meticulously maintained

Full factory books, owners manual, and stamped service booklet in factory pouch.

Perfect windshield, no chips

Perfect alloy wheels, no discoloration, no curb rash.

Both tops ~ hard and soft are perfect.

Original window sticker included.

The car drives perfect. The steering wheel is absolutely dead straight when the car is going straight. An amazing car. It is difficult to keep a 1997 looking this good. I congratulate the seller.

Low mileage R107 SLs aren’t that uncommon, but according to the Standard Catalog of Mercedes-Benz, there were only 738 SL600s produced in 1997. While the horsepower difference from the V8 to V12 is not entirely great, those who have driven them say that V12s bring a whole new level of smoothness to the driving experience. If you have the means and the resources to keep one of these classics on the road (tune ups are not going to be cheap), this is a relatively affordable way into a clean future classic.

-Paul

1991 BMW 850i with only 11k 1st in U.S.?

The seller claims that this 8 series, with only 11,440 miles, may have been the first one imported into the U.S.. The car is presented as new with all books and with a Dinan ECU upgrade, Dinan Exhaust, and AC Schnitzer wheels.
Not much more to say with this one, other than driving it will start to bring down the value. Which is a shame since it comes with the manual transmission. The big V12 begs to have its legs stretched on some lonely highways. It also begs to have some better pictures in the ad. If you have a super low mile car and your looking to showcase how pristine it is try to get some decent, well lit, in focus photos.

The buy-it-now price is $47,500.

~Evan

1991 BMW 850i

Following in the footsteps of the beloved BMW 6 series E24 was never going to be an easy task, no matter what the machine. However, in 1989, the 8 series bowed at the Frankfurt Auto Show to take on the newly developed R129 Mercedes-Benz SL. Over it’s almost decade long production run, sales were rather lukewarm. However, there’s no denying what a capable grand touring machine this coupe was. Here’s an early V12 engined example with low miles for a temptingly low price:

The seller states:

Originally a Canadian car that was owned originally by a BMW dealer. I bought the car over Easter weekend after a long search and drove her 1100 miles to where she sits today. ~ 62k miles.

Automatic transmission
Diamond Black Metallic exterior.
Light grey/black two-tone interior.
Sport seats – very rare (heated).
M-parellel wheels (18″). Second set of wheels(turbines)/tires go with it.
Unpainted CSi front spoiler goes with as well – with a matching rear valence ($1000 value).
Newish m-tech steering wheel (not shown in the pictures).
35% tint all around.
Sunroof and all windows work perfectly.

This 850 is in outstanding condition inside and out. The paint is in excellent condition. The interior is nearly flawless – with virtually no signs of wear. The sport seats are in incredible shape and include heat as well as the motorized leg bolster. Light grey in color. Door panels and interior trim are in perfect condition. Headliner is in good condition with only a small patch showing a slight indentation.

Phone has been removed from the center console, but it will go with the car. The original steering wheel and airbag would go with the car as well. Currently the car is running with the Wokke EML chip and Racing Dynamics DME chips. This makes the car a joy to drive.

The car has been well cared for by all the previous owners. The maintenance records are very thorough and even includes original brochures, magazine clippings, a book about the making of the 8 series and more. Don’t miss out on this beauty – everyone deserves to own a V12 in their lifetime!

For a car with such low mileage and an apparently thorough history, $14,500 seems a good bargain for a V12 coupe. Still, one should go into a purchase like this, eyes wide open, and budget for V12 running costs. This is a case where the V8 840i would make more sense. But for those who always wanted to experience a 12 cylinder vehicle, this could be just the ticket.

-Paul

1992 BMW 850i 6-speed for sale

I was visiting home (Seattle, WA) recently, and went to a fish and chips spot on one of the local lakes to meet up with friends and family.  As I walked through the parking lot I remembered that this was the place I had first seen a BMW 8-series many years ago.  It was a later 850CSi as opposed to today’s 850i so it had a little extra mojo, but the low-slung GT shape is as magnetic now as it was back in 5th grade.  The E24-like greenhouse, sweeping fender flares and imposing rear end make for an unmistakable car and one of the cleanest examples of a BMW halo-car.

The initial 850i models may be the least powerful of the eights, but it’s all relative, and we’re talking about a 5.0L V12!  This decked out 8-series also comes with the rare (and awesome) 6-speed manual.

1992 BMW 850i 6-speed for sale on Craigslist

The bad:  Complex V12 is a beast for maintenance.  Only the onboard computer, one of two, is working.  I never liked those wheels; they look too small and cheap.

The good: 5.0L V12 connected directly to 6 gears.  Timeless, gorgeous shape.  Plenty of luxury, including a car phone! (Can this be connected to my cell number?)

Even with less than 90k miles, if you go into a V12, or a BMW, let alone a BMW V12, without thinking you’re going to spend some money, you’re dumb.  With that established, this is a whole lot of car and engine for $13k that could be spruced up into one hell of a grand tourer.

SUV Theme Week Closes

The SUV theme week added a bit of interesting flavor to the blog. I think we’ll continue to keep an eye out for the occasional German born beast to compliment the svelte roadsters we post. As always if there is a theme you would like to see us try shoot us an e-mail, dan@motoringblogs.com.

While we didn’t find any of the following for sale, I thought we just couldn’t leave an ultimate German SUV discussion without posting these.

If you are a Benz fan and want the highest form of expression of the G55 you actually have a pair of options.
You could go with the killer 600 horsepower Hamann Typhoon with 6 sidepipe exhaust:

or the even more crazy 700 horsepower, 800+ lb ft torque Brabus G V12 S Biturbo. Can you imagine a heavy truck with shape and weight of a small house that can hit 60 MPH in 4.3 seconds? The price tag is near $400,000.

~Evan

Cash for Clunkers Weekend Reading

You may remember my “spirited” post over the Cash for Clunkers program a little while back.

Well as a follow up here is the official government list of  cars sent to their deaths through the program.

Of note are the 63 BMW 6 series cars, including 13 635csi models, a 850i, a M3, and a M5.

Mercedes suffered as well, can you imagine over 100 560SEC s crushed? That is literally tons of usable parts from one of the greatest Benz engines gone. Looks like 11 Merc V12 engines also have made their last trip. No wonder parts are so expensive. A pair of AMG cars, a C36 and a C43, were sent away too and gasp a 500E.

A number of high end Audi models also are on the list and a sprinkling of Porsches.

Most surprising, though not German, on the list is the 1997 Bentley (listed as a Rolls Royce) Continental R and great oogley moogley a Buick GNX, listed under ASC. If that was a true GNX it could have been rolled and burned and still probably brought more than the CFC allowance.

Post your thoughts or interesting finds after you peruse the list.

~Evan

Mercedes Benz 600SEL a good choice for Labor Day

What better way to celebrate labor day then by looking at a car that was designed to take the labor out of the automobiling experience.
Do you remember the good old days when Mercedes put the letters describing their models after the numbers? Remember when those numbers and letters really stood for something instead of arbitrary model distinctions? 1992 was the last year before the switch. That year the king of the Mercedes line was the 600SEL. This was the first Mercedes V-12 since after World War Two. So at the time a Mercedes V-12 was much more a rarity than they are today.

Despite packing a V-12 this car was more than just a high power autobahn cruiser. It was packed with technical goodies that made it stand far above other models at the time.
The car had self closing doors, a power trunk handle, double pane power windows that stopped going up if your hand got in the way. Power front and rear head rests, heated headlamp washers, Bose stereo, the car even has a built in trickle charger. Perhaps most above and beyond were the two little antennas that popped out of the rear fenders when you went into reverse to help you see where the end of the car was. Remember this was well before the days of navigation, i-drive, and other now common technical gizmos.
1992 is also a significant year as that year the 48 valve V-12 put out 408 horsepower. Again remember, this is 1992 and that type of power was virtually unheard of in a sedan. By 1994 those pesky U.S. emissions requirements strangled horsepower down to 389 so the early 600SELs are the prize of the W140 bodied cars.

appears to be a fine, unmodified, low mileage example, only 59,000 miles. There should a ton of life left in the engine as long as the massive amounts of electrical components don’t cause a new owner problems. Not only is the car nice, the seller does a very good job with the ad text. This car was purchased new for $152,896.90. When you figure there is at least a $125,000 worth of depreciation to account for, purchasing a 600SEL today seems like a deal. Not a bad way to get a car in your driveway with V12 badges on the side. Just make sure you get the most well cared for example or you’ll be left with an empty wallet trying to fix peripheral items.

Here is a clip of a younger Jermey Clarkson talking about the 600SEL, scroll to 4:42 to see the over the top rear fender aerials in action:

~Evan

1999 Alpina B12 6.0 For Sale in Spain

The owner of this fine car contacted me about posting his car for sale, and though I usually focus on cars for sale available in the U.S., I would never say no to an Alpina! Check out his 1999 Alpina B12 for sale on his own micro-site:

quote from seller’s for sale website:

The B12 6.0 E-KAT is the fastest Alpina ever to be based on the BMW E38 7-series and also features the largest and most powerful engine in its history. In order to achieve the healthy 430hp (DIN), the 6.0 litres engine is fitted with light Mahle aluminum pistons, reworked camshafts, intakes and exhaust, BOSCH Motronic M5.2.1 fuel injection and various other features. Torque in this V12 engine rises to 600 Nm, 500 of which are available at only 1700 rpm.

Alpina Switch-TronicThe E-KAT part of the nomenclature represents the exhaust systems with steel catalyst that greatly lowers emissions without having a large impact on performance. All this power is sent to the wheels (wrapped in 245/40ZR20 tyres up front and 275/35ZR20 out back) through the only available gearbox, the Alpina Switch-Tronic unit developed in conjunction with ZF.

The BMW e38 really is a fine platform and I can only imagine what the Alpina version brings to the table. According to the Alpina Archive website entry on the B12, it’ll do a standing quarter mile faster than a Ferrari 355!

Good luck with the sale Simon!

dc