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Burst the Bubble: 1997 BMW 740i with 158 Miles

Andrew’s ultra-low mileage 996TT was certainly impressive. But if you want a real ship-in-a-bottle moment, this post is for you. Perhaps it would be better termed car-in-a-bubble?

This 1997 BMW 740i was apparently bought new and then never used. It’s traveled just 158 miles in 23 years; I don’t live very far from the closest gas station to me at all, but basically I’d exceed the mileage on this car by doing a round-trip just to the pump only once every 365 days. Nuts? Yeah, probably. But here you go – if you want an as-new E38, this is the auction for you:


Year: 1997
Model: 740i
Engine: 4.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 255 km (158 mi)
Location: Gogolin Slaski, Poland
Price: Auction

The only one available in the world, brand new BMW E38 740i
Not renovated.
No signs of the passage of time. Currently stored in air capsule with a mechanical air recirculation.
Not Japanese or USA. German registration document from 1997.
More photos on E-mail request.
Closed Transport within EU is Possible.

It’s hard to tell the exact color – I think it may be Ascot Green Metallic, but I’m happy to be corrected. If the VIN was posted it would be a lot easier to tell obviously. Condition? Unreal. This car does really look new throughout. Is it the car to have? General commentary on the internet would say no; it’s not the best engine BMW’s made, and it’s not the best configuration of the E38. Apparently, no one told that to the bidders. So far, a scarcely believable E. 133,400 has been pledged. That’s $149,000 in freedom bucks for those that are counting, and there are still two days to go on the auction. It also must surely be a record for the E38 excluding Suge Knight’s shot-up ride (which, by the way, can still be yours for $1,750,000 apparently). That type of bidding offers a glimpse into a few things; the relatively unprecedented opportunity these types of cars offer bidders, and the isolation (so far) of the car market from the stock chaos of the past few weeks. It will be interesting to see the final number on this car. Could it crack $200,000?



  1. Patrick
    Patrick March 29, 2020

    I don’t get it. I am not aware of any significance of this BMW. Not like a M1, E30 M3, or even an 1M. You can use the same money where the bid is, go down to a showroom and buy the top of the line 7-series. You get the latest in design, all the bells and whistles, and performance. It is a beautiful BMW but sorry, am I missing something?

  2. michael blechman
    michael blechman March 29, 2020

    patrick, this car isn’t about new features and the design is certainly more beautiful than the new models while suffering only marginal complexities of computer inanity… granted it’s not a sports model but none the less it is rather unique and there seems a singular opportunity to own the best preserved bmw… money is not a concern for some collectors and they are bidding…

  3. Steve O
    Steve O March 29, 2020

    I don’t believe for one second these are real bids. Also, electronic simplicity? All 7 series are known for electrical problems. I’m not interested enough to follow but doubt the auction will end successfully.

  4. Christian
    Christian March 29, 2020

    An example of how to invest poorly. That car, worth $65K in 1997, could have been invested in the market and worth $240K today. Plus all the money to store it. And insure it. So, if they get anything less than $275K for it, it will be a big loss for the original owner. And an engine sitting for 23 years is pretty much going to be a disaster and require a $10K rebuild.

  5. Christian
    Christian March 29, 2020

    But I would still like to be the person to finally break in that car….

  6. michael blechman
    michael blechman March 30, 2020

    a properly stored car, and this one is that, would need very little to be road worthy.. the question is will this car ever come out of the bubble? i have a friend with several very dear motorcycles that are still in their crates from the factory… MV Agusta and ultra rare homologation super bikes that will never turn a wheel… it seems that specimens exist at all levels of collections…

  7. Richard Weston
    Richard Weston March 31, 2020

    SOLD! Ending bid was right about $130k US.

  8. Johannes Koch
    Johannes Koch April 5, 2020

    I find it rather sad that a car like this 7-Series has been coccooned away under a plastic bubble for 20+ years. Yes, I understand its collectibility & pristine condition, but these fine pieces of engineering were meant to be driven!

    All of the research, design and workmanship that München could throw at it in 1997 seems like a complete waste of effort for it to be sequestered away for decades.

    If I had the funds, I’d buy it, have every seal, gasket & rubber piece replaced or renewed and DRIVE THE HELL OUT OF IT!

  9. Ricky Weston
    Ricky Weston April 5, 2020

    It’s been stored properly, therefore likely doesn’t need “every seal, gasket, & rubber piece” replaced. This car is ready to go.

Comments are closed.