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Tag: 5.4

1996 BMW 850Ci

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 M20s. 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. That vision ultimately became the manual-only 850CSi, but upgrades later in the run saw the introduction of the V8 840Ci and the revised M73 5.4 liter V12 in the 850Ci. This one is a bit special, having run through the hands of BMW’s Individual department before being sent to Mexico:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 BMW 850Ci on eBay

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Facebook Feud: 1994 Porsche 928GTS v. 1994 BMW 850CSi

Recently on our Facebook page I posted a poll to see what our fans would like us to write-up. The choice in that poll was between two different generations of Grand Tourer; cars with the same purpose but very different execution. The Porsche 928GTS was at the end of its illustrious production run, the ultimate evolution of the V8 transaxle design. On the other hand, the fairly recently introduced 850CSi wasn’t quite the ‘M8’ BMW had teased, but in a post-Recession economy it was still pretty special. The 928GTS clocked in to work with a slightly revised exterior, 17″ Cup wheels, giant Brembo brakes and a stonking 5.4 liter 4-cam V8 capable of 345 horsepower. The 850CSi was, of course, also naturally aspirated, but a 5.6 liter V12 lay under its computer-designed angular bodywork. The E31 was heavily breathed upon by BMW’s Motorsport division, the S70 laughed at Porsche’s V8 by channeling 372 horsepower to the rear wheels solely through a 6-speed manual gearbox. Like the 928, bodywork revisions, M-System II forged wheels and mega brakes along with suspension updates helped justify the lofty price.

In their days, both of these cars could eclipse $100,000 easily with options. The thing is, they’ve never really come down in price. Both were quite limited production; a total of 1,510 850CSis were made with only 225 sent to the U.S., while 2,877 928GTSs were made, with I believe 451 landing in North America.

The Facebook poll came down to a dead heat between the two, each with 44 votes. So, I did my best to come up with two worthy examples priced closely to consider today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 850CSi on Hemmings.com

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1999 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG

I’m ready to declare that the W210 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG has stepped into collectibility territory. Full disclosure, I own one of these so take it how you want, but the recent sale prices have been telling the story. Over the past year, auction results for clean, nice condition E55s have been producing prices that have surprised me just a little. For the past five to eight years, you could pick a decent W210 E55 for $7,000-9,000 and have a nice example. If you wanted a rusty one with a bunch of issues, $5,000 would put one in your driveway. Now, those $9,000 examples are $13,000-$15,000 and the really prime cars with low miles are reaching the high-teens and maybe even $20,000. Sure, you can still find those rusty $5,000 ones if you look hard enough, but I just don’t think there will be any appreciation on those because once the rust starts on a W210, it never ends. I guess this makes sense in the grand scheme of things because we’ve been seeing price cycles like this for years with W201 190E-16vs, W124 500Es and on the BMW side with the E39 M5 and of course the E30 M3. Remember when you could get one of those for $8,000?

Today’s car, a 1999 E55 AMG up for sale in Canada, brings a little bit of a unique situation. First being it is a Canadian-spec car so there are some minor changes from the US cars and second being that it’s a 1999 which means this is the rare, one-year only, pre-facelift car. That means a different gauge cluster, steering wheel, body work, transmission setup, taillights and radio. For some the one-year status might mean increased scarcity, but I doubt you’ll find a lot of people wanting a 1999 over a 2000-2002 because of all the upgrades the facelifted cars received.  That doesn’t matter all that much today because this car is in outstanding condition and is set to probably bring a nice, fat number once the auction ends.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG

Last week I checked out a 2011 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe and broke down how even though Mercedes calls it an E-Class Coupe, it was about 80% W204 C-Class and 20% W212 E-Class. This isn’t a new thing as Mercedes has been doing this for a few generations now and today we have another example of this in a 2002 CLK55 AMG up for sale in South Carolina. This W208 looks like a W210 E-Class cosmetically, but under that metal is actually the chassis of the W202 C-Class. Inside, you have a small handful of parts from the W203 C-Class and many more parts unique just to the CLK55 and not from the brother of this car, the W210 E55 AMG. Once again, buyers of this car probably had no idea of all this and probably didn’t care all that much either. C’est la vie.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG on eBay

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2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

A little over a month ago I looked at a 1999 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Estate that, thanks to Canada’s 15-year import law, was ready to be enjoyed by our friends to the north. Today, I have big brother E55 AMG Estate that looks to be literally fresh off the boat from Japan. This 2001 shows 47,000 miles and looks to be missing the most important W210 characteristic: rust. Although much like the W211 AMG Estate, you’ll pay a premium for that extra cargo room.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on eBay

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