While Mercedes-Benz is the go-to for protected dignitaries, executives and everyone else who has a potential mark of their back, they’re not alone in offering upgraded armor to their lineup. BMW also entered the game with their “Protection Package”. This turned the 7 into the ‘ultimate surviving machine’ by adding bulletproof glass front, sides and rear along with armor behind the body panels and no sunroof. A claimed 44 were sold here, making this one of the most rare variants of any BMW imported:
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:
What 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.
I’ve tried to show off some great classic BMW M cars recently. The early factory M cars have so much going for them: great power, subtle but aggressive looks, rarity and cache. Like Ben, I am a big fan of the E38 7-series, but this example has none of the qualities that made those M cars great, and no matter how hard this seller will try to convince you, there has never been an M 7-series. His taste is about as good as his spelling, but I thought it was still worth sharing. If anything, just to point and laugh, but who knows, maybe someone wants the “CUSTOM SWEAD INTERIORS” and can appreciate that “LOT OF MONY HAS BEEN SPEND ON THIS CAR.”
“EVERYTHING IS A CUSTOMIZE” 2001 740i for sale on Craigslist
There are good facets of this car, but it’s just too much. The red is actually a very nice shade, but doesn’t really suit the 7-series. The wheels would look good without the painted rim, the steering wheel is similarly tainted. The “red” (pink) roundels can go, along with the front winglets, the M badges on the door sills, front grill, engine, and the Pimp-My-Ride amplifier and speakers.
Once those basics have been taken care of, it’d be an attractive 7 series under $15k that somehow has “MORE HORSE POWER THAN REGULAR 740.” Until then, however, it’s just a good exhibit (Xzibit?) of what not to do to your BMW.