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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10K Friday: Ronin v. The Transporter

On the surface, the themes were very similar; two movies staring action superstars playing above-the-law criminals with an amazing ability to extricate themselves from seemingly impossible conditions against improbable odds driving large, fast executive cars. Despite this, the movies Ronin and The Transporter couldn’t be more different. I watched the former on the edge of my seat, captivated by the mystery, floored by the incredibly filmed stunt scenes, the attention to reality and detail, and the staggeringly awesome lineup of cars. The latter I struggled to get through at all; I managed to make it about half way through before giving up. To this day, I still haven’t seen the ending of the first movie, and nothing more than trailers of the second. Is there a third? I’m sorry, I’m sure it made a gazillion dollars in the box office but frankly when I watched the clip of the Audi A8L W12 corkscrewing through the air to miraculously remove a bomb from the bottom of the car on a perfectly placed scrap-metal magnet hanging in mid-air I lost all interest. I can suspend my belief for a movie like Ronin because there was an air of reality to it; the characters were flawed and mortal. Sure, there were problems with the plot and even some of the stunts – I mean, they don’t show Jean Reno standing in line at the DMV to register the 450SEL 6.9, for example. But in terms of reality, it was on this planet at least, while The Transporter seemed to be set in some alternate Japanese-live-action-anime reality I’m not sure I want to understand. Nevertheless, the central plot to both is about cars and driving (at least a bit), and today you can purchase just about all of the cars featured in these films for around $10,000 – so which would you have? I had to use a bit of creative with some of the versions, so you’ll bear with me I hope – here we go!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL on eBay

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10K Friday: 2001 – An Executive Odyssey – S8 v. 740i Sport

A few weeks ago, Paul wrote up a low mile 1995 740i, always a favorite of ours here at GCFSB. Also a favorite is the D2 S8. Together, they represent in our minds the pinnacle of large executive designs – fast, comfortable, quiet, and with enough presence to draw respectful looks without being overstated, showy or brash. We also think that these two executive sedans are better looking than the multiple generations that have replaced them. While performance and luxury have increased in both BMW and Audi, in our opinion both of these cars are the high-water marks for their respective brands. So, which would you rather have? Let’s start with the S8:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on eBay

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10K Friday: The ones everyone wanted! S8 v. 740i Sport v. 560 SEL

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Two weeks ago I wrote up executive showdown which featured an A8L against a 745i and S500. The general consensus was that while most wanted the Audi, the Mercedes-Benz (though maybe not that particular one) was the better long-term purchase. Personally, I think Audis of this generation sometimes get an unwarranted reputation, but regardless few people really wanted any of these cars as almost all found some earlier generation more appealing. So, run the tape again, this time with the “Greatest Hits”! Let’s start with the Audi:

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Year: 2002
Model: S8
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 108,572 mi
Price: $9,950

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on Web2Carz.com

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2002 Audi S8
4dr All-wheel Drive Quattro Sedan 4.2L
(full specs)

Engine:

Type: Premium unleaded..Cylinders: 8..Horse Power: 360..Variable Valve Timing..Max RPM: 7,000..Torque: 317..Max Torque RPM: 3,400..Compression Ratio: 11.00 : 1..Size: 4.2..Valve Gear: DOHC..Total Valves: 40..Engine Configuration: V..Displacement: 255..Vehicle Emissions: Federal
Transmission:

Number of speeds: 5..Manual / automatic: Automatic..Automatic type: Automatic
Fuel Econ:

15/21
Seating:

5
Safety:

Head airbags: Curtain 1st and 2nd row..Passenger Airbag: Yes..Traction control: ABS and driveline..Stability control: Yes..Child safety locks: Yes..Rear center seatbelt: 3-point belt..Seatbelt pretensioners: Front and rear
Convenience:

Cruise control..Power steering: Speed-proportional power steering..Steering wheel: Tilt and telescopic..Audio controls on steering wheel: Audio controls..Cupholders: Front and rear..Remote trunk release: Power..Door pockets: Driver, passenger and rear..Seatback storage: 2..Cargo net..12V DC power outlet: 2..Retained accessory power..Universal remote transmitter

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I can’t deny that I have a serious love affair with the S8. It just looks sooooooo right. This particular example looks splendid in the quite rare Irish Green Pearl and has the preferred look 18″ Avus wheels in good condition from the look of the photos. Interior also looks great, and mileage is low to average for the market. Timing belt service should have been performed so look for that to have been done, and also it appears there is front bumper damage (not uncommon on the low-slung S8), but at below $10,000, this car looks like the best bang for the buck in this group. Older Audis not your thing? How about a classicly styled BMW E38 740i Sport:

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Year: 2001
Model: 740i Sport
Engine: 4.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 111,513 mi
Price: $8,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 740i Sport on eBay

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VERY NICE 740I M SERIES

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Not much info, but this car looks splendid in classic black with equally classic M-Parallels. I love the look of these cars, they’re well proportioned and hide their weight cleverly. With around the same mileage of the Audi, this car is a little less complicated overall but consequently also offers less performance. But maybe performance isn’t your thing, and you’d like something a little more “classic” than the BMW? How about the dictator car of choice, a W126 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL?

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Year: 1990
Model: 560 SEL
Engine: 5.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 66,897 mi
Price: $7,999 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL on eBay

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This is a very clean 1990 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL sedan with 66890 miles. This Mercedes has been very well treated and maintained. This is a fully original Mercedes including the Becker stereo system. This 560 has front and rear seat heaters, and reclining rear seats, which are working properly.

We performed a road test as well as a safety and maintenance service on this vehicle in preparation for sale. The engine runs well and the automatic transmission shifts very nicely. All of the brake pads are in great shape as well. The oil and filters were just changed. I checked the equipment in this car for proper operation. I can verify that all of the following power equipment is working properly: All power windows, power door-locks, power seats, power sunroof, power mirror and antenna. The air conditioning and heat are working. All of the gauges and instrumentation are functioning properly. There aren’t any service or warning lights on.

The pearl grey paint is glossy and brilliant over the entire body. The exterior of this Mercedes is in very nice condition with only minor imperfections. There are some bumpers rub marks, a few bumps and some small scratches, but this car still looks really great. All of the trim is intact and in excellent condition, and the alloy wheels are clean, look great.

The interior has been very well maintained and is in terrific condition. All of the leather surfaces are soft and supple with very little wear, even on the driver side. The carpeting is clean and fluffy throughout this car. There aren’t any rips, holes or damage on the seats or carpeting in this Mercedes. The dash and door panels are in excellent condition without any cracks,fading or other damage. This was a non-smoker owned vehicle and there aren’t any smoke odors or burn marks inside this car.

The title is clear without any liens or encumbrances and is mileage are original. This is a beautiful 560 SEL in excellent condition. I would feel comfortable getting in and driving this Mercedes anywhere.

This Car has pass california smog inspection with no problem.

This vehicle is offer for sale by Econo Automotive Center Inc. We are a California licensed and bonded dealer. All California buyers must pay sales tax (varies), documentation fee ($60) , and DMV Registration Fee (varies) as well as SMOG check ($60)

All vehicles sold outside of California are exempt from all of the above fees. The buyer is responsible for registering the vehicle in their own state and paying the fees associated with doing so.

Buyers are to pay a $500 deposit within 24 hours of the ending of the auction and full payment due within 7 days.

PLEASE COME SEE THE CAR BEFORE BUYING OR CALL US FOR MOR INFO AT 714-697-6562 THIS CAR IS IN OUR PASADENA LOCATION.

BUYER PAYS FOR SHIPPING AND CARS HAVE TO BE PICKED UP WITH IN 21 DAYS

THIS CAR CAN BE SEEN IN PASADENA CA.

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This 560 looks to be in great shape, and while it’s probably the least exciting of the three there is something that is evergreen about the Mercedes-Benz models from this time period. They still exude luxury and opulence even though many of the features are found on base model Kias now. Truth be told, these cars all are bathed in luxury, and although I’m partial to the Audi, I think all three of these cars are winners and offer their own version of classic German motoring with a healthy dose of luxury on a shoe-string budget.

Which would you prefer?

-Carter