I’ve always been one that enjoys the road less traveled when it comes to cars. Having inhabited fairly wealthy, urban areas my entire life, I’ve grown tired of the ubiquitous luxury vehicles that seem to multiply on their own, such as the Mercedes-Benz C-class and the BMW 3 series, with the occasional small Audi mixed into the lot. For those who want a bit more speed, you can up the ante up to an AMG, M or S car, but even still, I’m left wanting for more. Something a bit more exclusive. Something, then, like this 840Ci for sale in California. You really don’t see too many of these E31s wandering about these days, especially late model versions like this V8 engined 1996 example. While the 850CSi is the E31 to have, I’d be perfectly happy with the adequate power and lower running costs of this M62 engined variant. Like their contemporary, the Porsche 928GTS, these are super coupes that are beginning to get their due respect amongst the collector market.
The BMW 8 series is one of those rare instances where low production doesn’t necessarily mean high cost, discounting the 850CSi, of course. This was the second BMW to receive the V12 engine, debuting in 1990 with the option of a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual gearbox. It combined a wedge shape with a pillarless profile and sleek, low-rise concealed headlamps. While E31s like this 850Ci for sale in Minnesota are fairly affordable when it comes to big German coupes, everyone knows you have to be committed to endure the high running costs. Someone has to save these twelve cylinder wonders, though.
Click for details: 1993 BMW 850Ci on eBay
If you asked me to rattle off a list of BMW’s greats over the years, you’ll find the 850CSi at the very top. This was a bit of a flash in the pan model for BMW, with few built over a handful of years, but it was a bright flash indeed. This car sported BMW’s brawny M70 V12 engine, tuned to produce 375 horsepower. Offered solely with a 6-speed manual gearbox, this was a car that could cover ground at a serious clip, a worth match for its contemporaries, the Porsche 928GTS and Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG. This 850CSi for sale in Missouri has just over 50,000 miles on it and allows the new owner to enter into an exclusive club of just 1,510.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 850CSi on eBay
The mid 1990s would see two grand touring heavyweights duke it out for a few short years for the title of best long distance cruise missile. The Porsche 928GTS and this car, the BMW 850CSi. The Porsche 928 was no stranger to the scene, having been around since the late 1970s. But the 928GTS was a vastly improved machine, with a powerful 5.4 liter V8 and wide haunches that accentuated its timeless look. The BMW 8 series was relatively new, taking over from the E24 6 series which ceased production in 1989. An M version of the 8 series would never make series production, but the 850CSi was a worthy substitute. With a 5.4 liter V12 engine pumping out 375 bhp, routed through a 6-speed manual gearbox, this was a serious performance machine. It was also rare, with just over 1,500 produced over a four year production run. Like the 928GTS, the 850CSi has dramatically increased in value over the last couple years, and this low mileage example for sale in Long Island is reflective of that.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 850CSi on Classic Driver
Though they’ve spent the last decade or so sitting unused in the back of the enthusiast dream garage, BMW’s E31 8-series has seen a resurgence in interest and appreciation recently. As the most range-topping coupe BMW’s produced, it took the shark-nose look into the techno era and stands out as an impressively clean design in the face of today’s luxury rhinoceri. This example spent its first 22 years with a single owner in California and has just crossed the 100k mark. It’s no show-stopping 850CSi, but that very fact helps it become one of the cheapest ways to get behind a V12 in the world. Well cared for and showing normal signs of age, it’s sweet example of BMW’s megacoupe that is quickly becoming collectible.