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.
The 1995 BMW 850CSi we featured two summers ago is back up for sale on Bimmer Forums. The car has covered just under 1,000 miles in that time, but besides that fact, this has to be one of the best higher mileage E31s I’ve seen in some time. Along with its contemporary, the Porsche 928GTS, these big cruisers are bringing strong money these days. Will this one meet the ask this time around?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 850CSi on Bimmer Forums
The below post originally appeared on our site July 31, 2014:
Almost exactly a month ago, I took a look at “The One” – the single yellow Alpina B12 5.7 produced. With little information and a staggering price, it was hard to conceptualize how it would reasonably trade hands. But if that was the package you exactly desired, that was about as good as it got. Alpina produced only 57 of the 5.7 Coupes, after all. About half of those produced were opted with an early form of semi-automatic transmission. Dubbed the “Shift-Tronic”, Alpina offered this electronically controlled clutch as an option only of the 5.7 models, and a reported 32 were so equipped. Though not so wildly optioned with color, today’s 5.7 is claimed to be number 30 of the run:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Alpina B12 5.7 Coupe on Classic Driver
Both new and now as it gains modern classic status, “reasonable” has rarely been an adjective that comes to mind with the BMW 850CSi. Yet compared to the prices we’ve seen for nice, low-mileage examples over the past few years, this silver V12 M-Powered megacoupe is exactly that. A 50k-mile 850CSi was looking for mid-$60ks less than two months ago, while this June, Classic Driver was looking for almost $90k for one with 30k miles. That makes this two-owner, well-documented and maintained example extremely reasonable at $48k. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but these are quickly gaining more respect as collector cars beyond their baseline megaluxury and performance. With a 6-speed and 375hp out of twelve cylinders, that’s still a lot for less than $50k.
Click for details: 1994 BMW 850CSi on eBay
Bold. It’s a word not often associated with Alpina. In fact, if anything traditionally Alpinas have been anything but bold. Tasteful, certainly, but they seem to almost blend into the BMW lineup as if they were originally part of it. Indeed, today they are – offered through your local BMW dealership almost as a factory option like floor mats, you can get a monster Alpina tuned version of your car. But if bold is loosely defined as being striking or vivid, few Alpinas would really capture the attention of the general public as anything more than a normal production BMW. But the design of the E31 was bold with the wedge shape redefining production series BMWs. And this particular version of the E31 – the Alpina B12 5.7 – is pretty striking too, with giant wheels filling out the design nicely. The drivetrain of the B12 5.7 was pretty bold too, with a over 400 horsepower from a naturally aspirated V12. But it’s this singular example of the B12 that is perhaps the most bold. Painted Giallo, it’s arguably the most eye catching color to coat a E31, yet somehow suits it well with the black striping. Bold also is the strategy of trying to sell the car with only one photo and no description outside of a telephone number and some very basic details of the car. But perhaps the most bold thing about this E31 is the asking price, which despite the 90,000 miles on the clock is advertised at a stunning $221,000:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Alpina B12 5.7 Coupe 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
Euro cars always hold a special appreciation for me, especially from the 1970s and 1980s. First off, they were much better looking, generally with slimmer bumpers and larger, more clear class lights. There were colors and interiors that we didn’t get in the U.S. as well, helping to set yourself apart. Sometimes there were low-spec engines not imported, but usually the output of the motors that were similar to U.S. cars was higher, giving more performance to enthusiasts. Sometimes that gulf was huge; while usually around 10% higher, a great example is the Quattro which was a full 25% more powerful in Europe than the U.S. restricted version. But as we got towards the late ’80s, the gap inbetween both the looks and performance of the Euro models versus the U.S. models closed steadily. True, in some cases we still didn’t get the full-fat versions of cars like the M3 until the E46 chassis. But for most models, there was a negligible difference. When it came to the BMW E31, in fact, there were almost no differences between the U.S. models and European models; styling was exactly the same, as were the wheels, most of the colors and interiors, and the basic suspension and engine. So, it’s just not nearly as exciting to see a European-spec newer model like this ’91 850i pop up for sale, though it is a bit odd:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 850i Euro on eBay
Time for another 10K Friday roundup, and this time I’m focusing on Coupe Week for the theme. That results in a diverse selection to choose from; from a turbocharged 1.8 inline four right through a twin-turbo V12, we have front drive, all-wheel drive and two rear-drivers. Three are automatics with one manual and ten years separate the oldest to newest; yet these are all two-door cars that fit into the $10,000 budget price range. I wanted also to include a Porsche, but wanted to cover models that we hadn’t seen in other posts and the closest I could get in a 911 was in the mid-teens, so we’re down to four choices. Who wins this crazy competition?