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Tag: e31

Coupe Week: 1993 BMW 850i

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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.

Click for details: 1993 BMW 850i on eBay

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1995 BMW 840Ci

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I had to do a double take when I saw this 1995 BMW 840Ci for sale in California, as Carter had featured a strikingly similar example at the end of last month. Sure enough, this Oxford Green Metallic 840Ci is a different car altogether, but one which has almost 80,000 less miles. With the lower running costs of the V8 engine over the V12 and such low mileage, this could be one of the ultimate 8 series opportunities that we’ve come across here at GCFSB.

Click for details: 1995 BMW 840Ci on eBay

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1995 BMW 840Ci

While the BMW E31 isn’t a model that we feature constantly here on GCFSB, it’s certainly one that graces the pages on a regular basis. However, nearly all of the time we’re looking at the car that grabbed the headlines – the V12 engined derivatives that really brought BMW’s Grand Touring coupe more towards the jet set. However, quietly in 1993 BMW launched a more affordable and economic version of the 8-series when it planted the all-aluminum M60 V8 in the slanting nose. Perhaps enthusiasts overlooked it a bit because it wasn’t as powerful as the M70/73 or the S70, but to me the 840 was closer to the 635CSi that it replaced than the V12 model was. Like most of the end-of-the-run E24s, the 840 only came to the U.S. in automatic though, meaning less enthusiasts saw it as an exciting development. The 840Ci thereby became the red-headed stepchild of the E31 lineup – not exotic enough to grab the same headlines as the V12, but too expensive and not manual or powerful enough for the M crowd. Two decades on, though, the more rare to find 840Cis might just be a smart alternative for those interested in the awesome BMW GT:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 840Ci on eBay

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How ///Mportant is the badge? 1995 850CSi v. 1991 850i 6-speed

The question of badges, badge engineering and car’s values are always interesting to me. Obvious car values vary considerably, but some times enthusiasts really gravitate towards one particular year or sub-model within a lineup and choose that model for value. Yesterday’s 1995 M3 raised that point; while it was a neat color and lower mileage with good overall condition, it was the OBD1 status that had some claiming that it should be worth more than later models. In the case of the E31, it’s obviously the big-dog 850CSi that stands out with its BMW Motorsport heritage and build. But let’s say, for argument’s sake, that there was arguably a nicer example of the lesser 850i 6-speed with some light modifications available at the same time – is the M badge that important?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 850CSI on eBay

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1992 BMW 850i 6-speed

The numbers would suggest that there are many better performance options than the BMW E31. Even in top-spec CSi trim, there are faster, flashier cars that are available for less – sometimes much less. For example, you could have a much quicker 996 Turbo today for less money than the asking price of most CSis. Indeed, if you’d like to save a lot of money, there are other options too; countless AMG Mercedes, 928s – even a stray E24 M6 will give the CSi a run for its money. But the combination of style, presence and the promise of exclusivity have their own draw much as they do with other notorious under-performers, such as the Grand Touring Ferraris. Can you buy a Corvette that’s faster? Yes, but that’s not the point. However, the CSi is still a lot of money for most people to consider, especially for an occasional car. Back down your expectations a notch, though, and you can get 85% of the CSi if you look in the early 850i 6-speeds:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 BMW 850i on eBay

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