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Tuner Tuesday: 1991 BMW 850i

Yesterday, Craig took a look at a very nice and quite affordable E32 750iL. These cars have traditionally been one of the most affordable ways to get into a V12 sedan, and consequently coming across a generally well sorted one that doesn’t require an extensive amount of service is difficult.

But the M70B50 also found its way into the replacement for aging E24. The revolutionary E31 signaled a leap forward in sophistication, refinement and styling from other period BMWs. Minus small details, it still looks reasonably fresh today; something that can’t be said of many 1980s-era designs. The three-quarter view above, for example, is mimicked closely by BMW’s own current 4-series today and the Audi A5. Yet as with the E32, the E31 has been the gateway into V12 Grand Tourers for many with aspirations loftier than their bank accounts. Finding a pristine, early 850i isn’t an everyday occurrence, so this one was certainly worth a look. It didn’t hurt that it’s been breathed on by Dinan, either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 850i on eBay

Year: 1991
Model: 850i
Engine: 5.0 liter V12
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 101,000 mi
Price: $19,950 Buy It Now

1991 BMW 8501



Engine – 5.0L, 12 cylinder

Gearbox – Automatic

Drivetrain – RWD


· Two owners from new with clean Carfax and title

· Extensive list of desirable Dinan upgrades

· Meticulous maintenance with extensive service records

· All books, keys, and manuals present


This is an excellent example of BMW’s “pillarless” design 8 series coupe (known as the E31 chassis). This car was ahead of its time when released, and 25 years on, it still turns heads and invites conversations wherever you park. A very iconic 1990s performance grand touring car.

Benefitting from careful ownership, this car needs nothing in terms of mechanical or cosmetic attention. The service record file is well over one inch thick, with records dating back to 1991 and including all upgrades, servicing, labor, invoices, etc.

Dinan upgrades abound on this car. The engine management software has been upgraded, along with the transmission software. Dinan high flow exhaust and Extrude Honed intake manifolds yield a Dinan stated 354hp and 390 lbs ft of torque. Helping cope with the upgrades are Dinan Stage 1 suspension (springs and Bilstein shocks) along with Dinan negative camber plates. Out back is a Dinan 3.91 limited slip differential to get the power cleanly to the ground.

Dinan two-piece 18″x9″ wheels are mounted to the car with Continental tires sized 265/35-18 at all four corners. To halt the car, brakes have been upgraded to BMW Motorsport rotors and calipers, sized at 324mmx32mm front, and 328mmx20mm rear – this was a very expensive upgrade at near $5K for brake parts alone.

Cosmetically this car is exceptionally clean with very few flaws for age and mileage. The underside and engine bay have been treated to periodic detailing, leaving a cleaner than normal chassis for mileage.

Mechanically, this car has recently been checked over by a noted Marque specialist here in Seattle that has been caring for the car for 15+ years. Fresh fluids, battery, and a clean bill of health are present.

If you are looking for a BMW E31 series car, this is one to consider. With the mechanical and cosmetic details (plus the tasteful upgrades), you are hard pressed to find a nicer example at this price level. Includes all books, manuals, and original keys.

Please contact Jason at 206-355-7727 for more information on this vehicle for sale.

I look at a lot of cars, but there isn’t too often that I see one and utter “Wow!”. That was the case here, as this 850i benefits from great photography and the perfect stance married with great looking Dinan forged wheels. The combination is set off by well maintained Schwarz 086 paint outside and Schwarz Leather 0226 interior. It was also optioned with 240 Leather Steering Wheel and 245 Column Electric Adjustment, 298 16″ Turbine-style wheels, 301 Anti-Theft, 488 Lumbar Support, 640 Car Phone Prep and 694 CD Changer Prep.

But it is the Dinan installed bits coupled with the condition that really make this example stand out. Generally, the early cars seem to be the least desirable as the model had steady upgrades, with the 850CSi taking top awards. But though this car retains the 4-speed automatic, power has been upped to bridge the gap between the M73 and S70. Brakes, suspension, tires and rear differential have all experienced the same help. But while prices on the defacto-M 850CSi range from $40,000 to over $100,000 depending on spec, this car is available for a much more reasonable $20,000. I’ll admit, that’s a lot of scratch for 26 year old 850i, but then this is about as nice as they come to market.

And just look at it!


One Comment

  1. UrSDriver
    UrSDriver January 4, 2017

    I don’t know if it’s the car or my taste but something is aging well.

Comments are closed.