I remember the launch of the V12 850i like it was yesterday. I was an enormous E24 6 series fan and was extremely excited about the arrival of the 8 series.
BMWs aesthetic design of their new flagship coupe was never in question. You could not help but fall in love with the shape immediately. However, when the first generation 850i hit the showrooms, they quickly fell in to the hands of journalists who in truth gave them a slightly hard time. Ride quality and sportiness where criticised as was build quality on the early cars. Main agents dreaded early 850i’s being booked in for warranty work and endless electrical problems.
As the E31 evolved many of these build quality issues were ironed out, technology caught up with itself. The BMW Motorsport developed 850 CSI added back the sporty ingredients to the E31 and public opinion started to gain momentum. The launch of the 4.0 and later 4.4 litre V8 powdered 840i’s, made the E31 into a truly awesome, mile eating GT car. With the addition of the Sports Pack option you gained just a little bit more edge.
Like all cars the E31 has sat at the bottom of its depreciation curve for many years. The rapidly increasing value of the earlier 635 and M635 cars has now helped bring the E31 to a new audience. We are thrilled to see these amazing big Coupes falling in to the hands of true enthusiast that recognise what a stunning piece of automotive engineering they really are. At last these cars are getting the level of care they really deserve.
But, a word of caution. If an E31 takes your fancy, save up your pennies and buy the best. The value of E31s means buying the best is the cheapest option. Its costs far more to save a cheap, poorly maintained example than buying the right car in the first place. Remember the years have flown by and these cars are now 20 years old, even the very best now require a sizable age related birthday.
Recently this gorgeous Romantic Red 840 CI Sport passed through our workshop for and full inspection and report. Having covered only 36,000 miles from new and been part of a much loved car collection for the last 10 years, we were thrilled to find she was one of the best examples to visit our workshop. A programme of work was discussed with the owner, corrosion prevention carried out and potential age related mechanical failures eliminated. All this, ensure turnkey reliability and years of enjoyable, mile eating motoring.
A few small car park dents where cleverly removed from the side panels of the car. All the under trays, sill covers, splash shields and arch liners were removed, the underside of the car then thoroughly cleaned and all seams and cavities sympathetically treated with clear Waxoyl and Tectyl ML.
Mechanically she benefitted from an Inspection II service, all new coolant, heater and fuel hoses, new gearbox filter and oil change, new suspension bushes and ball joints as required, breather hoses, n/s seat air bag occupancy sensor, water pump and thermostat helping to eliminate those irritating break downs. A few smaller cosmetic items, leather cleaned and treated and to finish her off, the delaminated rear screen replaced.
The car will now sit alongside the owners M635 CSI Motorsport. What a great pair of 80s and 90s GT cars. We wish him a lot of fun.