Old cars will always keep you busy - Revcounter 446

By: Guy 'Guido' Allen, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

bmw 850 bmw 850

Okay, let's empty the wallet, again

Confession time. I’ve finally jumped in at the deep end and added a much-promised V12 to the shed. Exactly why this had to happen is up for debate, but it’s a long-held ambition that’s finally been realised. Or an itch scratched.

Others have less charitable views on this. Uncle Phil, who with some justification sees himself as the official car supplier to the Guido household, is denying any involvement. In fact we even have a term for it: PAV. As in Phil-Approved Vehicle. This one definitely isn’t. In fact he did everything in his power to talk me out of it. That included calling on partner Ms M to talk some sense into me, little knowing that she was not only on board with the whole ludicrous plan, but was helping to pay for it.

Young Mr Faine – whose history amply proves that he’s unafraid of a mechanical challenge – gently suggested that his brother-in-law is a psychiatrist and perhaps I’d like to have his phone number.

For me, the story starts nearly 30 years ago, when I somehow washed up at the Australian media launch for this and the E34 M5. It was held at a track in Queensland, with 1980 F1 champ Alan Jones offering joyrides in the big sedan. Though deeply impressed by his driving skills, to this day I’m convinced he failed physics in school.

At some point after the launch, I also picked up an 850 test car for the company I was working with. That’s something I’ll never forget as I was terrified it might be stolen out of the driveway of our then recently-purchased Melbourne home. You’ll understand why when I tell you the car cost an incomprehensible $220,000 when the house cost us $88,000.

How times have changed. Now values have dropped to the point where even I can (just) afford one.

Of course it quickly established who’s boss by instantly developing an intermittent fault with the instrument cluster, occasionally withholding all information. That’s old cars for you, they love to set you the odd challenge just to keep you on your toes. And in the poorhouse.

Actually the glitch developed while some other pre-sale work was being performed, so the people I bought it from are kindly nutting out the solution.

These things have a reputation for fairly robust mechanicals but a complex electrical system that can get tired and emotional. Of course all that is forgotten the minute you get in and drive it. Wish us luck...


From Unique Cars #446, November 2020

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