1999 BMW E38 750iL – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

BMW 750il todays tempter BMW 750il todays tempter

You don’t have to spend six-figures for a European V12

In production from 1994 to 2001, the E38 marked a pivotal point in time for the Bavarian firm’s luxo-land yacht.

Automakers at the turn of the millennium saw innumerable pieces of new-tech to offer customers who couldn't get enough. After all, this was the future back then.

The 7 series has long been BMW’s flagship luxury limousine. If you drove (or were being driven in) a 7 series, you were doing something right.

The E38 combined this focus on comfort and luxury and blended it with rapid uptake of tech of that era. It was the first European car to offer satellite navigation, and the first BMW with a TV.

Beyond the suite of tech on offer, the E38 came with an engine choice of petrol or diesel inline-sixes, petrol or diesel V8s, and at the very top of the tree – a V12.

Under the bonnet of the top-spec 750iL sat a stately BMW M73 V12 engine, the same engine powering the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph.

While its power output of 240kW may seem lacklustre in today’s numbers, it was more than adequate of the time. Deploring the lack of straight-line speed ultimately misses the purpose of its application in BMW’s leather-clad luxo-barge. V12 propulsion, in this case, allowed the 7 series to waft along effortlessly, gaining speed in a rapid – but polite manner.

This 1999 750iL is listed at $12,500 and has a claimed odo reading of 197,000kms. The seller is sparse on details in the description but claims to hold receipts for the past 3.5 years (including an "interior refurb").  

There are no other 750iL E38s listed currently which makes it hard to benchmark a market price for this mode,l but cross-shop with an equivalent 90s V12 Mercedes-Benz S600 and prices will range from high-teens all the way to $30,000.

Of course, the V12 could be catastrophically expensive to rebuild should something go wrong, and with the amount of new electronics of the time, there may be increased risk of something in need of fixing. But on surface level, this Cosmosschwarz Metallic cruiser represents A LOT of car for the money.

You can check out the full listing here!

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