1991 BMW E31 850I – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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BMW E31 850 BMW E31 850

Affordable Euro V12? Walk this way!

The BMW E31 8 Series, on paper at least, has all the making of a future collector car.

It was BMW’s flagship offering in its day, with svelte avant-garde pillarless looks, wall to wall leather and luxury, and – in this case – a glorious 5.0lt V12 coupled (engine architecture is closely related to the V12 in the back of a McLaren F1) with a highway-munching four-speed auto.

They received an underwhelming reception and subsequent sales success when new; the V12 cost close to $250,000 when new, and buyers mistook the big 8 series as a simple pumped-up 6 Series.

Its perception when new likely contributes to its barely-remembered status today as many likely remember it as an underwhelming performance car (which it was never meant to be), and far too expensive.

On today’s market, they’re a comparative bargain, with both frugal V8s and rarer V12s available for under $50,000.

This Australian-delivered 1991 850i presents in very original condition and has travelled a meagre 122,000kms from new.

The body, along with original Alpine white paint, present faultlessly. The same can be largely be said for its very original and retro blue leather interior.

Of course old Euro V12s don’t have the greatest reputation for reliability, but many of the concerns we’ve heard of overseas have been due to the erosion of the Nikasil cylinder-bore coatings due to inferior US petrol. Australian-delivered cars such as this should face no such troubles. The car also shares many of its mechanical components with the E32 7 Series, of which over 300,000 were produced – so parts aren’t impossible to find.

The car will be sold along with a full suite of original books, and comprehensive early maintenance.

The car is based in Melbourne and is listed for $39,000.

Check out the full listing here!


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