1993 BMW E31 850 V12 vibes - Our Shed

By: Guy Allen

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bmw 850 front bmw 850 front

Satisfying rumbles, a lack of dramas and a generous reader get things off to a good start

We were out in the country somewhere and the 850 Bimmer was making weird sounds. Co-driver Ms M turns to muggins and asks, "What’s that noise?"

"That’s the sound of it tearing up $100 bills," quoth I, tongue-in-cheek. Sort of.


We’ve now owned enough old European cars to know there’s not too much reason to be scared of them, as a solid car that’s well-maintained will generally behave itself.

We got this thing through Southern BM Classic in sunny Moorabbin (Melbourne). The fact we know the workshop crew and trust them is what clinched the deal.


The monster has scratched a long-running itch to own a V12 and this one, thanks to a set of aftermarket pipes, makes a satisfying rumble without waking the neighbors,. It’s a weird note, kind of V8-like, but with a lot more going on.

It is a special thing to be in and puts a grin on the dial whenever you hit the starter, which produces a long whine, punctuated by the V12 barking into life.


Performance is enough to get your attention, but it’s a cruiser with nice a nice flat cornering attitude rather than a muscle car.

In the cockpit, you’re sitting low and snug. It’s not plush, but feels like you could be there for hours without complaint.


So far we’ve managed a couple of jaunts into the country – the longest a 500km day loop – and we’re pleased to report it returned under its own power.

We’re very much at the getting-to-know-you part of the relationship. It’s yet to reach the point where I’m buying it flowers, but things are looking promising.


One huge and very welcome surprise was reader Boz P in NSW sending me a dealer kit, which included a more comprehensive than usual brochure and a huge 150-page factory-produced feature book. Incredibly generous. Thanks, mate.


From Unique Cars #449, February 2021

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