Offered for sale is an absolutely stunning, 42k original mile 1993 BMW 850Ci, finished in ever menacing Black over a Black Nappa leather interior. Sold new by Erhard BMW in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with an MSRP of more than $84,000 (which would have been nearly $140k today, if adjusting for inflation), it would remain in the Bloomfield Hills area in the first owner’s care until 2013, at which point it was traded in by the original owner. The car subsequently ended up at a BMW dealership in Shelburne, Vermont, where it received any necessary servicing and reconditioning prior to being purchased by the technical second owner (aside from dealers) last summer. An avid aviation enthusiast, he purchased the car with the intention of using it for weekend road trips in fair weather months, storing it in his hangar in Plattsburgh, NY through the winter. He’d accrued less than 200 miles on the car when, seven months later, an opportunity to buy a special plane caused him to reluctantly part with it, at which point we were able to acquire it. We sold the car roughly a year ago to a collector, who, having put less than 1,000 miles on the car, is now consigning the car.
The car’s Black (Schwarz II) finish is in beautiful condition, deep, lustrous and marred only by a handful of negligible imperfections typical to any 23 year old car (touched up rock chips and the like), none of which are significant enough to appear in the pictures. The body is entirely straight, all of the trim, rubber and glass is in excellent condition and the factory wheels are wrapped in tires with plenty of remaining tread. The car’s interior is equally as clean, the black Nappa leather seats showing only negligible wear, the carpets tidy and unmolested, the headliner flawless and the dash and interior panels all in excellent original condition. The car was never smoked in and the windows, sunroof, power seats, heated seats, etc. all function flawlessly. The car comes with all of its original books and manuals, its original functional alarm fob, its original spare tire and a clean CARFAX report validating its low mileage and history.
The car is also mechanically excellent, the original M70 engine starting effortlessly, pulling strongly and smoothly through each of the ZF automatic transmission’s gears with expectedly strong and even compression across all 12 cylinders. Putting out 296 hp and 332 ft-lbs of torque, the 5.0L V12 engine makes the car an absolute Autobahn bomber, but ride quality is immaculate whether in town or on the highway, the suspension and brakes each functioning flawlessly, rounding out a solid and secure driving experience that causes one to truly appreciate the incalculable engineering that went into the 8 series. In terms of GT cars, it’s hard to envision anything distinctly more pleasurable to drive, and that includes BMW’s more modern (but less exclusive) offerings.
The E31’s revolutionary CAD-based design by Klaus Kapitza is the ominously gutty, patently era-specific representation of nearly $1B in total development cost for BMW. The distinctive model was envisioned in the late 1980s as the marque’s undeniable flagship, symbolic of the excesses of the decade and the fierce battle with Mercedes for European luxury car supremacy. Consequently it was prohibitively expensive, something that didn’t help BMW’s sales targets as the party of the ‘80s came abruptly to a halt with the recession of the early 1990s. Production was therefore relatively limited, further ensuring the 8 Series’ future as an iconic collector’s piece. And as the few other rare BMW models of the era have shot up in the value (the E30 M3, E28 M5, E34 M5, et al.), the E31 has quickly begun to follow suit.
This car represents a truly uncommon opportunity to acquire one of the very finest examples of BMW’s finest: a gorgeous, very low mileage, three owner, mechanically strong BMW 850Ci. It’s in our opinion one of the best on the market and absolutely deserves the consideration of any BMW collector or discerning European car enthusiast looking for a striking weekend driver.