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1991 BMW 850i

1991 BMW 850i

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Details

Price: SOLD | Visit the Auction

Mileage: 22,000 Miles

Engine: M70B50 V12 5.0- Liter Engine

Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic Transmission

Exterior color: Glacier Blue Metallic Exterior (280)

Interior: Silver Grey Leather (Silbergrau Leder – 0351)

VIN: WBAEG2317MCB72466

Additional features:

Leather Steering Wheel

Electric Steering Wheel Adjustment

Power Heated Seats

BMW Premium Sound

CD Changer

On-Board Computer

Dual Independent Climate Control

Cellular Telephone (great for confounding millennials at the Starbucks drive-through)

ASC (Automatic Stability Control)

16” BMW Style 8 LM Rad Wheels

Goodyear Eagle GT All-Season Tires

Original Owner Family Car

100% Stock and Original

Colorado Car

Clean Carfax

Background

1991 BMW 850i exterior photo

The 8 Series (known as the E31 in BMW speak) was the pinnacle of a legacy of BMW Sport Coupes dating back to the iconic 3.0 CS. It was a new flagship, and much more than simply an evolution of the E24 6 Series. With the 8 Series, BMW targeted the exclusive market occupied by grand tourers from Aston Martin and Maserati. In the early model years, the top 8 Series was the 850i. At its heart was the 12-cylinder M70 5-liter engine. The buttery smooth V12 engine was derived from the architecture of two 2.5-liter M20 6-cylinder engines mated together, but updated with mass airflow sensors, hydraulic lifters, chain driven timing components, separate ECUs, and electronic throttle control—a first for a production BMW engine. Other firsts were the widespread use of computer-aided design to produce a sleek form, with a drag coefficient of only .29, and a multi-link rear suspension design shared with the Z1. When that same suspension design later found its way into the E36 M3, it was partially responsible for its dominance in Motorsport. A luxurious interior spoiled the driver, front passenger, and those comically small enough to occupy the rear seats—of course, if you were wealthy enough to afford an 8 Series, your wife or kids would be comically small enough to fit. The 850i cost nearly $80,000 in early 1990’s money, which is close to $150,000 today! A long list of features found only on the highest optioned 7 Series were standard in the 8 Series, along with a few more, like windows that automatically closed above 120 mph to aid in aerodynamic downforce and enough forward lighting when the flip-up headlights are deployed to land an airplane. I love flip-up headlights! The 8 Series is most at home in its role as a grand tourer, soaking up long miles at ridiculous speeds—an early review said it was more stable at 120 mph than 70—while bathing its occupants in 1990’s finest technology. Two and a half decades later, the 8 Series still has a prominence that cannot be mistaken. If history is a barometer, the rumored release of the new 8 Series will only make the original more collectible.

Summary

 exterior photo

This 1991 850i in Glacier Blue Metallic is a time-capsule example. The original owner purchased it from Gebhardt BMW in Boulder, Colorado on January 14, 1991. It remained in his stewardship, being driven regularly, but sparingly, and being exceptionally cared for until he passed away in the mid-2000s. His wife continued his legacy, caring for and enjoying the car, until deciding to sell it on consignment this year through Glen Shelly. I was given strict instructions to find a new owner who will continue its stewardship pedigree. It has always been dealer serviced at Gebhardt, and comes with records dating to 2008 (prior records were purged from the database), a clean Carfax report, all owner’s manuals, and original 8 Series marketing booklets. It also comes with a car cover and extra CD disc changer cassettes. It is 100% stock and original—the paintwork, body panels, interior, down to the BMW car phone. In preparation for sale we gave it a complete mechanical inspection and found no items that warranted attention. We also had a small dent in the right rear quarter panel repaired by a high-end paint-less dent repair specialist and the passenger side seat bottom motor cables re-aligned (seat twist). The result is a pristine 850i that is in virtually the same condition it was when it left the showroom some twenty-six years ago.

Exterior

1991 BMW 850i exterior photo

Glacier Blue Metallic is a very desirable color in the 8 Series palette and it accents the sleek form perfectly. The paint on this example is nearly perfect. There are no glaring imperfections whatsoever; no scratches, chips, nicks, and zero clear coat failure. Even the leading edge pitting that is often found on Colorado cars is virtually non-existent. All body panels are original and the only issue we addressed was a paint-less repair to the right rear quarter panel. The dent was a narrow impression below the fuel filler door. Our specialist took extreme care in removing it due to the 850i’s time capsule condition. He spent no less than twelve hours in the process and completely erased it as a result. All trim is intact and in excellent shape. The headlight, indicator, and brake light lenses are in good condition and crack-free. The flip-up headlights work on command and when combined with the bumper mounted lights give out considerable illumination, even by today’s standards. The windshield glass has no cracks, and the side window and rear glass are in good shape. The Style 8 16-inch wheels are straight and true, with no curb rash. The left rear wheel does have one small nick. The center caps are present. The wheels are wrapped in Goodyear Eagle GT All Season tires that are worn evenly with over 75% tread remaining.

Interior

 interior photo

The Silver Grey leather interior is as pristine as the exterior. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpet has no stains or tears and comes with matching BMW floor mats. The seat leather is still soft and supple and has that fine leather smell that all BMWs of this vintage have. There are no rips, tears, failed stitches, or bolster wear. All seat motors and seat heaters work. The passenger side seat up and down motor was replaced by Gebhardt BMW in 2015 and we realigned the cables in preparation for sale. The rear seats look like the have never been used—because they haven’t. The extended leather dashboard has no cracks and all seams are intact. It is still soft to the touch. All instrument cluster functions work and there are no warning lights. The cluster LCD screen was replaced in 2011 due to failed pixels (a common issue). The check panel LCD was also replaced for the same reason in 2012. All LCD screens, including the radio are crisp and clear with no failed pixels or failed backlighting. There are no check screen codes and the service interval shows green bars. The BMW CM5903L stereo sounds great. The HVAC panel functions correctly, the heat blows warm, the air-conditioning blows cold, and the blower motor bearings are quiet. The power windows, sunroof, and door locks work as they should. The center console has the BMW cellular telephone. The door cards are in excellent shape and the driver’s door coin holder was replaced in 2012. The headliner does not sag. The trunk carpet is clean. The toolkit is complete, including the blue BMW rag, which has never been used. The spare tire, jack, and CD changer are all present. Enough extra cartridges for 100 CDs are included with the car. All factory owners’ manuals are included, along with two extra keys.

Mechanical

 engine photo

This 850i has always been dealer serviced or by independent BMW specialists Autosport Werks or The Auto Repair Place. I have records from Gebhardt BMW dating back to 2008, before that they were purged, but it does show regular appointments. The Carfax also supports this. The records show regular oil changes, routine maintenance, and preventative care. Common issues, like the LCD screens in the previous paragraph, have been addressed. Recent items show both batteries being replaced, the washer fluid reservoir replaced, air filters, and the transmission fluid and filter changed. In 2012 the right front wheel, hub, and wheel bearing were replaced due to a curb impact. The M70 fires on command, idles smoothly, and pulls strongly to redline. The sounds emitting from the V12 are an experience to behold. It certainly isn’t the fastest BMW motor anymore, but it feels and sounds great. The transmission shifts smoothly. The suspension is firm and compliant, and the brakes are strong. There are no driveline or wheel bearing noises or vibrations. The tire DOT dates are from 2011, but there is no dry rot or sidewall cracking, they have always lived in a climate-controlled garage.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • Vehicle Identification Number: WBAEG2317MCB72466
  • Type: EG23
  • Model: 850ci – USA
  • Development Code: E31
  • Chassis: Coupe
  • Steering: LL
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: M70
  • Displacement: 5.0

  • Power: 299 Horsepower

  • Drivetrain: Rear

  • Transmission: Automatic

  • Color: Glacier Blue Metallic (Gletscherblau Metallic – 280)

  • Upholstery: Silver Grey Leather (Silbergrau Leder – 0351)
  • Production Plant: DINGOLFING
  • Production Date: 11-06-1990

Options

  • 240 Leather Steering Wheel
  • 245 Steering Column Adjustment Electric
  • 298 BMW Lm Rad Wheels
  • 301 Theft Alarm System
  • 488 Lumbar Support Driver / Front Passenger
  • 640 Car Telephone Preparation
  • 694 Preparation for CD Changer
  • 925 Shipping Protection Package