BMW have always produced sporty cars with a nod towards luxury, while competitor Mercedes Benz have staked their claim on luxury cars that're just a little bit sporty. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe L7 once tried to out Mercedes Mercedes, but will you find its current price to be simply outrageous?
Do you remember the wicked homage Jag we had - way back last year - or is the celebratory miasma still too thick? That Tempero-built XJ13 was as close to the real deal as you could hope to find, unfortunately 52% of you also found its $375,000 price tag to be really Crack Pipe worthy.
I know why that Jag was on the wrong side of its close call, it was the number of numbers in its price, and the general inability for most of us to grasp that something could possibly be worth so much, other than two girls - at the same time. Thankfully, today's 1987 BMW L7 comes in at a far more comprehendible price, albeit one that still warrants our adjudication.
Somewhat ironically, BMW's E23 replaced a forebearer called the New Six, although the new range-topper significantly ramped up a lot of the new. Here in America, BMW made the E23 available in 733i, 735i and the ultimate luxury edition, L7, of which this is an example. At the time of its production, the E23 L7 shared its name, but not its intent, with an awesome hard-rocking all-estrogen band out of LA. Go figure.
Powered by the 735i's 3,430-cc M30, the (BMW) L7 has 182-bhp with which to play. A ZF-sourced 4-speed automatic lies behind that Senior Six, a gearbox that's pretty ubiquitous across ‘80s European luxury vehicles and that has a reputation for dying during emissions testing. Along with the automatic, the L7 possesses just about every conceivable luxury and convenience option BMW could cram into the car. That includes power windows and seats, a dashboard maintenance reminder, and the company's first installation of a steering wheel airbag.
The thought of a quarter century old explosive device pointing at your face may be unnerving, but if the condition of bag in this Bimmer is comparable to that of the rest of the car, there shouldn't be any need to get your lederhosen in a bunch.
These days you tend to find E23 BMWs in one of two conditions - Lindsay Lohan, and dead Lindsay Lohan - there just doesn't seem to have been much interest in keeping them in really nice shape. That's why this one is so surprising to find, as is the fact that it's the all-singing, all-dancing L7 to boot. Oh yeah, there's also a tool kit in that boot.
Inside, the car's condition is striking. Not even the L7-exclusive leather wrapped dash and door caps seems to have lost stitching or suffered any other sign of age. The brushes on either side of the shift lever look intact, which is also quite remarkable. A modern head unit does mar the dash, although it can't be that tough to find an appropriate Blaupunkt or Becker unit to set that right. The only real oddity in here is the appearance of what seem to be hair clips sticking out of the center air vents -what are those things?
Outside, it's much the same, the metallic medium blue paint showing no sign of age on an apparently rust- and dent-free body. I think the paint must be a respray, owing to the rain gutters (yay, rain gutters!) are painted rather than being black. The remainder of the exterior parts - the Roundels, trim, and mar-free rubber - also conspire to belie the car's age and its 148,000 miles on the clock.
I think these cars originally came with the Michelin TRX-only wheels, which all kinds of sucks today. With BMW producing some of the planet's best looking alloy wheels over the decades, it's kind of sad to see this one rocking aftermarket jobs, but at least they appear to be BBS and hence befitting the car's caliber and class.
The vehicles I choose for NPOCP are ones that I personally find interesting, and expect that the majority of you will as well. It's rare however that a candidate is one that I would actually want to own. This L7 happens to be one of those few. However, distance and an empty bank account prevent action on my part, plus we still haven't figured out if this Bimmer's dealer-set price is an equatable trade for the car as presented. Let's get to that right now.
What's your take on this E23 L7 and its $7,500 price? Is that an amount that would have you saying, oh, what the L? Or, is this a big Bimmer with a bummer of a big price?
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