At what point does price supersede common sense? Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe factory turbo BMW E23 is cheap, but will its copious description of fabulousness and foibles make its low price seem daunting?
Yesterday's weird 1970 Toyota Land Cruiser/Beetle received the same response as would some sort of freaky June Bug unexpectedly ricocheting around your bedroom late at night: there was a modicum of annoyance mixed with a little abject terror, and some hidden envy for the audacity of its builder. At ten grand, the 'car' also received an 85% Crack Pipe vote, but that was hardly unexpected.
When asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, George Mallory famously retorted over his crumpets and tea, "because it's there." Obsessive achievements such as climbing the world's tallest peak, or say, harpooning a white whale make for great legend, but are far from conducive to racking up the candles on your birthday cakes. It should be noted that Mallory and Melville's Ahab both met their demise following their respective obsessions.
Today's 1984 BMW 745i could be construed as a bit of a white whale. It is after all white, and the e23 7-series was the largest car BMW built at the time. This particular grey market car also might be considered a Quixotic aspiration as even though it has a lot to recommend it, there are also a number of potential pitfalls to its purchase.
First up, what the hell is a 745i, right? Well, Back in the '80s when Jag had a V12 and Mercedes had a V8, BMW kept rolling the dice and coming up with nothing but sixes (plus a few fours). The company needed something to compete with the prestige that a higher cylinder count afforded, but their V8 and V12s wouldn't be ready for years. Instead they bolted a turbo to the M30 and did some maths to come up with what they said was 4.5-litres worth of power out of the engine's 3.4-litres of actual displacement.
Those cars were never officially sold here in the states, and from the factory, they all had automatic transmissions. This one however is here, it's seemingly all legal, and… AND… it sports a Getrag 265 5-speed for all your shifting enjoyment.
Along with the change to a manual, this car is said to have had, over the course of its life and 122,000 miles, a rebuild to the engine, a new chip that lets said engine get along with the stick shift, a bigger turbo, and a slew of other improvements, the reading of which would make you purr, where you a cat.
In fact, there's plenty to read in the ad, as much like yours truly, the seller of this big Bimmer is a bit overly verbose. He gives an excellent description of both the history of the car, and its present plusses and minuses. Among those are an HVAC system that works, but A/C that doesn't; fairly new paint, that has some notable flaws; Euro-style bumpers, that are unfortunately tweaked; and an interior that features leather upholstery, that's unfortunately not original to the car.
There are a number of other bonuses and boners, but I'll leave it to you to discover them in the ad. The car does seem to run, and while there's the note of some rust issues and a failed smog test an owner or two ago, it's not like it's presently on fire or comes with a gypsy curse or anything.
What it does come with is a $2,800 price tag, which as we all know is pretty low when it comes to grey market BMWs. The question here is whether that's a deal or not seeing as it'll just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ongoing ownership of this car. What do you think, is that a price that would make it worth taking the plunge? Or, is this one mythic aspiration that should just go unfulfilled?
H/T to secret77 for the hookup!
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