There’s the Stock Market, the super market, and of course the Friday night singles-only meat market. And then there’s the Grey Market. That last one was where today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe classic turbo’d 7-series went through the checkout stand, but will you find its current price needs to be marked down?
Alright, chalk up a win for fans of The Simpsons. . . or maybe Dexter. That’s because yesterday’s candy coated on the outside, creepy on the inside 1990 Ford E350 managed a positively staggering 73% Nice Price win. Hot diddly dog!
Far less cartoonish, and in fact not creepy at all, is today’s contender which is a rare but not unheard of here in the States edition of BMW’s first generation 7-series. This 1985 745i Turbo represents BMW’s stop-gap attempt to compete with the V8 sedans from Mercedes, as well as the 12-cylinder Jags that the company’s engineers had noticed broken down by the side of the road.
At the time the E23 could keep up with the competition when it came to style and luxury accommodations, but not so when it came to power output or cylinder count. BMW’s solution until their V8 engines were soup yet was to add a turbo to their mid-sized six.
That resulted in 250-bhp and the odd 745 name that unlike other models didn’t denote engine displacement. Instead, the 45 part of the name was supposed to indicate that the original 3.2-litre engine was now 1.4 times more powerful, made possible by the KKK turbo. Who said the Germans have no sense of humor?
This one is still badged as a 745i despite the fact that, being an ’85 it rocks the larger 3,430-cc M106 which should rightfully make it a 747. Of course Boeing already owned that dance card. All of the 3.5 cars came with a 4-speed automatic and this one doesn’t call that fact into question. The ad notes a number of that gearbox's parts that have been fairly recently refreshed, along with a slew of other mechanical (new brakes) and functional (new windshield) updates that have also been made.
That has resulted in what the seller claims to be a solid driver, and he even lays claim to things like the power windows working which is laudable for a nearly 30 year old German car. Not only that but it looks reasonably nice too.
The ad notes that this was once a diplomat’s ride, and was imported back in the ‘80s. It’s sporting Maryland plates so it must meet some sort of legal standard for U.S. use, but then again I don't know anything about that mid-Atlantic state other than what I've read in Misty of Chincoteague and Stormy, Misty's Foal.
The interior is said to be swathed in water buffalo and the seats have a cool perforation pattern on both squab and back. They also look to be in pretty decent shape, you know, for water buffalo. The rest of the interior compartment seems equally nice with an un-marred dash and your typical crappy ‘80s Blaupunkt radio. The only oddity in here is the boost gauge that has been mounted to the console in a block of what looks like pine and surrounded by three visible screw heads.
That gauge is hooked to the object that makes this an interesting E26, and not just your run of the mill old fart car. That would be the spinning snail that offers up 6 PSI and boosts power to 250 ponies over the naturally aspirated Euro trim 735i’s 215.
On the outside, the car looks okay and its hue pays homage to its grey market origins. There are some aftermarket wheels which spruce the car up, but seem like such a mistake when BMW offers so many factory options that look far better. Another issue is a curb-side front fender that looks like Tony Soprano (R.I.P. JG) badda-binged some mook’s head against it. A U.S, edition would work just fine in replacement, or you could just leave it at the body shop for a week and see what they can do with this one.
Other than that, the car has been fitted with American-model headlights because the Euro units' aimers aren’t working. Those, and their grilles do come with the car. That all comes from the ad, the writer of which is even more verbose than I am, and comes across as though filling out an E-Harmony entry. I’m not interested in a date, but I do find this big-ass Bimmer piques my curiosity.
Should it also register on your interest meter, you’ll need to consider its price, which is presently $3,750. If the seller was truly market savvy he would have gone with 3,749 ‘cause that sounds lots lower to the consumer. What you need to do is determine if what he is asking is low enough. What do you think, is this Grey Market BMW worth going that far in the red? Or, is this a 7-series with a price that can’t be serious?
H/T to offroadkarter for the hookup!
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