Today’s Nice Price or No Dice BMW touts some pretty impressive numbers: 12 cylinders, 6 speeds — and 2 pop-up headlamps for good measure. Let’s find out if those all add up to another impressive number, its price.
Now that it’s fall, I’m starting to eye my flannel shirts and Doc Martins whenever I poke around the closet. They’re old friends that I’ve ignored far too long this year, but we’ll get reacquainted just as soon as the weather cools off.
Based on the comments, yesterday’s 1990 Jeep Cherokee two-door felt just as familiar and comforting for many of you as does my favorite cool-weather wear. Sure, it may have been a little frayed around the edges and its floorboards might soon have you shouting Yabba-Dabba-Doo, but at just $2,500, fully 60 percent of you honored that familial feeling with a Nice Price win.
I’m not sure exactly what it is about old Jeeps that makes people feel all warm and fuzzy. There aren’t all that many cars or trucks around that have that effect. One brand that likes to keep its cars and their owners each at arms-length — and often holding a wrench in the hand at the end of that arm — is BMW.
Yes, old BMWs have a rep for being persnickety, but the rewards for when they do run right oftentimes make those downtimes worth it. Take, for example, this 1993 BMW 850Ci. Actually, just take it in for a moment. From the mercifully well-proportioned nostrils of the grille bracketed by pop-up headlamps to its open greenhouse and rear-end dominating tail lamps, the E31 is a distinctive shape. In the case of this particular car, that alterity extends to the mechanicals. Here we find both a V12 engine and a six-speed manual gearbox.
From the factory, the 850Ci was able to coax 296 horsepower out of that 5-liter M70 V12. This was never intended to give the car rocket-like acceleration, but with 0-to-60 times of 6.8 seconds it certainly could have been considered to have the right stuff. A good part of that stuff is the extremely rare six-speed Getrag 560G transmission. That V12/manual combo elevates this car into the rarified air shared only with the likes of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and their ilk.
That makes it kind of special, which is why its ad is so disappointing. It’s not that it presents the car in a bad light or anything. Nor does it describe a litany of woes like the listing for yesterday’s Jeep.
No, the ad for this 850Ci just is woefully bereft of detail and adds insult to that injury by sticking a fake price — $1,234 — in the headline. Yeah, that pisses me off just as much as it does you.
We’ll get to the actual price, which is buried in the ad’s short description, in a minute. First, however, let’s lay some more critical eyeballs on the car itself.
It does present itself well overall. Again, though, the ad lets both us and the car down with photos that seem to be more interested in capturing the sunset than the Bimmer. The silver metallic paint is paired with a gray leather interior and some chrome-plated wheels that appear to be aftermarket. The paint seems to be in serviceable shape as does the interior. Some interesting additions to the car are a fitted car cover and BMW-branded radar detector that the seller claims is built-in.
The ad also claims the car to be in “original condition” and to have once lived on the West Coast before making the trek east. There’s a substantial 163k on the clock, which is either daunting for the expected wear or reassuring for the car having made it that far without crapping out in major fashion. The seller does state that the V12 “runs strong without any issues.” and that the title is for the car is clear.
That’s all we get, which isn’t much to go on. The ad neglects shots of that big, beautiful engine or even of the whole interior. There’s also no info provided about the car’s maintenance history or how much tread is left on the tires. That’s going to make it kind of hard for you all to weigh in on this 850Ci’s price.
Or maybe not. The asking is $25,000 and that’s… well, up there. This is a very rare model, as well as a member of an extraordinarily exclusive drivetrain club. That could sway quite a few. We’ll just have to see.
What do you think, is this 850Ci with a stick worth that $25,000 asking? Or, for that much, is the seller just trying to “stick it” to any and all potential buyers?
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