At $4,500, Is This 2001 BMW 740i Sport A Fantastic Deal Or A Financial Death Wish?

Illustration for article titled At $4,500, Is This 2001 BMW 740i Sport A Fantastic Deal Or A Financial Death Wish?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

There’s a YouTuber that we all know who admits to being afflicted with bad decision-itus, and claims as evidence the recent purchase of a V8 E38 just like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe candidate. Let’s see if the price tag on our car makes it a much better decision.

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Wow, what an evening that was. So many new Broncos, so few opportunities to actually go anywhere in any of them. Still, if you imagine yourself an off-roader or a soft-roader, all those shiny new Fords probably got you breathing heavily even without a mask. The 1989 Ford Bronco II XLT we looked at before all the hoopla got underway? Not so much.

Many of you commented that you hate the Bronco II and as nice as that low-mileage example was, it couldn’t overcome that innate animus. An $8,990 price tag wasn’t doing it any favors either, earning the Deuce a 72 percent Crack Pipe loss.

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Surely you watch Hoovies Garage, the self-proclaimed dumbest automotive channel in all of YouTube. If you’re up to speed on the exploits of Tyler Hoover, the former auto dealer and Jalopnik contributor, then you’ll know that he provides a valuable service for those of us who lust after exotic and near-exotic cars and trucks because he documents the folly of actually buying and (paying someone else) to fix them.

Illustration for article titled At $4,500, Is This 2001 BMW 740i Sport A Fantastic Deal Or A Financial Death Wish?
Photo: Craigslist

Tyler’s latest acquisition is a 2001 BMW 740i Sport. That’s the short wheelbase car that rocks black-out window trim like that was still a thing as well as a number of actual sporty elements like M-Parallels and an M-badged tiller. He describes the car in its introductory video as being “the greatest BMW 7-series ever made… and it’s still junk!”

Hoover doesn’t really do much wrenching on his own and by the end of that video, you see that having someone else do the dirty work is going to cost him almost his original purchase price to have the pin back in the German-engineered grenade.

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Illustration for article titled At $4,500, Is This 2001 BMW 740i Sport A Fantastic Deal Or A Financial Death Wish?
Photo: Craigslist

Look, as much as I love Tyler and respect him for documenting the emptying of his bank accounts, I think we can do better. With that in mind, let’s take a look at this 2001 BMW 740i Sport and see if we can make out better than Hoovie.

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First off, I think many of us will agree with the YouTube channel purveyor that the short-wheelbase E38 is one of the most handsome and well-balanced designs BMW has ever offered. The styling was by Boyke Boyer and was the last big Bimmer before Chris Bangle was handed the reins to the company’s design team and took things in a new and far less timeless direction.

Illustration for article titled At $4,500, Is This 2001 BMW 740i Sport A Fantastic Deal Or A Financial Death Wish?
Photo: Craigslist
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Unlike Hoovie’s silver car, this Sport rocks cool Steel Blue Metallic paint. That’s complemented by a dove grey interior swaddled in leather and a good bit of wood. The paint looks to be in exceptional condition with no apparent loss of the clear coat nor any noticeable dents or dings underneath. the M-Parallels appear to be free of any curb-rash and wear tires with what looks to be an appreciable amount of tread left.

The interior shows a bit more of its age and the car’s somewhat astounding 193,000 miles. Yes, 193K. Overall, it looks perfectly serviceable, however, when you dive in a little deeper you’ll no doubt notice some breakdown of the padding on the driver’s seat squab and a life of too many elbows evident on the center armrest.

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Illustration for article titled At $4,500, Is This 2001 BMW 740i Sport A Fantastic Deal Or A Financial Death Wish?
Photo: Craigslist

Other issues here include some AWOL pixels in the various dashboard displays and a screw in the door-facing side of the dashboard that I don’t think was put there by the factory.

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As Tyler notes in his videos, the biggest issue with the 740s of this era is the V8 engine. He is having his disassembled to address some oil leaks and the timing chain guide replacement that is one of the M62’s foibles. His car also has a wildly leaking torque converter seal that’s sending transmission fluid every which way but loose, and which required the ZF box to be dropped.

Illustration for article titled At $4,500, Is This 2001 BMW 740i Sport A Fantastic Deal Or A Financial Death Wish?
Photo: Craigslist
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The seller claims the drivetrain in our car “works like it should.” It’s also seemingly benefitted from a slew of recent service work including new cam cover gaskets and a replaced windscreen. Other work that the seller found worth mentioning include the replacement of the radiator and water pump and a transmission flush.

That all being said, the seller warns in Hoovie-like fashion that “This is the older BMW that has a personality , yet it is not for everyone and definitely not for the first time driver!”

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Illustration for article titled At $4,500, Is This 2001 BMW 740i Sport A Fantastic Deal Or A Financial Death Wish?
Photo: Craigslist

Since few or none of us are first-time drivers, that caution obviously does not apply. And, since you’re asking, the car comes with a clean title giving us yet another hurdle that it has overcome. The last hurdle, of course, will be its price.

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The asking here is $4,500 and while I do not advocate the spending of any amount in frivolous fashion in the manner of our friend Hoovie, that’s almost eff-it money and should this big Bimmer go tits-up in a couple of months or need some nursing along the way to a slower and more dignified death, that might not be so bad.

What do you think, could this high-mileage 740i Sport have you living high on the hog at that $4,500 asking? Or, is this just a money pit waiting to be fed?

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You decide!

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San Francisco Bay Area, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

So I’m going NP but this is the type of car you don’t go into without:

- A really good go over by someone who KNOWS these cars including an examination of the cooling system, trans, timing chain guides, and VANOS system for starters

- A willingness to put the Y in DIY

- A bank account with $3-5k just set aside for an emergency repair

- A strong desire to own a beautiful e38

For what it’s worth I bought a 100,000 mile 2001 M5 in 2012 and owned it for 2 years, 25k miles. I never had a $2k repair. I had about $2500 in repairs over those 2 years + maybe $1k in maintenance, and that included alot of the repairs being done by an indy.