1991 BMW 850i (E31) V-12 8-Series Touring Coupe

Price: US $15,995.00 Item location: Smithfield, Utah, United States
  • Make: BMW
  • Model: 8-Series
  • Year: 1991
  • Mileage: 122000
  • VIN: WBAEG2315MCB73437
  • Color: Red
  • Engine size: 5.0L V-12 (M70)
  • Number of cylinders: 12
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Tan
  • Options: Sunroof
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1991 BMW 8-Series

If you have been looking for a great looking E31 in good running condition for an affordable price, this is your car

BMW's classic top-of-the-line touring car in the 1990s

One of Hagerty's "25 Hottest Collector Vehicles to Kick Off 2019”

Only 4,194 of these cars were imported to the USA between 1989 and 1994

Original MSRP price was $73,600 ($136,000 in 2018 dollars)

5.0L V-12

Top speed 156mph (computer limited)

ABS, cruise control, stability control, sunroof, automatic climate control, etc.

122,000 miles, clean title, clean history, no accidents, no dents

Excellent exterior condition, Arizona car, zero rust

Excellent interior condition, leather looks great

Excellent mechanical condition, runs great

Gorgeous HRE wheels

Magnaflow exhaust

More about the 850i model:

The BMW 850i was designed with pride by BMW with no expense spared, with the specific goal to surpass the Mercedes 560SEC and the Ferarri 348 as the best luxury touring coupe in the world. To say it was BMW's "flagship" model would be an understatement. Its gorgeous pillarless coupe design, fantastic creature comforts, and the fanciest features of its day placed it in a category all its own. It was the first model designed by BMW with Computer Aided Design, resulting in not only a timeless look but also a drag coefficient of only 0.29. It was one of the first production vehicles in the world to use an electronic "fly by wire" throttle, and it also featured a very advanced multi-link rear axle and suspension. Of course, nothing a V-12 engine would do. BMW was very proud of the result, as was summed up by a magazine ad for the 850i that said in big bold letters: "IF A CAR COMPANY CAN HAVE A SOUL, THIS IS OURS.”

The E31 body is stunning. It is the first, last, and only true pillarless coupe BMW ever made. Unlike its predecessors and successors that either had wing windows, or windows that didn't roll down all the way, or a pillar between the front and rear windows, on this coupe when all four windows are down, there is nothing there. In the words of one owner, "For lack of better analogies, it's like a beautiful woman teasing you by purposefully forgetting to wear a key item of clothing." The body design is timeless. Everywhere it goes, it gets appreciative stares. Even young people stop and ask what it is.

5.0L 60-degree fuel injected V-12
Top speed 156mph (computer limited)
Drag coefficient .29
Independent front suspension with double pivot MacPherson struts, twin tube gas pressure shock absorbers
Multi-link elastokinematic integral rear suspension with double insulated differential carrier and low pressure twin tube gas shock absorbers
Leather power seats with memory and seat integrated seat/shoulder belts
Leather steering wheel, shift knob, and emergency brake handle
Cruise control
Automatic vehicle stability control
Power 4 wheel antilock disk brakes, 325mm
Power tilting and telescoping steering wheel column with memory
Power speed-sensitive recirculating ball steering
Power sunroof
Power windows with one touch function
Power heated side mirrors with auto dip when in reverse
Power door locks with double lock and anti-theft
Power trunk lock and gas cap lock
Power pop up headlights with integrated fog lamps
On-board Computer with multi-function information display
Dual zone automatic climate control
Cabin air filter
Auto dimming inside rear-view mirror
Rear window defogger with integrated radio antenna

Examples of how sophisticated this car was in its day:
• The trunk handle does not operate a latch. It operates a switch that activates a servo that unlocks the trunk.
• Top speed is electronically governed to not exceed 156mph. (The previous owner confided that he got this very car up to 150mph on one occasion and it drove perfectly smoothly and was well mannered at that speed.)
• At 110mph, the windows and sunroof automatically close to reduce drag.
• When you open a door, the door window automatically drops ½ inch, then when you close the door, it rolls back up. This seals the door window tightly against the rubber seal at the front of the rear window - a sophisticated solution for the wind noise problem of a pillarless coupe.
• There isn't room for the rear windows to roll down all the way. Rather than settling on a window that only rolls down half way, BMW engineers designed the window to twist as it slides down, so it will fit into the body panel.
• As the seat is moved back and down for a taller passenger, the headrest and the shoulder belt mount both automatically move higher.
• This is one of the very first cars designed with seat-integrated shoulder belts, which were necessary because of the lack of a B pillar. They are much more comfortable than pillar-mounted belts and are also easier to put on.
• There are special "flash-to-pass" headlights built into the bumper that are separate from the low beam, high beam, and fog lights built into the hidden headlights.
• This car has one of the most advanced suspensions ever put into a production vehicle, even to this day. It was designed not only to go 156mph, but to be stable and comfortable at that speed.

• This was the first car in the world to feature a centralized computer with a local area network to monitor and control the various functions throughout the car.

Specific information about this particular car:

Here is your chance to pick up an EXCELLENT classic top-of-the-line BMW 8 series coupe for an affordable price. BMW's slogan when this car was built was "Aus Freude am Fahren;" literally, "For Pleasure in Driving”, and this car lives up to that slogan. It is absolutely a pleasure to drive!

This car runs great! Cold start is instant, and it runs strong. The suspension and steering are tight and the alignment is perfect; it tracks straight down the road. The brakes and driveshaft are new. The transmission shifts well. There is no dreaded "front end shimmy" common to these 30 year old cars.

The interior is gorgeous. The seats are comfortable and the leather is supple with no rips or cracks at all. The dash looks perfect, with no cracks and no indication of UV or heat damage. The headliner was recently replaced and looks fantastic, with no sags.

The valve cover does not leak. The oil pan does not leak. There are no vacuum leaks. The cruise control works. The steering column vertical and horizontal adjusters work perfectly and the windows all roll easily. All gauges work. The heater fan works. The air conditioner has been converted to R-134a and blows cold. The pop up headlights and windows work.

This car is very rare: of the 4,194 BMW 850i's that were imported to the USA and Canada, only 55 had the Brilliant Red exterior and Parchment natural leather interior color combination.
This car is a looker! Between the gorgeous body design, the brilliant red paint, and the custom wheels, this car gets A LOT of turned heads, smiles, and thumbs up, both when parked and when driving down the road. The body is in great shape. It is an Arizona car with ZERO rust ANYWHERE. It has never seen salt, and it has seldom even seen rain. No accidents. No dents. Not even any parking lot dings. No chips in the flash-to-pass lights nor the pop up headlights (glass lenses, not plastic!). Underneath, there is no rust or discoloration in the spare tire well, nor anywhere on the car.

When I bought the car last fall, the paint had been badly dulled by the Arizona sun. I had the entire car completely repainted, not because there was damage to cover up (there was NONE!), but rather because it's red, and red fades, especially in Arizona, and this car had been buffed down too many times to buff it anymore. So now it looks fantastic driving down the road sporting the original brilliant red color it had in 1991. It truly is stunning.

The dazzling 18" 3-piece HRE Model 541 aluminum wheels were custom made on October 10, 2000, and cost approximately $1,300 per wheel. (18x8.5 ET11 front and 18x10 ET16 rear).The stainless steel Magnaflow mufflers have a slight growl so you can hear the V12 without being obnoxious, and they don't "drone.”

80% of 850i's came with a four speed automatic transmission, and this is one of them. Don't let that turn you off. Most car-magazine articles back in the 1990s preferred the automatic transmission because it drove more smoothly than the stick. So this car is actually more "driveable”, and it's also much more affordable (the manual transmission 850i's sell for at least $10,000 more than comparable cars with automatics.) Also, the rear end is geared much lower than the manual transmission cars (3.64:1 rather than 2.65:1), so acceleration is actually slightly faster with the automatic than with the stick version. A rare Dinan transmission chip (NOS, no longer available from Dinan) was recently added to this car that significantly improves the shift points.

If you want even better performance, for $500 you can get a set of Wokke engine management and throttle control chips that increase power 10% and eliminate the top speed governor. Together with the Dinan transmission chip already in the car, adding the Wokke chips would really wake up the V-12.

There are no 30 year old luxury BMWs in this price range that do not have a few quirks. Here are the ones I've noticed on this car:

The tires have some tread left but my understanding from the previous owner is that they are quite old, and they do show surface cracks in the sidewalls. Also, the radial sidewalls had some flat spots after storage last winter. So if I were keeping the car, new Michelins were next on my list. The sunroof slides forward and backward flawlessly, but does not tilt. It probably got messed up when the new headliner was installed. If I were keeping the car, I wouldn't bother with it because I never use the tilt feature. The passenger seat adjustment works perfectly, and the driver's seat moves forward and backward and the back tilts properly, but the driver's seat up/down adjustment does not work. This is a common problem on these old cars (one of the cables has failed), and it is fixable, but if I were keeping it I wouldn't bother; the seat is in a good position. Like all E31's, there are some dead pixels on the OBC display. This is inexpensive to repair (search Ebay). Also like all E31's, the CD changer in the trunk doesn't work anymore. Finally, there is a hairline crack in the driver's side rear view mirror (hardly noticeable). Other than those things, to the best of my knowledge, this car is in fantastic shape.

The reason I'm selling is because I already have an 850i.I bought this one for my wife, thinking it would be fun to have a matching pair, but as it turns out she wasn't as excited about the car as she and I both thought she was. She enjoys riding in mine but she doesn't enjoy driving one. So I guess we're a one-E31 family.

Serious inquiries only. Cash only. No trades. No low-balls. This is one of the finest vehicles ever made in history by any manufacturer, and it is also one of the most beautiful and rare classic BMWs on the road, for a very affordable price. Don't miss out on this opportunity! For many years the E31 has been a bargain in the used car market. That won't last. Until recently, the E31 has been relatively unknown and undervalued, but according to Hagerty's, prices have been trending upward in the last few years, especially for the V-12's, as collectors and enthusiasts have started to recognize its gorgeous classic look, its excellent drivability, and its place in automobile history as the best touring coupe of its time... or of any time.