Sunday, February 22, 2015

10k: V8 Tourer: 1994 BMW 840Ci

 In 1989 BMW released its replacement for the outgoing E24 6-series, it was the shark nosed shark nose E31 8-series.  The 8-series was only built in one generation with about 7,000 making the trip to North America, and it was available with V8 or V12 power.  You might be tempted to pickup the finicky V12 version, but the V8 offers more reliability with 300 lbs less curb weight.  Find this 1994 BMW 840Ci here on eBay with $10,000 CAD ($7,979 USD)  buy-it-now located on Canadian eBay, but with a Florida license plate.  Tip from the George in Toronto.

The E31 was a luxury grand tourer meant not to just supersede the E24 6-series, but to also eclipse it in performance, price, and prestige.  The 8-series version did just that with V8/V12 power versus the inline-6 in the Paul Bracq designed E24.  Only time will tell if the Klaus Kapitza design will stand the test of time, but I'd bet money that it will be collectible when we are all zipping around town in flying electric hovercraft. 

The 1994-95 840Ci is powered by a 4.0 liter version of the M60 V8, rated at 286 horsepower (it was replaced by the 4.4 liter M62 that offered more torque but the same power rating).  In this example it is mated to a 5-speed automatic that won't be as much fun as a 6-speed, but will suit the grand touring nature of the E31.

The seating position of the E31 is low and sporty, which helps to mask some of the almost 4,000 lb curb weight.  The materials on the E31 are higher quality than you'd find in a similar era 3-series, but age has taken some of its toll on this one.

See a better car for cruising on a budget?


  1. These are cool looking, but then you find out they are all automatics..

    1. Not all, there were a bunch of manual transmission 850CSis sold in the US, as close as BMW ever got to an M8 (remember there was an M6 version of the E24 6-series.)

      I don't think any of the V8s ever got a manual in the US but the powertrain's the same as all the rest of the BMWs of the era and I think the parts can be found to swap if someone were so inclined.

      At the time of course we all thought they were big bloated boats but compared to the ridiculous scarified blob of the later 6-series these are gorgeous.

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    3. Fleetwood T. BroughamFebruary 23, 2015 at 10:37 AM

      Depends on how you define "bunch". The US only received 225 of the limited edition (1994-95 only) 850CSi, and they are as you described. I think what you may be thinking of are the early production years (1991-93), the 850i was available with a 6-speed mated to the V12, and the US got about 850 of them in total. Still a rare duck, but nowhere near as rare as the 850CSi. You are correct, that the V8 models never were offered in the US with a manual transmisison.

    4. One manual 850 is for sale here, but the ad could be a little bit improved.

  2. ~ A very nice car for which the color red does absolutely nothing.

  3. The finicky V12 was the only way to get a clutch pedal and, thus, is worth the trouble. They're all elegant, classy tourers, however.

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  5. I've been interested for a while.. Prices are low and I thought they were cool back in the day.. Last Saturday I went to see one locally .. It was black and in good condition. In that color unremarkable and quite a yawner... I scanned the parking lot of other random black and white and red cars of today.. not a that remarkable.. There wasa 928 parked next to it.. same pricing.. thought that had much more gusto.. My 2 cents anyways.


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