Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Shoulda Had A V12: 1998 BMW 750il

The BMW 750iL wasn't the first affordable V12 car to be sold to the masses because it wasn't even affordable in any sense of the concept, but once depreciated it was the first cheap V12 that didn't blow up on weekdays that end in the word day (I'm looking at you Jaguar XJ12). Thankfully, these 12 cylinder luxury sedans are cheap and plentiful on the used market.  Find this 1998 BMW 750iL offered for $3,400 near Houston, TX via craigslist.  Tip from Jeff.

 The 750 is powered by the M73TUB54, a 5.4 liter SOHC (2 valves per cylinder!?) V12 that puts out 322 horsepower and 361 ft-lbs of torque.  The M73 was controlled by two separate 6 cylinder ECUs that had to communicate with drive by wire throttles and functioned basically independently on the two banks of the engine...a recipe for longevity and easy of that's not right, it is a nightmare if something goes wrong.

 See another Bond car for cheap?


  1. So my e46 is costing me about 300 a month in sh*t that breaking.
    I would guess double the cylinders, intakes, heads, valves, vanos, ect.
    This should be about a Gazillion dollars a month to keep going.

    1. The engine in these is bulletproof. The chassis however...

      I know a pair of brothers that each have one one. They carry spare ABS sensors, because apparently one of the rear ones is considered a wear item.

  2. This was always my favourite subtly ironic model designation: BMW 75 Oil.

    But I did drive one once, and it was magnificently smooth and sophisticated. $3400, amazing.

  3. The original M70 was designed to be low maintenance. It was the first BMW engine with hydraulic tappets, so you didn't need to adjust the valves every 15k miles. It was loosely based on a siamese m20, with its two distributors and ecus. It was considered a plus that if something terrible happened and you had to disable a bank of cylinders, it would run adequately on the other bank. They made very near the same horsepower figure a couple of years later using a v8 with one liter less displacement, so the v12 was a low stress engine. I'd love to put one in my truck in place of the 351w, but I have no idea which transmission could facilitate that pipe dream.

  4. Practice sitting behind the wheel and making "vrooom vrooom" noises.

    Because, let's face it: If you cant' enjoy this, you won't enjoy this car.

    -Stan (Sitting-in-his-car-on-the-side-of-the-road making "Vroom" noises Stan)

  5. I have a dream of someday getting a 740i Sport and swapping in a manual transmission from a 540i. No rational reason, just for fun. I wonder if you could do the same with the 750il...

    1. Probably be a bolt-on with the transmission from the even rarer 850i six-speed. But, I doubt any sane individual would be willing to essentially destroy one of those unicorns to build a manual 750il. Cool thought, though.

    2. I think we have discussed this car on here before.
      Such a cool idea. Could add a supercharger easily as well. Ultimate Transporter!
      740 stick

    3. Nice find Sean! Too bad they don't list more details on the 6 speed conversion.


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