Here’s a car for sale that is becoming very hard for me to pass up.
I am offering up a 1985 745i factory turbo E23. Yes it is NOT an E28 BUT the engine and turbo alone are worth the price for a conversion. And the rest of the car is decent also. A few details: Parting out OR buy the whole running driving car! Rare classic collectible euro model with factory turbo. 4 speed auto transmission, REAR DIFF, 99.9% rust-free body parts, buffalo leather interior with electric seats, working original becker radio, choice of two sets of wheels [either the 18″ M parallel replicas or the black 17″ ASAs. GREAT PARTS FOR E28s or…? WILL NOT PASS SMOG SO TECHNICALLY SELLING AS A “PARTS CAR” California buyers responsible for getting it smogged and DMV fees of $250. ONLY 2,222 FIRM!
Then the ad was updated on June 11:
PRICE LOWERED TO $1,985 FOR THE 1985 745I TURBO!As pictured with EITHER the black or 18″ silver ones OR ONLY $1,685 with a set of 14″ rollers. Somebody snatch up this car. Engine, turbo and bumpers alone worth more than that! I have registration in my name. No title unless I pay $250 in fees…
The seller — Evan, aka, BimmerBrothers — is a long-time member of mye28.com and has sold a lot of cars on the site. It’s always amazing to see what he comes up with; this car doesn’t appear to be perfect, but it’s in decent shape. And at under $2,000… I was very tempted but definitely not in a position to buy. Too bad because it sounds like the owner is prepared to part it out. Way too bad. Probably a good thing it’s a few thousand miles away from me.
The e23 745i was never sold in the US; it was sold in the European market only. Those that made it into the US did so by going through the gray-market importing process. It was the top-of-the-line luxury car sold by BMW in its day, and was equipped with a variant of the 3.2 liter inline six used in the 735i (and 533/535) but with a bunch of extra HP and torque courtesy of a 10psi intercooled turbocharger. And that makes all the difference. 249 HP and 275 ft. lbs. of torque compared to 215/224 on the normally aspirated 735i.
The process of federalizing gray market BMWs in the 1980s was inconsistently and often poorly executed; some retained the Europe-only headlights, but many others (like the one pictured) had them replaced with the 5″ US headlights. This car also suffered the ignominy of having the camper-style side marker lights added to the fenders front & back. The good news is that it was allowed to keep the original bumpers; of all the bastardizations done to this car, that would be the most difficult and expensive to reverse and get the car back to the way it ought to look. The federalizers would often require that the the Euro-style bumpers be replaced by bumpers that were found on the built-for-USA 735i, which required some nasty surgery to the front and rear valences. Others cars, like this one, got away with the Euro bumpers intact, but with a “reinforcing” piece of steel tubing or angle iron inside. Not sure what that would actually do to help, but… This one did end up with the US-approved 5″ headlights and grille in place of the true Euro headlight setup — with the 7″ low-beams. Reverting to that look would really make this car a standout, as would repainting the front end to match the rest of the car.
The sub-$2,000 price tag on this car makes it very tempting. The BronzitBeige over Buffalo-color leather interior even more so. And how fun would it be to drive a car like this back from southern California… One of these days the availability of a car like this will coincide with me being prepared to buy it, and I’ll do just that. This time, I’ll have to be content with the cars I have, and patiently wait. It builds character.