Cost new: £54,950. Value now: £12,950
BMW's big GT is eminently useable and remains affordable, but for how much longer?
Really great condition 850s, or rare manual models, are now nudging £25,000, with the CSI range-topping version tipping over £50k. That’s still reasonable for what is an extremely competent and useable GT car that has performance to spare.
With so few V12s changing hands, though, the market is beginning to look further down the 8 Series line-up at the V8. The 840 might lack the outright thrills and ultimate cylinder count of its 12-pot cousin, but It still has more than enough get-up-and-go to put a smile on your face, without the costly service premium. Not to mention a fantastic soundtrack that’s almost as evocative.
With this in mind, we thought this 840CI that’s currently for sale at Cambridgeshire dealer Wallis & Son was well worth a closer look.
With 78,000 miles on the clock, it appeared to be a well-loved and used example rather than a car-show queen, which instantly scored points with us. Though ultimate values may lie with pristine and barely used cars, the real enjoyment to be had from these big BMs comes from putting some miles on them – all the while enclosed in opulent luxury.
This 8 Series makes a great first impression. It's Orient Blue paint finish gleams even on a wet, wintry day. There's so little to give away this car's age on the outside – only a few very minor kerb marks and a small milky section to the bottom edge of the rear windscreen, and that’s being picky.
The light sliver grey nappa leather interior is in generally good condition, however there are a few early signs of wear to the driver's bolster. A couple of other areas in here indicate the miles travelled, such as the driver’s door pull (the passenger one’s fine) and driver’s seatbelt.
The headlining around the sunroof has discoloured slightly, obviously due to damp, but we couldn't find any leaks on our test and it was chucking it down.
There's an aftermarket 1990s Sony CD player that stands out a mile for all the wrong reasons. Finally there are some scuffs to the bottom edge of the driver's door card from feet swinging in.
On our test drive the long-travel throttle pedal needed a shove before we got moving and even in 'sport' mode the gearbox still felt clueless. The brakes work well and the ride is firm yet compliant. Flat and neat cornering was certainly a surprise in a car this size.
This 8 Series has clearly been used, but has been well cared for. Its mechanicals and paint are cock on and it's well priced.
Mileage 78,000 miles
On sale at Wallis & Son wallisandson.co.uk
Engine 3982cc, 8-cyl, DOHC
Transmission RWD, 5-speed automatic
Top speed 155mph
Choose your BMW 8 Series
1986 – CAD studies begin on a replacement for the E24 6 Series.
1989 – Final prototype seen at Frankfurt Motor Show. New 8 Series goes on sale later that year.
1990 – 850i is available with both a manual six-speed and an automatic five-speed ’box.
1992 – 830i concept is dropped after a single evaluation model
1995 – 840Ci goes from the 4.0-litre M60B40 engine to the new 4.4-litre M62B44. This offers better torque and economy, but no extra power.