"I have owned my 96 850 for two years now and have found it to be one of the most satisfying autos I have ever owned. I also own two other GT cars that I love but find the 850 preferable especially on long trips. It may not handle as well as some sports cars but the over all driving experience is excellent. I have found myself looking for another one in case something were to happen to the 96. I would have preferred a 6 speed manual but the automatic on the 850ci version is a good compromise. Wonderful, solid car."
"Most people define a "classic" as a car having perhaps limited production, distinctive styling, exceptional performance, ahead of it's time, and quality. The late model 8 series fits all of those definitions.
I waited until the very last minute to factory order a 97 840 (last of the series). Although mine is a low mileage "garage queen" it makes my heart sings every time I take it out for exercise.
A truely exceptional effort by BMW."
"God, but you have to love the BMW 8 series, in either the V-8 or 12-cyl. versions.
That low-slung design looks great after 20 years, with its M-1 nose and pert tail. And as a road tourer, it's still pretty competitive if you're not too fussy. As a local BMW specialist shop-owner says,
"Think of it as a Ferarri with a Bimmer badge."
And it costs like a Ferarri to maintain, no question. Virtually no part is common with any other BMW. If you need a front bumper, it's over two grand in the box; then you need to put it on the car, which costs hundreds more. Rebuilding the pop-up headlights is another two grand, again just for the parts.
Still, our 1997 840 -- in the family from new -- continually turns heads with its exotic looks. Just prepare to turn your pockets inside out in exchange for not paying depreciation on something newer. It's probably a wash, as long as you don't lose a transmission or have serious engine trouble; if so, you're toast. I've spent $2,300 per year on avg for the 7 years since we bought the car from my wife's uncle at wholesale.
And it looks like the 8 series has about stopped depreciating...a good late one (and you can find one if you're patient) still costs north of 12 grand, and there you are -- with a Ferarri that'll keep you poor, but will make your heart sing every time you turn the key."