Background: Built in low-quantites (30,000 total), the 8 Series may be more popular in death than in life. The car represents classic BMW styling that looks good heading into the 20th anniversary of its inception. When it first came out and through much of its early existence, the E31 was criticized for being heavy, complex, and not a spirited performer on par with the 6 Series that many but not all consider to be the predecessor model. Now, it's a popular collector's car. While repairs and parts can be costly (a power seat adjuster obtained through BMW can be $1,500-plus), an active support network makes it possible for owners to keep the 8 Series models running. The 8 Series was produced from 1989 through 1999, although its U.S. stay was much shorter. Originally produced as a 5.0-liter V12 and called the 850i (later 850Ci), it was followed by a less costly and less complex 4.0-liter and 4.4-liter V8, the 840i and 840Ci. Total worldwide production was reported by BMW AG as 30,621, three-quarters of them V12s. U.S. sales, from 1989-1997, were 7,232. In addition to this forum, established sites in the U.S. for 8 Series discussions include www.8coupe.com and www.8-Fest.com. They're good sources of information if you're thinking about buying and want to know what you're getting in to. The 8-Fest group holds celebrations on both the East Coast (see http://www.bmwcca.org/node/7203) and West Coast (see http://www.bmwcca.org/node/7289) and is gearing up for an 08-08-08 celebration in August 2008. A 20th anniversary celebration is planned for 2009 in Germany.