Discussion in 'E23 (1978-1987)' started by gingrichM5, May 22, 2009.
Is this car worth anything?
It's a rare car from what I understand. Most of the 7's had auto's.
No. Give it to me for free.
The answer is EXTREMELY dependent on the car's condition. If the car has 66k miles, original condition, always garaged, fully maintained, it's worth the north side of $10k. An automatic 1986 735i sold for something like $13k at Barrett-Jackson recently (the above describes its condition).
However, about 99% of E23s are in beat or at least "well used" condition.
The huge deal-breaker is the automatic climate control system. If it works, everything else is as simple and reliable as an E28. If it doesn't, figure on a couple thousand to fix it. Otherwise, it's body condition. You can find and replace everything else relatively cheaply.
Give us an idea of mileage and condition and we can come up with some pricing ideas.
I've been driving 5 Series cars since 1980 but I was originally brought to the BMW through the interests my Dad had for BMWs. His first was a 1973 3.0 CSi ....but his favorite car was his (1 of only 30) 1978 728i with a manual trans. It was Titanium Silver with deep red leather. He loved the car but he was a working stiff who was an audio equipment sales rep. So his daily driving was heavy and he put on 40,000 per year. He eventually had to replace the car in retirement but not before putting close to 400,000 miles on it.
I only wish I could have had it renovated for him so he could have enjoyed it in retirement. He is now 88 years old and the memories of the car are strong. In fact that first week he got it we drove it to Mid-Ohio for the IMSA GT Races. Between races the BMW Local Chapter liked the car and the fact that it was a manual transmission so much that they had him drive the car onto the track and parade it for a lap for the specatators to see. It is now a great memory for my Dad. Wish I had the money and the skills to restore a 1978 7 series for him. Great memories of that car are all that remain.
Maybe some day....I hope so.
After many years of MB ownership going back to the early 60s, I convinced my dad to test drive a 733i back in 1983. He loved it but did not like the fact that it had manual seats, a lot of plastic on the dash and only a 3 speed auto (the US version of the 380SEL had power everything and a 4 speed auto). Lo and behold, for 1984 the 733i came with a 4 speed auto + power seats. In December of that year he test drove a grey market MB 500SE (nice!) and a 733i. He went for the 733i and never regretted it. I eventually bought the car from him and, in a moment of insanity, sold it in 2001 to a car collector who used to be a BMW salesman in the 80s.
Here's the last picture I took of our 733i in late 2001. I really miss that car.
These stories sounds so familiar. I was introduced to BMWs in 1971 when my father started looking at Bavarias at various dealers. He ended up buying a 1972 Bavaria in early '72 which I bought from him in 1980 when he purchased a 1980 733i 4spd manual. I had a chance to buy the E23 in 1987 when he then bought an E32 735i 5spd, but I already had 3 BMWs at the time. I REALLY wish I had purchased it also as it was in superb condition. He's 82 now and has had an E38 for the past 12 years since the "new" 7-series made him sick although he's pondering the thought of the F10 5-series a bit. I think he'd be really happy to have a new E23 again too.
My dad's 81 now and his daily driver is a 1990 750iL. He loves that car and has lost interest in all the new BMWs - except for the 335i, which he bought for my mom in January. Every time he drives it he has to tell me how awesome it is and how a new 335i Coupe is the only thing that might tempt him to give up the 750. Even at 81, he loves horsepower!
Funny enough, he still talks very fondly of his first - the 733i and even regrets not having bought a grey market 745i that we had also looked at around that same time. They were priced the same (the 745i had Buffalo leather interior and even had ABS brakes) but the lack of warranty, a shop that knew the grey market cars well and availability of parts worried him.
Thanks for the story regarding you and your Dad to add to my own about my Dad and I. You know with the majority of renovations being done on 50-60s muscle cars there may be an opportunity out there for those of us interested in 70s bimmer restoration. Have to be a fair amount of cast aside BMWs out there needing restoration. Although I don't see this as an investment that will pay off like classic muscle car restoration has maybe parts availability will be better for us bimmerphiles?
Does anyone know if there is a compiled list of shops dedicated to "frame off" BMW restorations? Personally, I'm not interested in doing this as an investment but for the love of the BMW marque. Would like a list of shops across the country knocking out frame off restorations of classic bimmers. I am interested to know what it could ultimately cost. Wouldn't it be nice to have a tungsten coated 70s bimmer that could last better than the non-coated metals we saw coming out in those earlier years?
I know most shops can do this kind of work but would prefer to work with a dedicated BMW enthusiast shop. Wouldn't a frame off 3.0 CSI be nice to have? I just don't have the time or place to do the work myself .....maybe in my retirement years but by that time my 88 year old Dad wouldn't be around to appreciate it. Anyway, anyone have a list or frame off bimmer restoration shops out there?
I'm with you, I would love to restore either a Bavaria or an E23 (preferably a 745i). From what I've read on Roundel, this is the place to go for that:
Financially, it would never make sense but I would (if I could) just do it because I love the car. We used to take our cars to a place called Performance Plus in Dania Beach. They were the only guys importing Hartge models at the time. The cars there were a treat for any BMW lover but there was one car in particular that I fell in love with, a Euro spec Bavaria with a ton of Alpina goodies. I would love to restore something like that!
Okay....let's try to work on this and see if someone might come up with a list. I'm thinking that there might be info in Roundel but would like feedback from those who have had frame off restoration from shops like we are talking about here. A list....my kingdom for a list! ha-ha. Your Hartge connection is just the kind of place you can ask a question about a list like this. Looks like they have done a fair share of 2002 tiis!! Wonder what else....
You ever watch HD TV shows like "Overhaulin" "Mecum Auto Auction" or "Wheeler Dealer"? Kind of inspiring but Chip Foose is a long way from Grand Rapids Michigan. I know some good auto body shops to contact for info as well as my favorite BMW dealer (Erhard BMW) on the other side of the state. I'm going to make some calls and see what I come up with. Not that I'm going to do it when I get the info..but you have to first acquire the knowledge of what you are in store for so you can make plans.....right?
I have a 1985 735i 5 speed and really like the car. Its fun to drive and extremely rare. Mine is an early build one with non-memory power seats and since its an '85, no 3rd brake light. The previous owner fixed most of the climate control issues and converted the AC to 134a. The metrics were replaced a long time ago with 17" rims that fit the car nicely. I'm currently looking to replace the springs/shocks, particularly in the rear, as they sag when I have full load of fuel/passengers. It also has some differential whine(the fluid is clean). It is a work in progress, but I think for the money, its a great way into big six ownership with the added bonus of being a fairly practical machine that has no trouble keeping up with todays machinery.
Sounds nice, how many miles are on the car? What about rust issues? I don't know if they are still available, but 30 years back putting Quickor Engineering's huge front and rear sway bars on the car really made it a lot more fun to drive. Cibie 5 3/4" low/high and high beam replacements made a monster difference in nighttime driving too.
Its got about 225k on it and no rust. The PO did a subpar respray that the clear coat is currently peeling from/it went through too many automatic carwashes, but fortunately he replaced most of the seals at the same time. Thanks for the info on the sway bars. I may do a set of Cibie's in the future, but its not my daily driver so I don't drive it at night too often.
Hella's should work too, btw. I wonder if Cibie's are as easily sourced as in days or yore - I have my Cibie high beams on my E30 that were previously on my 320i. Dang, now those might be more than 30 years ol... Holy Cr*p! Ok, you all aren't helping me feel any younger today.....!!
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