For a few months, I was hot on buying an old-school 7-Series. I even looked at a decent 1986 L7 up in New Hampshire, that I thankfully did not buy. Still, like an unrequited love, I can’t help but look at E23-series 7s and think it’d be fun to own one, for a little while. This 3,710 mile example here on craigslist is out of my price range, but if you’ve got an FJ40 collecting dust, the seller is considering trades for a vintage ‘Yota.
Now, the trouble is, these old VDO odometers (or it could be a Motometer) tend to break. I’m going to assume that, with an $18K asking price, the seller has confirmed this one is operational. The condition certainly backs up the mileage claim, as the chrome on the bumpers looks fantastic, every original manual and brochure is included, and the OEM (and rare) first-aid kit is still with the car. Those are the types of details that are hard to fake.
Then, you check out the engine bay. The clear coolant tank, the bright red fan (typically faded to pink, on most cars), the unstained valve cover – heck, even the rubber dust caps above the struts still appear lustrous. The only item said not to be original is the battery, and the seller claims even the very complicated HVAC system is still working. Leather seats do appear to be quite nice, and I should mention that 5-speed equipped 7-Series of this vintage aren’t exactly common. This car is definitely in unicorn territory for the BMW enthusiast.
An un-cracked dash is nice to find, and although the interior pictures are horrible, you can see the leather seats and stitching are in great shape and the heel pad on the carpet looks like it’s never had a foot resting on it. My biggest gripe is the price – it’s a rare car, but finding someone who’s dying to own a mint E23 7-Series, to the point that they’re willing to lay out close to $20K, is going to be a tough buyer to find. Price it s bit closer to $13-$14K and someone will gladly take it home; I wish it could be me!