Bubble Find: Like-New 1997 BMW 740i

This 1997 BMW 740i in Gogolin Slaski, Poland is currently sealed in its own plastic bubble, where it has been isolated from pollutants and anything else that might damage it. After spending the past few decades of being protected from the world, it’s now coming to market. A mere 0.3 km (fewer than 0.2 miles) have passed beneath this flagship BMW… ever. Over 35 bids here on eBay Germany have driven the market value beyond $48,000 EUR, about $52,000 USD. Some “preserved” cars fall prey to moisture and decay, but this gorgeous BMW retains the look of a showroom-quality time capsule from the prior century. Only minimal oxidation on the exhaust system suggests it was built more than a week ago. Thanks to our friends over at brosef in Germany for this incredible tip!

Photographs of the 740i might well have come from original sales literature. Finishes, plating, coatings, and paint rest indistinguishable from new. From the antiquated days before nearly all BMWs came with turbochargers and VANOS (variable valve timing), the 4.4L M62B44 V8 managed 282 HP and 310 lb-ft of torque. At full-throttle, you hear the satisfying basso V8 exhaust note and the delicious 32-valve, dual overhead cam alto, blending in operatic delight.

As BMW’s banner-carrier, the 7-series delivers power and luxury in every surface, button, and control. Trees and cows perished for the owner’s benefit, so pause a moment in their memory. This E38 BMW pre-dates BMW’s often-maligned iDrive system, a powerful motivator for iDrive haters yearning to relive the days when controls presented themselves in an endless array of rectangular buttons… buttons you could simply reach out and press! Though plentiful and similar-looking, buttons have one strategic advantage over menus:  buttons do not move!

This rare picture of the cryogenically time-frozen BMW reveals a color combination to make any Jaguar owner proud. The metallic paint gleams. The virgin windshield rests in repose, unsoiled by stone, insect, or other airborne barbarism. Would you dare drive this museum artifact, or gently lower it into place with a velvet-wrapped forklift?

Supple leather steals the show in this, the money shot, the picture many sellers dread posting yet do so out of respect for the buyer. The driver’s seat often betrays mileage not readily visible in paint or other interior surfaces, but this one has no stories to tell. No psychic flash awaits those who sully the new-born leather with a grubby finger. Prognosticators, be gone! Your powers are useless here. Only the new owner can fathom what glory might transpire when a carefully-chosen derrière rests upon this Teutonic Throne. Would you keep this masterpiece sealed up in its bubble, or let it fulfill its destiny as an automobile?

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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great write up Todd! Wonderfull cars, I sure hope it was ran on occasion. Almost bid to the 60 grand sticker price when new. Keep up the good work and wash your hands, LOL. Mike.

    • Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

      Thanks, Mike! One of my daughter’s friend’s Dads has one of these with under 40k but this one is crazy. Would be interesting to know the “why?” part of the story. Be safe out there!

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        You are right on the why part of the story remark Todd. At least your daughter’s friend’s Dads had a little enjoyment. I did not realise that those bubbles were around in 97.

  2. Dave

    You know, Harley-Davidson sells the Harley Bubble, but why would you buy something to not use it?

  3. Luke Fitzgerald

    What’s the bet nothing would work on it

  4. Weasel

    I have a serious question for everyone. What’s the thought on those car bubbles? Do they introduce humidity into the bubble via the fan? Can you flyer the intake with a desiccant? I’m considering one.

    • Weasel

      Instal not flyer. Sorry.

    • SMDA

      Nah, they have fans that ventilate them. They are pretty sweet. Thought about getting one for winter storage. Sure would keep the mice away!

  5. misterlou

    “The virgin windshield rests in repose, unsoiled by stone, insect, or other airborne barbarism.”

    Somewhere a windshield installer got a chuffy.

  6. Steve

    How much for the bubble? I can set up in there while I self isolate.

  7. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    One of BMW’s best. It’s obviously beautiful, but I wonder why? Maybe it was a dealer leftover and the kept it in a bubble as a showpiece? If I purchased this brand new in 1997 there is no way I could resist taking it for a long, long ride.

  8. i8afish

    Looks like a pre-made sandwich at the gas station.

    • Geoff

      Green like one too…

  9. Andy

    What kind of wanna be Bond Villian seals a car in a plastic bubble only to sell it on eBay like 20 years later? Somewhere there is a stupid man petting a stupid Persian Cat.

  10. Todd Van Winkle

    Microwave on high for 3 minutes until bubbly! CAUTION! Product will be hot!

  11. dyno dan

    this is really a match box car!

  12. Karl

    This is a new one for me! It’s a beautiful vehicle and never driven, I wonder what the thought process was there? I bought an 08 Z06 that was less than a year old with 986 miles on it. The previous owner bought the car drove it and decided he didn’t like the manual trans, I bought the car for 20k less than he paid for it, talk about expensive miles for him!

  13. Joe Haska

    A few years ago ,I bought the same exact car from my neighbor ,an Attorney,not a car guy. Same car ,exact opposite condition, to say it was not well maintained, would give new meaning to an understatement. I gave $1600 for it and was going to fix it, clean it up and make big bucks. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Fortunately , I didn’t spend allot of money, about $500 and a miserable 6 weeks trying to save it. When I finally got it presentable ,I sold it for $2200! So much for flipping 101. I did learn, stick with what you know, no more Biemers for me.

  14. Marty Wilke Marty Member

    This reminds me of that old 1970s made-for-TV movie: “The Boy in the BMW in the Plastic Bubble”. Anyone else remember that one? No? Anyone? Just me? Maybe I’m not remembering all the details exactly right…


    Marty, I’m pretty sure John Travolta played the BMW boy in the bubble, I remember it well. Also the Seinfeld episode where Jerry and George visited the bubble boy.

    • Marty Wilke Marty Member

      How come I remembered the 1970s TV-movie but not the 1990s TV show? Chalk it up to advanced chronological cumulative disadvantage….What were we talking about again?

  16. treg forsyth

    Bet his couches have the grandma bubble wrap too.


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