When friends and colleagues ask our counsel on whether or not to buy an older V12 BMW (it happened more than once) the standard answer is always an emphatic “no”. Most people cannot handle the idea of two ECUs (for twice the complexity and repair bills), and for the average Joe looking for a prestigious ride on the cheap (an oxymoron if there ever was one), a V12 BMW is bankruptcy on four wheels.
But when an ad for a car proudly touts the ability to withstand “.357 MAG., 9MM AND .44 MAGNUM AND EQUIVALENT HANDGUN AND LIGHT SUBMACHINE GUN BALLISTICS“, suddenly it becomes very hard to ignore.
Towards the turn of the millenium, BMW offered its own factory armored 7-Series, known as the Protection series. Built between 2000 and 2001, most of them appear to be the big V12 variety but a V8-powered 740i variant was also offered. Now, Bring A Trailer is bringing you the chance to own your very own armored 7-Series, after digging up this Craigslist ad out of Houston, Texas.
In armored car parlance, the ability to stop this level of small arms fire is known as “B4” protection. A car like the 750iL protection is mainly meant to protect against violent crime like robberies and car jackings. At the time of production, this was conceivably what most private citizens in dangerous locales would need. Nowadays, armored cars are more ubiquitous in dangerous locales, but so is the level of firepower and the severity of incidents. Mexican criminal elements (among other actors) now have access to military grade assault weapons, not to mention grenades and other weapons, and a B4 vehicle could be woefully inadequate. BMW offers a current model 760iL that can stop multiple rounds from an AK-47 or M4 type rifle – a sign of just how far things have come.
According to the ad, the 750iL comes with heated front and rear seats, a nav system, park distance control and of course, special wheels for the run-flat tires. The windows look suitably thick, a morbid reminder of just what this car is built for. At $36,500, the car is on the high side for a 12 year old BMW 7-Series, but the vendor is also willing to trade for a boat or an RV.