Junkyard Find: 1992 BMW 750iL
When you spend as much time in fast-turnover self-service wrecking yards as I do, you get this lesson over and over: Nothing depreciates like high-end German luxury cars. Once the interior gets a little rough, or the cutting-edge elaborate electrical system gets a bit confused, or the next generation of engine makes an additional 50 horses… well, your big A8 or 7-series or S-class passes through a sequence of increasingly budget-challenged owners, and then there’s another $700 repair needed, and here comes the tow-truck to take it to U-Wrench-It. Mostly I don’t pay much attention to these cars, because the yards are paved with German luxury, but the numbers of discarded V12 E32s peaked about 5 years ago and they’re getting harder to find now. Here’s one that I saw yesterday in a Denver-area yard.
Because you can get running V12 BMWs for scrap value or less, 24 Hours of LeMons racers have run a few of them. Here’s Speedycop’s 1963 Ford Thunderbird with a 750iL engine (equipped with an extremely janky ammo-can-plenum carburetor conversion).
How much did this car cost in 1992? Well, the answer is just about as depressing as looking up horsepower figures for Malaise Era Detroit cars: $76,500 MSRP, and a lot more with all the options a proper 7-series owner must have. That’s about $130,000 in inflation-adjusted 2015 bucks.
V12s are inherently cool. All of us need to start rescuing these engines and swapping them into Edsels and New Yorkers. This one made 296 horsepower, which is 28 more than the 3.5-liter V6 in the ’15 Camry.
Yessir, that’s a built-in analog car-phone transceiver in the trunk.
27 men in Munich began a project that became a quest that became a car.
Jim brewer on Jul 06, 2015
Had a 1998 Tupac Shakur model I bought in 2005 for $12k (down from $98k new, as I recall). Those were boom years so there was no call for slightly over the hill luxury cars. Also, the market was pressured by very aggressive leasing campaigns by the Japanese. That V12 (327 hp by then), was nothing to sneeze at. I loved it. I remember giving my kid a passing lesson while following a semi going maybe 50 mph on a two-lane road: Me: (in my best Dad voice) " Now check your mirror, signal, then briskly accelerate past the truck" We cleared the front bumper at about 100mph.
Spreadsheet monkey on Jul 06, 2015
JB's article deserves a repost here. Sums up why so many German luxobarges end up in the junkyard (or exported to Russia/wherever). http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/no-fixed-abode-gotta-rich-cheap-car/
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- ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
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