SOTW: BMW 750iL (E32)

More computing power than it took to get man onto the moon. This is the phrase that's often bandied about by those writing about the history of the 7-series (though to be honest I'm not sure it's actually true).

Of course, these days a cat flap can have more computing power than that (seriously, check out the Pet Porte Smart Flap...), but back in 1986, when the E32 7-series appeared (after a seven-year gestation) this was pretty impressive stuff. As was the pioneering use of projector headlamps, the optional inbuilt phone and fax machine, the wine cooler, the double glazing and the traction control.

Perhaps most impressive was the fancy new 5.0-litre V12, whose 300bhp gave the big 7er sufficient shove to become the first recipient of BMW's self-imposed electronic speed limit of 155mph.

Today, the technological Titan of the 1980s is sadly a car that makes no sense to almost everybody, especially in V12 guise. For one thing, if you've got the wherewithal to cope with the fuel bills and other maintenance costs then you can almost certainly stretch to the extra moolah required for a newer luxobarge. If, on the other hand, you're planning on running your £1k car on a shoestring, then you would be frankly barmy to pick the big Bee Em.

And that's a shame, because this 79k-mile 750iL, spotted by our very own used-car man silversixx, is a fine motor car. Being the top-end V12 model, it'll be specced to the nines, that extra 114mm of leg room means rear-seat passengers can stretch their legs in comfort, and all those cylinders should keep you comfortably in front of all those lesser captains of industry in their uncultered six-cylinder diesels (until you run out of fuel, at least)

Okay, so it's not going to be a bargain, and this amount of gadgetry and cylinders does rather imply a big bill at some point in the future, but it's not often we do a 12-cylinder Shed of the Week (though we did feature some 12-pot Jaguar action back in March).

Advert is reproduced below:

BMW 750IL Price: £995.00

BMW 750IL,lwb,1988,5ltr.V12,metalic blue,full grey leather,electric heated seats front and rear,electric windows,electric sunroof,alloy wheels,very clean car,drives well,only 79000 miles,tested,£995

Safety Features
Airbag Driver, Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)

Air Conditioning, Central Locking, Cruise Control, Leather Seats, Electric Adjustable Seats, Electric Heated Seats, Electric Windows, Power Steering, Sunroof

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (179) Join the discussion on the forum

  • dbdb 09 Nov 2011

    anything fast said:
    a great car then and still is, if fuel was not so dear everyone would have one!!

    but WTF is up those wheels or are they hub caps, either way they are truly horrid and make the car look like a large sofa..
    I really like the wheels, I'd choose to put them on any E32.

  • B'stard Child 08 Nov 2011

    monthefish said:
    Morningside said:
    The E38 iL has parking sensors front and back.
    So does the non L wink

    The parking sensors are handy but having fitted a towbar to mine I am having to recalibrate myself = previously only when I got a continuous beeeep would I stop knowing I was an inch away from whatever was behind me.

    My garage door says now I need to stop before the continuous beeep unless I line the car exactly in the same place on the drive and then the towbar ball fits nicely in the recess it's created.

  • anything fast 07 Nov 2011

    a great car then and still is, if fuel was not so dear everyone would have one!!

    but WTF is up those wheels or are they hub caps, either way they are truly horrid and make the car look like a large sofa..

  • gentlybentley 07 Nov 2011

    Harsh crit. I have a99 735i sport which is without doubt the most comfortable motor car I have ever owned bar none. I prefer it to my Bentley Turbo RT, Continental Le Mans, BMW M6, and 65 Bentley S3 saloon. Banging car, had some cooling issues but new water pump, filler tank, fan assembly sorted it and I've aadded 30k to the speedo which had 140k when I bought it three years ago with only regular servicing and MoT.

  • petrol_heads36 07 Nov 2011

    I bought just the same car in the same colour a 1988 750iL last friday week with 146000 miles on it for 1250 euro off a Honda main dealer, alas the headgasket was beginning to go and I returned it 2 days ago and got my money back.
    A shame really because it was a lovely drive, very powerful and so comfortable but that's life I guess....
    They are heavy on fuel but worth every drop...

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